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Top things to do in December

The festive season brings with it a host of events, cultural celebrations, festivals and more. Peruse our top picks of things to do this December

UAE National Day

🗓 December 2, 2023 📍United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates will celebrate its 52nd National Day on December 2. This historic date on the country's calendar marks the establishment of the federal unification of the seven emirates in 1971. Festivities will be held across public spaces, malls and outdoor areas across each of the emirates, with fireworks shows, flag displays, parades and more.

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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

🗓 November 17, 2023 - January 1, 2024 📍London, United Kingdom

Running for six weeks during the festive period, London's iconic Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has all the holiday feels. The annual fair offers a variety of activities, attractions, entertainment, performances, dining and more – promising something for everyone. Explore the market for festive finds at a slower pace during the day; and, after sunset, enjoy the magical ambience as Hyde Park is transformed by thousands of sparkling lights.

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Dubai Shopping Festival

🗓 December 15, 2023 - January 29, 2024 📍Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The emirate's biggest shopping extravaganza, Dubai Shopping Festival, returns to the emirate on December 15 with a host of festivities, retail promotions, family entertainment, concerts and more. In this annual celebration of the city’s world-class retail offering, shoppers can expect exciting promotions and a packed calendar of events. Now in its 29th year, DSF will welcome the world to explore Dubai's unrivalled shopping opportunities, life-changing raffles, promotions and sensational entertainment.

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Winter at Tantora

🗓 December 21, 2023 - January 27, 2024 📍AlUla, Saudi Arabia

Boasting a packed calendar of events and festivals, AlUla has something for everyone. December in this historic neighbourhood begins with the second edition of the Ancient Kingdoms Festival, offering a range of experiences and events set against historic and natural landscapes of the three interconnected ancient oases of Northwest Arabia – AlUla, Khaybar and Tayma. Following shortly a few weeks later is the return of the Winter at Tantora festival. The fifth edition of this anticipated event – also the region's longest-running music and culture festival – will feature cultural events, musical concerts, wellness, nature, fashion and more, showcasing the best of AlUla.

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Dongzhi Festival

🗓 December 22, 2023 📍China

This time-honoured tradition of celebrating the Winter Solstice in China is referred to as the Dongzhi Festival. It marks the shortest day and longest night in the northern hemisphere, following which daylight hours become longer – a symbol of hope. A host of celebrations and activities are held in the country on this day, while the locals eat delicacies such as dumplings, wontons and rice balls. Traditional activities, such as worshipping the heavens and the ancestors, are also practised.

Elf - The Musical

🗓 November 15, 2023 - January 6, 2024 📍London, United Kingdom

Buddy the Elf will make London's West End his home just in time for Christmas! Running for eight weeks during the festive season, Elf - The Musical will thrill audiences in London, promising to bring a lot of Christmas cheer. The theatre production, which is based on the hit Christmas movie of the same name, first premiered at the Dominion Theatre in 2015. It features now-popular hits, including Christmastown, There is a Santa Claus and The Story of Buddy the Elf.

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