Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm moving to Dubai next week but i was just wondering what Christmas was like in Dubai for the Westerners out there? Do we get any time off work, or does it depend on your company?

I can't imagine what it would be like for a Christmas that's not actually Christmas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
Christmas here isn't recognised as it is eleswhere.

Time off is dependant on the firm you work for. Many western firms will give you time off as a matter of course, whereas other firms would want you to take the time as annual leave. That said, even non-western firms are pretty good with regards to Christmas day itself.

What I find strange is the run-up to Christmas. No cheesy songs on the radio, no decorations in the street etc. The malls generally do have some good decorations, carol singers and even santa's grotto.

You will be able to buy plenty of decorations etc, with a good selection at Ace Hardware in Festival City
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
Christmas in Egypt is horrendous despite the fact we have a huge local Christian population. No Slade or Wizard belting out our Christmas songs, we have no Carol singers in the malls but they are decorated but of course Coptic Christmas is January so it's too late to give me any Christmas cheer. I miss the hustle and bustle of the shops in December and people smiling at each despite being laden down with shopping, being wished a Merry Xmas, the Salvation Army, looking at the post each morning to see who sent a card and the counting of christmas trees in the windows as I ran my children to school
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
868 Posts
you will notice a bit of christmas stuff around the shops, but nothing like home.... re time off its as ogri says...


then there is New Year, thats a whole different ball game, last year they just canceled new year in Dubai, but Sharjah was rocking
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,518 Posts
Christmas isn't much here but I intend to have a very merry Xmas. So, there are no Xmas carols in the shops (though Spinneys is the exception and love Xmas carols), I will play my own songs and sing along, very likely off key but who cares.
I will buy my own presents and have a tree and enjoy decorating it with my niece. Xmas is a time for family back home and not at all commercial, so I am bringing my family here to spend Xmas with me! Problem solved. It's gonna be a tropical Xmas, with time spent on the beach and what not and maybe a drive somewhere, to enjoy the unusually empty roads.

MaidenScotland - Don't despair. If you plan well in advance, family members can come and spend time with you. I was mostly on my own for Xmas when I was in the UK, so can totally relate. Unless someone invited me to their house, it was downright miserable and I mainly spent the day sulking and staring aiamlessly out of the window. Well, I say no more and you can do the same. Visit family and friends wherever you are and Xmas won't feel so bad. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
I can't bring my family here for Christmas for various reasons and I am never sure if I will get Christmas day off, if my boss is in the country then I definitely dont get it off. On a bright note I belong to the British Expat Community and spend Christmas day there and we have all the usual stuff turkey etc, and it is good to be with people at Christmas. Something else that I miss is waking up on Christmas day and looking out of the window to see if it has snowed lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
The Dubai malls tend to pipe in music, trees decorated, etc. I even recall hearing a religious carol at City Centre years ago. My employer (the Abu Dhabi govt) does not give the day off. Staff tend to work out some sort of agreement. Those without children who can work xmas morning will be asked to cover classes (hate this since I don't have kids). Lucky for everyone, Christmas is on a Friday this year!

It's hard the first few years, ilaina. For myself, I get a fake tree, ornaments, bake cookies, and try to spend the day with good friends. Even if it's some acquaintances looking for company during the day, we've always managed to enjoy ourselves. Off to the Sharjah souk for some silly gifts, so that everyone has something to open on the day...it gets easier every year. One thing I realised when I finally went home for xmas: You can never go back to what it was. Life changes while we're away. Try and form new friendships and enjoy the holidays in a new and unique way.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14 Posts
Boy... am I glad I booked my tickets well in advance to go home... So, unlike Maz I wont be staring out of the window, glaring blindly at the sandbox that now I call 'home' and watch as families with lound and noisy kids get into their 4x4's with bottles of wine/champagne probably off to parties that I am never invited to....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,309 Posts
I think Dubai tends to be a bit more upmarket than Cairo. Fake Christmas trees are a throw back to the 60s here, they resemble lavatory brushes the live alternative is the top of a leylandi tree. We have a Spinneys here but people who have been to Dubai say Cairo it isn't a patch on
it. I have over the years bought beautiful glass christmas baubles for my grandchildren's tree and now in Spain they have a tree filled with glass....camels, pyramids... aladin lamps... slippers...palm trees, from Scotland to Cairo Cairo to England England to Spain lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
Christmas here is what you make it.

I didn't go back to the UK last Christmas, and I won't be going back this year either. I had a great time last year, and hopefuuly will be the same again this one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
I think Dubai tends to be a bit more upmarket than Cairo. Fake Christmas trees are a throw back to the 60s here, they resemble lavatory brushes the live alternative is the top of a leylandi tree. We have a Spinneys here but people who have been to Dubai say Cairo it isn't a patch on
it. I have over the years bought beautiful glass christmas baubles for my grandchildren's tree and now in Spain they have a tree filled with glass....camels, pyramids... aladin lamps... slippers...palm trees, from Scotland to Cairo Cairo to England England to Spain lol
I've done a few Cairo xmases myself...I think that having the Christian population in Egypt (who don't celebrate on Dec. 25) made a bit of a difference. Hotels and some malls put decorations and occasionally music piped in. I was teaching, and my school (predmoninantly Muslim Egyptians) insisted that we do something xmas related in the infant department. I think my students made ornaments, other teachers had xmas trees, etc. We also got xmas off(something that only happens in certain k-12 institutions here). We paid the Marriot Bakery on a few occasions to provide the roast turkey (something we can get Spinneys here to do). Things like cranberries were hard to find, but cheap and dangerous xmas lights were in great abundance. I don't know that I prefer the UAE to Dubai this time of year. We certainly have access to more of those special items from home here in the UAE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
961 Posts
Had to laugh ...

We were at IKEA at Festival City the other day and right there near the check outs were (already) lovelly Xmas decorations, trees, front door art etc, We were so impressed we went to purchase all and sundry, only to find out .... "oh no sir, we don't carry any Xmas Trees, these are only for decoration " !!!!..... go figure ??

If you can't buy the tree you most probably wont bother buying the baubles etc!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Oooh god,
that's the only things that kills my heart....
I used to enjoy Christmas back home... with lots of joyfully spirits and lots of decorations and family stuff ...
I usually prefer to go home to spend Christmas and this year I'm following up my family to Paris to spend it there....
after 2 years in Dubai I find Christmas here very sad... dunno why but it's my feelings.

hope you all feel different than this and wish you all a very early merry Christmas.

best regards.
Rashad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Ive had Christmas here for the past two years whilst I enjoyed it Im really hoping I can get back to UK this year! The last two years I was at uni so was coming out to visit my family and it was a nice break but now im living here im missing the xmas spirit like crazy!! I know its only november but thats the UKs fault for starting xmas so early!! I was watching UK TV live the other day and there were so many christmas adverts that made me very homesick!
One thing I hate here...... Xmas shopping is sooo expensive and you can never find what you want! I miss shops like argos and h samuels! I found whilst there was less of the hustling xmas buyers here there were still lots of carols and trees everywhere to know that its happening!
Im missing christmas weather, I want to wake up on christmas day in big wooly PJs, slippers and next to a warm radiator! I think im just homesick altogether!!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top