10 Christmas essentials in Abu Dhabi
Festive musts and where in the capital to buy them Discuss this article
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1 Christmas pudding
An essential dessert (if you still have room after that big dinner), which sometimes is hard to find or too time consuming to make yourself, is the humble Christmas pudding. Why not purchase a ready made one from Jones the Grocer this year, which for our money is one of the best around.
Available in two sizes: Dhs53 for 125g or Dhs128 for 500g. Jones the Grocer, Muroor (02 443 8762).
The feeling of waking up to find a stocking at the end of your bed stuffed with toys, sweets and goodies was the most exciting moment of Christmas Day, if not the entire year, when you were a kid. In fact, we know a few adults who still demand a stocking full of presents every Christmas. So buy one for each of your family if you haven’t already – they’ll last for years and only cost Dhs40.
Marks and Spencers, Fotouh Al Khair Centre (02 639 7104).
3 Wrapping paper and more
Bought all the gifts and now you need to wrap them? We suggest heading to Ikea for lots of Christmas-themed paper and cute gift bags and boxes. Paperchase also do great wrapping and lots of funky ribbons as well as gift tags.
Ikea, Yas Island (02 493 5888). Paperchase, Musrif Mall (02 690 4422).
4 Christmas tree lights
There are loads of places to pick up lights but make sure you get some decent quality ones because cheapos are more of a false economy when the bulbs blow. Carrefour has loads to choose from in red, white or multi-coloured with different settings. A small string costs Dhs40 and a longer lead Dhs165. Both are battery operated.
Carrefour, Airport Rd (02 639 7104).
5 A real Christmas tree
Christmas just isn’t the same without the smell of a fresh pine tree wafting through your home. Hurry and get yourself down to Spinneys in Khalidiyah, where they are selling real trees. They don’t come cheap though – the 8-9ft variety are Dhs450, but when your tree is all lit up and has exciting presents stashed underneath it, it’ll be worth the expense. Phone ahead to avoid disappointment as they sell very fast. If you want to invest in a good quality fake tree then The One have some lovely options that almost look like the real thing, and some of them even come with lights built in. Perfect for staring at while waiting for Santa!
Spinneys Khalidiyah (02 681 3538). The One, Khalidiyah (02 681 6500).
6 Choccy coins and candy canes
Harder to come by than you’d imagine, but if there are going to be kids at your place on Christmas Day, we think a sack of chocolate coins are worth their weight in gold for the bargain price of Dhs5. Or even if you don’t have kids, all adults love them. We’ve managed to track these down at Waitrose along with loads of different types of candy canes to hang on your tree, but make sure you get in fast before they all go.
Waitrose, Al Reem Island (02 679 6920).
7 Christmas cake
There is nothing better than feasting on a Christmas cake and sneakily eating slivers of it while no one is watching! But again, if you don’t have the time to make one thankfully all is not lost. There is a great selection of gourmet Christmas cakes to choose from at Spinneys in lots of different sizes, from little individual ones (if you’re watching your weight) to the big ones that should see you through Boxing Day and right the way up until the New Year.
Spinneys, Khalidiyah (02 681 3538).
8 A traditional turkey
If you really want to go all out this year and are hosting Christmas at your home then a turkey is absolutely essential. Both Waitrose and Spinneys sell large and smaller size frozen turkeys. Plus all the extra trimmings you could want are available right there in the same supermarket. Don’t want to cook? Plenty of hotels are roasting birds they will then deliver to your home, including the Fairmont, Beach Rotana and The Club.
Spinneys Khalidiyah (02 681 3538). The Club, Mina Sadiyat (02 673 1111). Beach Rotana (02 697 9000). Fairmont Bab Al Bahr (02 654 3333).
9 Christmas crackers
Another item that can be hard to find here in the capital, but it just doesn’t feel festive without them – or the terrible jokes inside. Invest in a couple of boxes from M&S, who have a range from Dhs80-215 depending on whether you want luxury gifts, or silly ones.
Marks & Spencer, Fotouh Al Khair Centre (02 639 7104).
10 A Santa outfit
Pick up a Santa suit from Posters at Al Wahda Mall – they’re only Dhs255 and you can keep it to use year after year. Oh, and don’t forget the sack of pressies too – after all, that is the most important part of the costume.
Posters, Al Wahda Mall (02 443 7089).
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