What better way to spend Christmas than relaxing poolside in 26° sunshine? We previously visited Dubai in 2016 during a brief stopover to Sydney. This time, it was a solid 10 days to enjoy the best of the West and East. Christmas in Dubai…
Date Visited: 14th – 26th December 2018
Location: Dubai, UAE. We opted to stay at The Westin Mina Seyahi in the Jumeirah Beach area.
Getting There: We flew with Emirates from London Gatwick, which was roughly a 6-hour flight. On arrival, the transfer from the airport to the hotel was 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic.
Cost: Given that we were at a 5-star resort for just under 2-weeks on half-board, it wasn’t the cheapest of holidays. It worked out to be c.£190 per person (including Cara) per night. This excludes some days when we ate out.
The hotel and staff are all class. Greetings with a smile each time, and always willing to help even during the busy sessions at the buffet. We had a small hiccup with our complimentary transfer from Dubai airport when our travel agent didn’t confirm our arrival time. The hotel were apologetic and offered to cover the cost of another transfer to one of the malls.
We didn’t realise we had access to the Westin Exec Lounge as well which was a bonus as it served drinks and food. However, all that was forgotten with the various events the hotel had over the festive period. Cara met Santa twice and we filled our boots with the hotel’s famous ‘Bubbalicious‘ brunch, Christmas special. It was insane!
I won’t go into too much detail here as you can find my review on TripAdvisor. However, in summary, too much good food, topped up the tan, and enjoyed quality family time.
Tips to keep the kids happy:
Kids during the Christmas period is difficult enough. Trying to keep them entertained, fed properly and happy. Why not try Christmas in Dubai?
Easy access to the malls: If you’re looking for a break from the beach and pool, the numerous malls are easily accessible. The Dubai Mall (where the Burj is) was probably the furthest one to travel to (c.AED50). Other options include the Mall of Emirates (which includes the indoor ski slope) and Marina Mall. We also stumbled across Ibn Battuta Mall – the world’s largest themed mall. Some hotels have shuttles to these outlets, but as they visit other hotels to collect shoppers, they do take a longer route.
Not just for shopping: The malls aren’t just for the shoppers. As mentioned above, Mall of Emirates has the ski slope. The Marina Mall has an interactive ‘learning centre’ for kids. The Dubai Mall has the large aquarium, Candy-licious sweet shop, and an ice-rink during Christmas. The Ibn Battuta has a soft play centre. All the malls have a Toy Store as well.
Theme / Aqua Parks: We didn’t visit any this time around, but there’s a myriad of options (including Legoland).
Burn Time: 5 out of 5 – There’s something for everyone in Dubai – beaches, pools, malls, funparks, food – the options are endless.
Value: 3.5 out of 5 – Not the cheapest of getaways but if you book early enough you can find a good deal. Eating at the hotel above the daily board allowance will always burn the wallet.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 – Already looking to go back in 2019!