To Travel Or Not To Travel: Why This Christmas In Dubai Will Be The Greatest Christmas Yet


It’s been a tough year.

Apologies for the massive understatement.

And hiding behind all the obvious hardships, (jobs gone, paycheques halved, illness) is the quiet sadness of moments lost with friends and family abroad, weddings we would have flown home for, new babies we’d like to meet… For expats abroad, the list goes on.

And as we get closer to Christmas, family time for those who celebrate, when usually you would be on the first flight out for family time and Christmas cake, right now you might be poring over the decision, should you stay here for Christmas, or will you head home?

We’re extremely lucky to be in Dubai right now, but with many parts of the world closed off, we’ve essentially lost the freedom to travel and to see our loved ones


Everyone has a difficult decision to make

I come from a family of six kids and my mum and we’re spread across three continents. Two of my siblings are in the states, my sister is in London, one brother is here and another brother is in Ireland with my mum. (This is great if you feel like a holiday on the other side of the world with free accommodation, not so great when a pandemic hits.)

We’re close-knit and Christmas is big for us, and like heaps of other families, we’ll always make the effort to spend Christmas together every year. We’ve had Christmas in Dubai, Christmas in Australia and Christmas in Ireland. But this year, we’ll spend it apart.

Every country has different travel rules and requirements, so potentially you can fly to your home country and move around freely. In other scenarios, you may be able home, but then need to quarantine for days/weeks/upon a negative test. But even if you can do it, does it mean you should?

A vaccine might be on the way, (fingers crossed, the good people at Pfizer will come through and Santa will be the first to get it) but until the day when it’s readily available at an affordable price, non-essential travel is putting lives at risk.


NOTHING will replace time with your family, but it’s a wonderful time of year to be in Dubai

I’ve spent a couple of Christmas holidays in Dubai, but this best thing about this year is… as corny as it sounds, we’re all in this together!

A lot of people will make the decision to stay in Dubai and why not go all out and start celebrating now! *Que blaring Christmas tunes in the office and cranking up the AC so you can drag your winter woollies out! Put up a tree, hang some lights, get into the spirit. You can still have mulled vino, too many boxes of chocolates and watch old Christmas movies… you don’t need to be at home for that.

Zoom calls might have lost their shine, but what about a Zoom Harry Potter movie marathon, where you get together to watch movies?! Make the food that reminds you of home and feel proud that you’re recreating a little bit of your home-home in Dubai.

Also, take part in some Dubai Christmas events. Last year, The Dubai Centre for Special Needs hosted a festive fare on a sunny afternoon last December, Santa was there, it was great.

There’s also a Lovin Dubai Christmas Santa run (*shameless plug) but we did it at Festival City last year next to the Christmas market, everyone gets a Santa beard, hundreds of Santas take on a 5km run and afterwards they blast out tunes at the Christmas market – it’s fab!

Last year, we asked Dubai residents, what it’s like to spend Christmas in Dubai

This is the 2019 episode of It’s A Dubai Thing: Christmas in Dubai. Watch it here.

We stayed home during lockdown to save lives, maybe staying put for Christmas will help doing the same

See more
More like this