Everything you need to know about visiting Abu Dhabi in December
Abu Dhabi is a truly magical place to be in December. National Day festivities are always a colourful and exciting way to kick of the month with the whole country painting itself in the national flag colours Red, Green, White & Black.
The festivities continue well into December as “Winter” is celebrated everywhere. Schools locally break up around mid-December and plenty of hotels and shopping malls can be found decking the halls.
A festive brunch in a nice hotel is an absolute must if you’re here over Christmas itself, or join in one of the many tree lighting ceremonies, Santa Chases, Carols in Desert or gingerbread house making classes across the city. Or for a much more traditional experience, a camel beauty pageant? You heard right, read on!!
Abu Dhabi weather in December
Abu Dhabi’s average day time maximum temperature in December is a pleasant 24.7c (76.5F), with highs as much as 31.6c (88.9F) and average lows overnight down to 20.1c (68.2F).
In December, you should expect sea temperatures on average of 24.9c (76.8F). Maximum sea temperatures are expected of 27.4c (79.3F) through to a minimum of 22.5c (74.4F) by month-end.
In general, you should expect mild, sunny days but rainstorms are not out of the question in December. Whatever time of year you visit Abu Dhabi you will still want a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses – you can find our full packing list tips for Abu Dhabi here.
Weather information sourced from the National Centre of Meteorology Climate Report 2003-2019 for Abu Dhabi Corniche and seatemperature.org
Abu Dhabi special events in December
During December in Abu Dhabi you can expect:
- Commemoration Day – 1 December – a day of respect for those who lost their lives serving for the UAE.
- National Day celebrations on 2-3 December – this year celebrating the country’s 49th birthday – watch out as 2021 is shaping up to be a huge one! Often a whole week of holidays is declared by the Government.
- Winter Festivities – stay tuned closer to December we will update this page with more details on what’s happening around town. There’s a good guide here to what happened last December in Abu Dhabi over Christmas.
- Al Dhafra Festival – A traditional Bedouin Festival held in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, near the town of Madinat Zayed. Events range from Saluki racing and falconry through to the much-converted – Camel Mazayna; finding the region’s most beautiful camels. Dated TBC nearer the time, approx 2 weeks mid-December.
- New Year’s Eve – celebrations across the city on 31 December!
Suggested Abu Dhabi activities in December
December is the perfect month for experiencing the UAE’s desert. Take on a night time safari which includes dune bashing, camel rides, sandboarding, henna painting and traditional music around a Bedouin camp.
There are many companies that offer this service with pickups from central Abu Dhabi hotels or pick up points, a few to try:
Day trips from Abu Dhabi in December
A great time of year for heading further afield, why not arrange a camping trip into the Liwa Desert?
Explore the UAE’s vast empty quarter. Do it in style and stay overnight in Qasr Al Sarab or join a more rustic group of campers who will take you deep into the dunes and past the historic and hidden forts of Liwa.
Alternatively, as mentioned above a day trip out to the Al Dhafra Festival is one of the most unique and rewarding cultural experiences not to be missed. You will need to hire your own car – get slightly lost in the desert but it’s a wonderful and unique experience you’ll never forget – a detailed guide here on how to get there and what to expect as a tourist.
Abu Dhabi with kids in December
This is definitely the kids time of year in Abu Dhabi! From Mall Santas and festive winter wonderlands, our top pick for an action-packed outing is Ferrari World. During December, as well as their fabulous fun adrenaline rides with an Italian motoring theme, they run Winter Wonderland full of extra shows and events over the December school holidays.
For something fun outdoors, anyone is welcome to join in with the St Andrews Church Carols in the Desert. A convoy of cars takes you around 30 minutes away from the city to the beautiful dunes for a fun family night of barbeques and singing under candlelight.
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here: