For the first time in four years, I will not be in the UAE over Christmas this year. I have swapped the attractions of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach’s crystal waters for the charms & wilds of the Yorkshire Dales: you can’t get much more polar opposite than Ilkley and Dubai!
My mother’s fine cooking notwithstanding, I miss being in the UAE over the festive season as it’s a great time of year to be there. The weather tends to be excellent (circa 25 degrees), the roads are quiet with the schools being off and many expats being away and it’s an opportune time to pause for a breather amidst the busy business season that stretches from September to May.
The UAE being a cosmopolitan place, expats can celebrate this important time of year in their own way. Personally, I love going to the beach on Christmas day; other friends will head out for brunch or have meals-on-wheels Dubai-style delivered to their homes (Turkey with all the trimmings from a 5-star hotel).
The break is brief, however! Schools go back at the beginning of January (indeed, January 1st is the only statutory holiday over the period) which is also when the next big event – Dubai Shopping Festival – starts, so it’s straight back into things. But if you are here over Christmas, make sure you enjoy the time, some sunshine and lots of turkey (even if the hard work is done elsewhere).