I’m a big fan of Christmas, and I don’t mean being sucked into holiday consumerism. I mean the bit where you enjoy spending (almost too much) time with family and friends. It’s about listening to Bing and Dean, eating a mince pie, warming up with a mulled wine, after all Dubai can get to a rather chilly 24 degrees, and finally, Christmas trees. For me, when it comes to Christmas, it’s all about a real Christmas tree.
This year Christmas appears to have hit Dubai early, or at least it feels like it. Contrary to rumours, Christmas trees are available in Dubai, but getting your hands on one can often be tricky.
There are a few key places in Dubai that will, almost, guarantee your Christmas tree, but get your tree early (around now) to avoid any Christmas tears.
Christmas trees in Satwa
This is coming up for my fourth Christmas in Dubai, and each year I’ve attempted Dubai Garden Centre, Ace Hardware, Spinney’s and the like, only to be told that I have to “pre-order”. Now, I don’t like to play roulette with my tree – size shape, colour and feel are all key factors that help me decide upon “the one”.
Last year, an apparent bug infestation on a shipment of trees to Dubai meant a severe lack of the winter spruce, and an incredible increase in the price. 800 dirhams for a tree?! Yes, that happened.
I love buying my tree in Satwa, it’s an experience everyone should try once. The trees are available outside the row of shops that sell plants and gardening supplies, you’ll know you’re in the right place because the whole street will be lined with Christmas trees all sparkling under the 28 degree heat.
Real trees in Dubai aren’t cheap, so take cash and haggle hard.
Directions: Head for New West Zone Supermarket on Hudaiba Road, and you’ll find the row of shops selling trees across the road (there is also an ATM in the supermarket).
Ace Hardware & Dubai Garden Centre & Spinney’s Christmas Trees
For those not willing to venture to Satwa, both Ace Hardware and Dubai Garden Centre have trees. Well, so they say. Trees are apparently “en route”. Inshallah. At this moment in time, Ace Hardware on Sheikh Zayed Road is taking orders and expecting trees on Saturday 5th December, while Dubai Garden Centre’s shipment should arrive Sunday 6th.
Last year, Spinney’s got a last minute delivery of trees and then appeared to sell them for rock bottom prices – rumours of 100aed trees were seen on Twitter. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to wait and see if that happens this year.
I’ve heard differing accounts of the quality of trees pre-ordered from stores. With some people ending up with giant beauties and others wondering why theirs hadn’t seen water since it departed Norway / Canada / or another equally snowy location. However if you want to guarantee a tree in December, pre-ordering is not the worst idea you’ll have this holiday season.
This year I got my tree from Ace Hardware on 1st December, the stock was limited to say the least, but they said they were expecting another final shipment that evening. You’re not allowed to see the trees open so you have to pick one and hope for the best. Trees are 399D’s for a 5ft, 499D’s for a 6ft and 599D’s for 8ft.
They also have festive doormats for 75dirhams.
My Ace Hardware, Festival City Christmas Tree buying adventure, in one collage.
Careem UAE are also promising a Christmas Tree delivered to your door, they don’t say when though…
Thanks for the tip, Claire!
And if a Christmas tree isn’t your thing, here are some of the alternatives to the holiday pine, courtesy of the residents of Dubai.
The Heineken Beer Christmas tree
The palm tree Christmas tree
The handmade Christmas tree
The Christmas tree, with a creative licence.
The Christmas… twig tree?
The Vegetable tree from Geant
The… Christmas tree representation, by Vida Downtown
A last minute addition from this upcycled milk carton Christmas Tree…
And lastly, the epic Ferrero Rocher chocolate Burj Khalifa tree at Dubai Mall, in 2012. Wow.