Dubai Calendar has revealed a lineup of citywide events in December, featuring live music, entertainment, community, and sporting events.
December in Dubai will see activations across the city, including The Nutcracker at Dubai Opera, annual international sports events, and the Dubai Shopping Festival, return.
Here are the top picks of events this December: Dubai Calendar
- The popular annual Dubai Shopping Festival will return from December 8 to January 14, 2024. Visitors and residents can enjoy everything from incredible deals, spectacular shows, performances, and live entertainment, pop-up markets featuring homegrown concepts, raffles with out-of-this-world prizes, and much more for 38 days.
- Get into the holiday spirit at the Winter Garden at Habtoor Palace Dubai until January 31, with live entertainment, food offerings, and daily ‘visits’ from Santa. The market is one of the city’s best-loved winter days out every year with its popularity soaring year on year.
- Visit Jumeirah Emirates Towers Plaza Terrace’s Winter District from December 14 to January 4, 2024. With a huge festive tree and market selling all manner of handcrafted products, the Winter District is perfect for picking up gifts for loved ones in a holiday environment.
- The Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market is back from December 15 to January 7, 2024, featuring stalls selling homegrown gifts, festive beats and more.
- Global Village, the multi-cultural theme park and market, gives visitors a glimpse of more than 78 cultures across 26 pavilions. Global Village will run until 28 April.
- Head to the Dubai Police Academy Park for Ripe Market during weekends throughout December to enjoy a wide array of culinary delights, browse through homemade products and enjoy live entertainment.
- Expo City Dubai’s Winter City will feature family-friendly fun activities, including a zip-line, Santa’s grotto, and regular snowfall, from December 8 – January 7, 2024.
Live entertainment shows during December
- Running from December 8-10, this year’s edition of Sole DXB will honour ‘Hip Hop 50’, the anniversary of hip-hop culture, bringing together global artists to the Dubai Design District.
- Zabeel Theatre will feature enchanting performances by the Bolshoi Ballet and Vienna State Ballet on December 5–6.
- The Resonance – Climate concert (COP 28) will feature performances from Stewart Copeland, drummer and founder of legendary rock band, The Police, as well as Grammy-winning composer, Ricky Kej at Dubai Opera on December 6.
- The global phenomenon Slava’s SNOW SHOW will be making its mark on Dubai on December 8–9 at Dubai Opera.
- Kids hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa before his busiest day of the year will love Dear Santa, a stage adaptation of Rod Campbell’s beloved book of the same name. Featuring festive tunes and plenty of audience interaction, tickets are available for shows on December 8–9 at Zabeel Theatre.
- Indian spiritual leader, Sadhguru, will lead a group meditation at Coca-Cola Arena on December 9.
- India’s best-loved artists Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, and Abhijeet Bhattacharya will perform their greatest hits at Rewind Reloaded. Taking place at Coca-Cola Arena on December 10, music fans can enjoy an evening of nostalgia and chart-topping music.
- Popular comic Russell Howard will entertain guests with his dry humour at Dubai Opera on December 11.
- Immerse yourself in West African rhythms, as Grammy-winning band Tinariwen takes over the Coca-Cola arena for an evening of incredible beats paying homage to the Saharan desert on December 12.
- Blippi – The Wonderful World tour hits Coca-Cola Arena from December 12–13.
- The Astana Opera Symphony will perform Handel’s Messiah at Dubai Opera on December 13. Performing the 18th century oratorio Messiah by George Frideric Handel, the UAE-based performers will blow audiences away with their talent in performing songs such as Hallelujah.
- Arabic music lovers unite for an incredible double-header from Ahlam Alshamsy and Assala Nasri at Coca-Cola Arena on December 15.
- Enthralling audiences around the globe for decades, The Nutcracker will return to Dubai Opera for three days of performances between December 15–17 by dancers from Ballet Theatre and State Opera Orchestra of Astana from Kazakhstan.Taking place at Coca-Cola Arena on December 16, the third edition of Afroworld will be headlined by Grammy-nominated sensation, Gunna who will perform songs including Drip Too Hard.
- Rising Italian star and son of Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli is set to make his UAE debut at Dubai Opera on December 21, featuring tracks from his upcoming album, performed in both English and Italian.
- Uniting both Indian and Pakistani music under one roof, Speed Music Fest is gearing up for an incredible showcase of talent from the two nations, including performances from Jonita Gandhi and Ali Zafar. With an opening from the winner of the Voice of UAE contest, Mariyam Kisat, it’s set to be an evening of musical excellence on 23 December at Coca-Cola Arena.
- Enjoy an Arabic music showcase with performances from some of the MENA region’s best-loved stars on December 28 at Coca-Cola Arena, with Elissa, Haifa Wehbe and Saif Nabeel live.
- Egyptian superstar, Omar Khairat, will thrill audiences at Dubai Opera on December 29. The Arabic pianist and composer will present The Night of Arresting Fatma, one of his best-loved compositions.
- Bollywood legend, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is set to make his much-anticipated return to Coca-Cola Arena on December 29 to perform his emotional tracks. The award-winning star will perform hits including Mann Ki Lagan.
- Hip-hop lovers can revel in performances from Sean Paul and TI at Coca-Cola Arena on December 30, featuring tracks like Get Busy and Live Your Life.
- Ring in the New Year with a plethora of options up and down the city depending on preferences. The legendary hit-maker Sting is set to perform at Atlantis’ Gala Dinner. The iconic Burj Khalifa display will be seen from Burj Park, as well as Dubai Opera’s event featuring popular DJ sets.
- British hit-maker, John Newman, will perform at Rixos Premium Dubai’s New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner while renowned DJs will dazzle partygoers at Zero Gravity Dubai.
Sporting events in December
- The Sir Winston Churchill Cup brings together the city’s polo community and beyond, with teams battling for prizes and titles while audiences are invited to cheer on their favorites. The event takes place at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club from December 5–9.
- Dubai Autodrome is gearing up for a day of action with the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival, celebrating the nostalgic Formula 1 competitors of the 70s, competing in Le Mans cars. Various races will ensue on December 8–10 alongside the fun-packed paddocks featuring live entertainment, F&B and more.
- The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium will host the Dubai CrossFit Championship from December 8-10. With more than 30 CrossFit games expected, international visitors come together to compete in the contest to win Dhs150,000 in prizes.
- The Dubai Racing Carnival returns to Meydan Racecourse from December 8-22 with guests invited to enjoy horse racing, live entertainment, and a range of world-class dining.
- Sail along to Mina Rashid on December 9-10 for the 2023 edition of Sail GP’s Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix. With global athletes competing, visitors can select from an array of viewing options with hospitality from Nikki Beach Resorts & Spa Dubai.
- Athletes can make their way to Expo City Dubai to participate in the Giant Duathlon Series where participants both run and bike as part of the competition. Held on December 10, entrants can take part as either a team or as a soloist with a range of categories based on ability and fitness.
- DJoin the Community Run at Ripe Market, which is open for all abilities to enter with categories including 2.5km, 5km and 10km.