Best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas

birds view of a beach and waves

The Christmas season is typically a time of joy, happiness, Christmas movies, and delicious food. Although spending time at home with your family members never loses its appeal, some people like to celebrate Christmas away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, busy streets, family discussions, and snow. If you are considering going away to a destination in 2021, here’s your chance to get a chance to get a tan instead of a few pounds from excessive holiday eating. This short article describes the best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas. So, let’s dive in.

Dubai

December is a perfect month to visit this breath-taking city. The main reason for this is that the temperatures never go under 73 degrees, which is considered cold in this part of the world. Considering this is the lowest the thermometer can show, with daily temperatures maintaining the perfect beach-ready heat that oscillates around 86 degrees, you will be able to travel without your puffer jacket and winter shoes. 

But Dubai’s phenomenal climate is not the only reason to visit this fantastic place. This city is also a marvel of contemporary architecture. There is never a dull moment here since there are plenty of conventional and unconventional tours you can take if you happen to get bored with what the city has to offer (which is highly unlikely).

a woman walking on a Dubai beach
Dubai has terrific sand beaches alongside breath-taking marvels of contemporary architecture

Our suggestion is to head on down to the dunes for a day of dune bashing in Al Qudra, or a desert safari where you will be able to capture amazing photos of the desert landscape. Visiting Qudra lake is also a must, especially if you are a bird-watching enthusiast. After experiencing the natural wonders in and around Dubai, you can still do your Christmas shopping – the 26th of December marks the start of Dubai’s shopping festival where you might find luxury items at reduced prices – with up to 90% discount! 

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the hottest locations in the world on Christmas day. The temperature bar reaches up to 93 degrees in December, making it the perfect place to work on your tan during the holidays. Apart from sunbathing until you start to sweat, there are many other things you can do in this lovely, sun-kissed city.

Also, since Brazilians are devoted Catholics, you might even have an opportunity to try the Brazilian version of Christmas dinner. Namely, they eat turkey or chester with rice, fruits, and farofa. Or head on down to Copacabana beach. On Christmas Day and Eve, Brazilians spend these days at family lunches. Copacabana beach is not so visited on these two days, so you can enjoy the beach the way you usually can’t. So, get festive and build a snowman out of beach sand to celebrate your sunny and sandy Christmas, or put on a Santa’s cap and go surfing.

Tampa, Florida

If you are looking for a great place to spend your winter holidays in the U.S., Tampa is the perfect city to escape the freezing temperatures – the temperature bar in Tampa is merciful in December, with daily temperatures typically ranging from 58 to 78 degrees. So, no snow in sight this Christmas. 

Although the typical Florida summer craze may not be as pronounced at this time of the year, the fun vibes are still there. Some people even decide to settle down in Tampa for good due to its outstanding historical architecture, the melting pot of cultures with Cuban and Spanish influences taking the lead, and its vibrant economy intertwined with tropical bars and cafes.

Essentially, there is never a dull moment in Tampa, regardless of the season or weather conditions, especially since one of the most beautiful beaches in the US is right here in Florida.

Gran Canaria

If you are searching for the perfect melange of tropical and European, the Canary Islands are the place to go. The temperatures are pleasantly above 68 degrees at this time of the year, making this archipelago a wonderful tropical getaway. In fact, all of the islands were formed through volcanic eruptions, making Gran Canaria a true natural wonder.

Of course, the volcanoes are dormant nowadays, leaving incredible volcanic lakes and breath-taking vistas safe for you to explore on Christmas. Of course, the Canary Islands are famous in Spain and beyond for their vibrant culture, with bars and restaurants remaining open and lively even on Christmas day. 

a beach on a Spanish island
Islands of the Gran Canary have the best beaches in Spain and beyond.

Cayman Islands

If you opt for the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean as your holiday destination, you can choose between three islands in the archipelago. There is a Christmas tradition in the islands in which locals collect white sand from beaches on a night when the moon is bright. Afterward, that sand is spread around backyards as a makeshift, Caribbean version of snow. This exciting custom is definitely something to experience while you are enjoying the exotic Cayman Islands. The temperatures in December vary from 78-84 degrees, so there is no need to worry about cold days this Christmas.

