Christmas tree at Santa’s Grotto at Al Wasl dome, Expo 2020 Dubai, in December 2021 Image Credit: Mahmoud Khaled/Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai: Expo City Dubai has prepared 50 days of winter festivities, with celebrations spanning the UAE National Day (December 2) all the way to New Year.

Fan City will open November 20 for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. From November 23 to January 8, the Mobility District, Surreal water feature and Al Wasl Plaza will be transformed into “a magical land”, complete with a traditional, chalet-style Christmas market, pine trees and fairground games. There will also be a towering tree and a letter-to-Santa station.

Winter City will also mark 51 years since the UAE’s founding, with National Day commemorations on November 30 and a special concert on December 2.

‘White Christmas’

Other highlights at Al Wasl include a ceremony on December 9 that will bring to life Winter City’s ‘White Christmas’ with the lighting up of a 52-foot tree; while the second edition of Expo 2020’s popular Mrs Claus Christmas Show will be from December 20-29. There will also be a “first-of-its-kind” Carols by Candlelight from December 20-25; and nightly projection shows.

File picture of 'Santa’s helpers' at Al Wasl Plaza, Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Antony Fleyhan /Expo 2020 Dubai

Seasonal features includes jumping, sliding, climbing and zip-lining pursuits, as well as gingerbread, wreath and ornament-making workshops; a toy factory that customises teddy bears; and a Santa’s Grotto, while hot chocolate, mulled drinks and mince pies will sweeten the food-and-beverage offering.

Archive image of 'Letters to Santa' at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Miaad Mahdi/Expo 2020 Dubai

Special for children

Children aged 6-12 years can join Expo City Dubai’s Winter Camp and indoor and outdoor activities across two themed weeks. Running from Monday-Friday at 9am to 2pm from December 12-23, the first week at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion spotlights the plight of our planet in “a fun and informative way”, while week two at Alif – The Mobility Pavilion focuses on innovation.

Expo City Dubai noted “prices for the winter camp vary according to daily or weekly bookings, with early drop-offs and late pick-up options available.”

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Expo City Dubai is also now a dog-friendly destination, and “four-legged friends are welcome” to make the most of the outdoor spaces, with designated stations offering complimentary bowls of water, dog treats and waste bags.

Winter City is free to visit, with charges applicable for some activities and workshops. Visit its website for more information.