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Best Christmas Day 2017 meals in Dubai and beyond

Why spend hours brining and roasting a turkey when the UAE’s restaurants are willing to do the hard work for you with elaborate meals for Christmas Day? Once the presents are opened, here’s where to eat

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It’s a decadent Christmas brunch at Gaucho. Plate up on oysters, veal liver, Ecuadorian ceviche and more
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Gaucho Dubai

Brunch at Gaucho gets a splendid seal of approval from everyone, in recognition of which the DIFC hotspot has laid on three days of festivities. Its Christmas Brunch menu is making us drool already: with oysters, veal liver pâté crostini, Ecuadorian ceviche, rack of lamb with gremolata, marbled bife de ancho and desserts to share.
Details 12pm to 6pm, from Dh420 per head, call 04 422 7898 

Bayside Restaurant, Steigenberger Hotel 

Who says Christmas celebratory meals are reserved only for lunch and dinner? Head over to Bayside to get the party started early with a traditional Christmas breakfast laden with festive treats all morning!
Details From 6.30am to 1pm, Dh135 per person, call 04 369 0000

Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab

Christmas calls for a little luxury, so head to the iconic Jumeirah hotel to be wowed by British chef and seafood connoisseur Nathan Outlaw’s six-course degustation menu in a restaurant with coral accents, fascinating sea life and an intimate ambience.
Details Lunch from 12.30pm to 3pm or dinner from 7pm to 12am, Dh995 per person, call 04 301 7600

Great British Restaurant, Duke’s Dubai

Dreaming of a classic Christmas? That’s what Dukes Dubai promises at its Great British Restaurant every day until December 26. Its versatile all-day-dining menu serves everything from traditional hearty roasts with all the trimmings to divine sticky toffee pudding and everything in between. And all that with views of the glistening Dubai Marina skyline!
Details 12pm to 11pm at Dukes Dubai, call 04 455 1111 

Wanderlust brunch, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

There are 360 dishes being served at brunch at the world’s tallest hotel, so set a Dubai-style record and try them all! The renowned party brunch gets a seasonal twist and with 11 live stations, there’ll be something to please even the pickiest eaters.
Details 1pm to 4pm, Dh425 with house beverages, call 04 414 3000

Armani/Amal, Armani hotel Dubai

From the royal kitchens of the northern nawabs to the coastal communities of the south, savour the best Indian regional flavours in a festive tasting menu designed to be shared. Highlights include an Indian twist on turkey roulade, Chettinad-spiced scallops and Rajasthani-style slow-braised lamb.
Details 7pm to 11pm, from Dh450. Call 04 888 3666

Lima Dubai

Peruvians celebrate Christmas too. And so Virgilio Martinez’s Lima restaurant at City Walk Dubai is offering a four-course sharing menu and unlimited beverages for Christmas dinner. Expect the unexpected!
Details 7pm to 11pm, from Dh325 with soft drinks, call 056 500 4571 

White Glove Brunch, One & Only Royal Mirage

White Glove Brunch, One & Only Royal Mirage

All that Christmas is about is on the menu at this luxury spread. Oysters on ice, white asparagus and caviar and homemade foie gras terrine complement eggs Benedict, wild mushrooms and black truffle toast, and mains such as farm roast turkey breast with chestnut stuffing and black truffle sauce.
Details 12.30pm to 4pm, from Dh460 per head. Call 04 399 9999 

Bread Street Kitchen, Atlantis The Palm

Bread Street Kitchen, Atlantis The Palm

Go big or stay home this Christmas by heading to Gordon Ramsay’s own restaurant, which offers an indulgent slice of London with Ramsay’s interpretations of modern British cuisine, so you’re sure to be impressed. (No prizes for guessing the dish alongside!)
Details 7pm to 12am, from Dh250 per person. Call 04 426 2626

The Scene by Simon Rimmer, Dubai

Five courses of food from TV chef Simon Rimmer plus plenty of free-flowing drinks — what’s not to like? It will be a traditional festive spread just like Mum used to make (roast turkey, but also salmon tartare, liver parfait and Black Forest gateau) at the Pier 7 restaurant, plus a smaller menu for the kids for Dh99.
Details Prices range from Dh375. Call 04 222 2328

Liwan, Swissotel Al Ghurair, Dubai

Kick back to the sounds of a festive choir without breaking the bank at the Swissotel Al Ghurair. With roast turkey, tender grills and mouth-watering desserts, plus a visit from Santa, you’re sorted for the day.
Details 12.30pm to 4pm, from Dh199 per head. Call 04 293 3262

Al Diwaan, Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai

Take it to the desert one more time. With indoor and outdoor seating as gazelles and Arabian oryx wander freely in their natural habitat, and live stations for caviar and foie gras, a cigar rolling station as well as a live jazz band, the In The Dunes Christmas Brunch will certainly be a one-of-a-kind celebration.
Details 1pm to 4pm, from Dh1,000 per head. Call 04 832 9900 

Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

Put a Chinese twist on Christmas with a Gourmet Dim Sum set menu brunch at Shang Palace, starring the classic steamed starters, as well as hot and cold appetisers, mains such as silver cod with Chinese wild mushrooms and caviar, and sesame rice dumplings with fresh papaya syrup for dessert.
Details 12.30pm to 3.30pm, from  Dh245 (food only) with soft beverages at an additional Dh60 or house beverages at Dh120. Call 02 509 8555 

Bocca, Hilton Abu Dhabi

Say ciao to a four-course menu   for lunch and dinner. There’s a burrata and heirloom tomato salad (naturally!), home-made lobster ravioli, gnocchi with lamb ragout,  tuna steak with citrus butter sauce and more to choose from.
Details Dh229, call 02 692 4247

Olive Tree, Aloft Al Ain 

Gather over brunch in the welcoming embrace of the Olive Tree this year with a seasonal offering of mouthwatering rotisseries, generous carveries, succulent seafood and delightful desserts at the specially decorated Aloft Al Ain. The hotel promises to make this a magical Christmas season.
Details 1pm to 4pm, priced from Dh120 per person. Call 03 713 8888

Giardino, Palazzo Versace Dubai

Giardino, Palazzo Versace Dubai

Christmas is an excuse to go all out, so make the most of it to bling with brunch at fashion-inspired Giardino, with its jungle allure and expansive outdoor terrace. Tuck into a luxurious choice of international favourites served on crockery from the exclusive Rosenthal meets Versace collection. Menu highlights include caramelised pears with cranberry salsa and brie cheese, freshly shucked Fine de Claire oysters, Tourteaux crab and roast turkey with traditional condiments. 
Details 1pm to 4pm, from Dh350 per head including soft beverages. Call 04 556 8888

Le Vendome, Emirates Palace 

Make it one to remember this year with a lunch that offers traditional Christmas fare alongside international favourites. Emirates Palace promises to pull out all the stops with a buffet and beverages that will leave the adults full and jolly, and desserts plus a visit from Santa to keep the children happy.
Details 12.30pm to 3.30pm, from Dh450++, call 02 690 7999 

Garden Cabanas, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah

Celebrate in true UAE style with crimble under sunny skies. If that sounds like a proposition worth heading to Ras Al Khaimah for, the Waldorf Astoria promises a leisurely afternoon of delicious food and outstanding service in the elegant surroundings of its Garden Cabanas for lunch.
Details 1pm to 3.30pm, Dh275 per head (food only). Call 07 203 5533