There are many more places you can escape the winter blues, but we have picked out the best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas. Most of these places are incredibly affordable, culturally diverse, historically relevant, and, perhaps most importantly, warm compared to most U.S. states. Whichever spot you choose, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best Places to Throw a Party in Dubai

Dubai is one of the world’s ultimate places to party. So if you’re planning to throw a party or organize an unforgettable event in Dubai, the real task is not to find a venue but to pick the perfect venue among the lot. No matter you’re looking for an actual party hall or an elegant venue or a quirky destination, we’ve compiled and categorized the best places to throw a party in Dubai.

OPEN-AIR VENUES

Jumeirah Golf Estates

With an extensive ballroom worth accommodating 200 plus guests and outdoor terraces overlooking the golf course, this is one of the best venues in Dubai for an incredible outdoor party. Moreover, it comes with all staples of a memorable event including dance floor, AV screen, sound system, buffet menu and food arrangements.

The Lebanon Island

Be it for a relaxed or a stylish party, this marvellous venue is complete with both indoor and outdoor party spaces. This is a true hidden gem which is tucked away in the Dubai’s World Islands. You can hire its facilities alone or even the whole island if you wish to add more privacy to your intimate event.

Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club

This ultimate venue for horse riding in Dubai is also a sought-after party spot. Placed in proximity to Arabian Ranches, it boasts of a variety of indoor and outdoor venues by way of terrace, lawns, and courtyards.

Desert Safari

Bring a unique twist to your party by throwing it amidst the timeless desert dunes. Yes, it’s possible to plan a private desert safari Dubai which is exclusively designed for you and your guests. Most service providers give you the flexibility to customize the desert party as per your distinct theme or requirements.

BEACH BASHES

Barasti

This is the go-to destination for an electrifying high-energy party in Dubai. This cool yet eclectic beach venue is a part of Le Meridian Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.

Cove Beach

This beach club may have a new location now as it got shifted from Jumeirah Beach Hotel to its current venue in Caesars Palace (Bluewaters Island). But, it’s still one of Dubai’s favourite party spots, with a private beach access plus all facilities such as cabanas, Jacuzzis, live music, superb food and drink choices and more.

Zero Gravity

No list of beach party venues in Dubai is complete without a mention of Zero Gravity. The gorgeous beach-front settings along with top-notch partying facilities make it second to none.

Riva

If you are looking for a secluded yet stunning spot for your beach party, Riva Beach Club on Palm Jumeirah won’t disappoint you. The access to white beaches, a massive pool and several dining options ensure that you’ll have a mind-blowing setting for your beach party.

PARTY CRUISES

Dhow Cruise

Dhow cruise in Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina is unmissable in Dubai. But did you know that this also makes a classic venue for Dubai parties? It’s easy to pick a dhow as per the scope and scale of your event or party. You can easily customize your cruise party with your desired dining options and entertainment activities onboard. The bonus is its awe-inspiring ambience surrounded by water and of course the imposing views over the city skyline.

Yacht Party

Want to give a more contemporary twist to your cruise party in Dubai? You can’t go wrong with a party aboard a stylish yacht. You can hire a sleek modern yacht (complete with all high-end comforts and party essentials) for a few hours or even for a whole day.

RESTAURANTS & BARS

Karma Kafé

Karma Kafé at Downtown Dubai’s Souk Al Bahar is an amazing party venue complemented by great food and ambience. With direct views of the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa) and one-of-its-kind Dubai Fountain show, it boasts of all right elements to make your event a grand success.

Shades

There is something extraordinary about this lounge within Address Dubai Marina. The sumptuous array of international cuisines and dining arrangements set by a massive infinity pool, plus striking views over the cityscape, make it an unrivalled space for corporate or family gatherings.

Burger & Lobster

This dining venue at DIFC is already a favourite of the aficionados of burgers and lobster specialties. But little is known to many that it also a great place for casual, fun-filled gatherings.

The Backyard

This spot at Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay allows you to win over your guests with its exquisite location along the Dubai Water Canal. Besides great food, it especially stands out for its terrace featuring cool street art.

DREAM & ICONIC VENUES

The Raffles

It doesn’t matter what kind of event you’re planning to throw – Raffles Dubai caters to every interest. Be it anniversaries, birthdays, wedding receptions or corporate events, Raffles Dubai is well equipped to host events of all scales, thanks to their dedicated wedding planners plus exclusive venues such as Raffles Garden and ballrooms.

Burj Al Arab

This sail-shaped hotel is considered the world’s only hotel with seven-star comforts and this is reflected in its party venues too. One of the most popular among them is Al Falak Ballroom whose setting is inspired by an 18th century Vienna style opera house. Then there is Suha Boardroom with top-notch business meeting facilities and Tameen Majlis (ideal for informal gatherings), among others. For a closer look at the Burj Al Arab, here’s my post from my visit – Dubai – New & Old.

Atlantis, The Palm

From a fairy-tale wedding to a themed birthday party event to an impeccable corporate event, the palatial-style Atlantis, The Palm resort is supremely versatile when it comes to partying options. While its venues such as the Atlantis Ball Room can accommodate up to 2000 guests at a time, its many indoor and outdoor spaces including Royal Beach, Private Beach, and Royal Terrace is suitable for small, intimate parties. Moreover, its varied segments like Aquaventure Waterpark, Dolphin Bay, Ossiano and the Lost Chambers Aquarium would take your party to the next level.

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

With a total of 19 breakout rooms complemented by most advanced facilities, the Event Centre at InterContinental Dubai Festival allows you to throw both grand and small parties. It spans over an area of about 5000 square meters and comes with the capacity to seat over 1300 people.

The Address Dubai Mall

Located right next to celebrated Dubai sights such as Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, it’s a surefire destination to throw your dream party in Dubai. Depending on your party needs, you can choose from Diamond Ballroom (600 seater), Sapphire Meeting Room, and Ruby and Emerald Meeting Room (24 to 70 guests).

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa

Now if you wish to celebrate your special day or occasion away from the bright lights and crowds of Dubai, this marvelous desert resort (right in the center of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve) offers some incredible venues to make your event truly astonishing.

KIDS’ FAVORITES

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater World

If you want to delight to delight your little ones on their special day, count on the diverse birthday party packages available at this renowned aquarium inside the world’s biggest mall (Dubai Mall). From Under the Sea theme to Aqua Voyager Party, it’s certain that your kids will have the most memorable birthday celebration.

Dubai Ice Rink

Let your little ones have the coolest ever birthday party at Dubai Ice Rink which is a part of The Dubai Mall. With an array of choices at your disposal, you can look forward to some treasured moments with your little ones as they enjoy a spin across the Olympic-sized Ice Rink with the help of a friendly team.

Ski Dubai

Placed within Mall of the Emirates, this is yet another snow-inspired spot in Dubai to celebrate your kids’ birthday or any other special events. There are several birthday party packages starting from just AED 185 per person. So forget about Dubai scorching heat;a party at Ski Dubai gives your little ones not only the chance to try some exciting winter activities but also allow them to meet the penguins.

Bounce

This unique park in Dubai’s Al Qouz is a hit among the little ones with its freestyle playgrounds that blends the features of airbags, trampolines and challenging activities. And not to mention about its exclusive party packages with access to kids’ freestyle fun activities, exclusive party rooms, and bespoke food options.

Dubai Dolphinarium

This gives your kids the unique opportunity to celebrate their special day with adorable dolphins. Just make the choice of right Dubai Dolphinarium birthday package which mostly includes Dolphin show, personalized invitations and exciting gifts to the celebrant.

Conclusion:

There is apparently no dearth of amazing spots to throw a party in Dubai. Whether you’re looking to host a corporate event, a family get-together or even a surprise party, the catch is to zero in on the right venue. And with the above list, we hope that you’ll have a guaranteed great party time in Dubai.

Affordable Luxury: 8 Ways to Experience the Best of Dubai

Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven dazzling emirates forming the United Arab Emirates. It has been ranked as one of the fastest growing cities in the world.  Also, it is one of the most sought-after destinations for world travellers with its endless choices of fine dining restaurants, shopping, luxury accommodations and places to throw a party.

Despite the luxury experiences it offers, Dubai is a diverse city offering activities, attractions and luxury leisure hotel rooms at affordable rates. Here are eight ways to experience the best of Dubai without spending a ton of cash:

1. Explore the City by Walking

There are certain areas where walking is considered the best way to explore the surroundings. These include the Dubai Marina and the traditional districts of Al Ras and Al Bastakiya.

If you’re in Dubai Marina, take the monorail to Atlantis hotel, which is located on the tip of Palm Jumeirah. In Al Ras, you can visit markets like Naif Souk, Spice Souk, Gold Souk, and Deira fish market. In Al Bastakiya, you will find traditional souks, lots of galleries, and museums.

the markest in Dubai

2. Enjoy the Sun at Stunning Public Beaches

There are private beaches in the city – you can get access to it by staying at a beach hotel or paying an entrance fee. But there are also some beaches that you can visit for free. These are well-maintained beaches with ease of access to restaurants, camel riding, shopping, water sports, and clean toilets. Others even offer free use of an outdoor gym and an excellent beach promenade.

The Beach in Dubai

3. Go Window Shopping

When it comes to luxury shopping, Dubai is one of the top destinations. The best thing about this is that even if you do not have enough space or budget for shopping, some of these malls are worth checking out without spending a penny.

At the Dubai Mall, you can check out the Dubai Aquarium without paying a fee. Get to see 33,000 marine animals swimming in the aquarium. Another mall you can visit is the Mall of the Emirates which is the home of Ski Dubai. Watching from outside this indoor ski resort and snow park is possible. If you are interested in theatre, dance, film, music, and arts, you can check out Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre.

4. Look out for Low-cost and Free Events

If you are in Dubai during the Dubai Canvas festival, you can see some of the world’s skilled artists making excellent 3D street art. Another event you should watch out for is the Dubai Food Festival where you can enjoy discounted food deals on food markets and high-end restaurants. It is highly recommended that before you visit the emirate, you must research online for happenings and events that you can go to when you’re in town.

5. Watch the Dancing Fountain

One of the experiences a visitor in Dubai should enjoy is to watch the dancing fountain show. The Dubai Fountain has a spectacular show a few times a day. You can actually watch it thrice a day because each has different shows and music. This is the best place for you to wander around the artificial lake with Burj Khalifa and skyline in the background. The show begins at 6 pm until 11 pm, with a show happening every 30 minutes.

6. Visit Museums

Dubai is also home to low-cost and free museums. Dubai Museum is one of them. This is an affordable museum that gives you a thought-provoking history lesson on how this emirate evolved from a small village to one of the biggest cities today. Other museums you can visit include the Antique Museum in Al Quoz, Women’s Museum, and the Coffee Museum. These museums offer different lessons and unique experiences.

7. Join a Guided Tour

If you want to learn more about Dubai religion and culture, a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque is a great idea. A guided tour will give you the opportunity to ask questions you have in mind. The tour often begins at 10 am from Saturday to Thursday.

8. Explore Various Cultures at the Global Village

Global Village is an outdoor shopping and entertainment area that you shouldn’t miss. It has shopping districts that represent different countries. This is where you can encounter most Emiratis and a few Westerners.

You can definitely find affordable souvenirs here. Also, you can try local cuisines from one of the snack stands inexpensively. Moreover, you can watch cultural shows, music performances and entertainment here.

Dubai may be one of the most expensive cities in the world. But with a bit of time and planning, you can enjoy luxurious experiences for free or at affordable rates.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Habib Khan is a seasoned Hotelier, currently the CEO of Planet Hospitality and General Manager of Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa. Khan has more than 30 years of diversified international experience in the hospitality industry. He is an expert in developing, transforming, and managing hotels, with an ability to analyze and solve problems in a challenging work environment.