Sun, sea and Santa will turn December into a gift-wrapped month for hotels in the Emirates after the summer slowdown.
An increase in tourism, and festive promotions for the holiday season, have sparked a surge of activity in the leisure industry.
"We expect the month to be aggressively good," says Naeem Darkazally, the UAE associate vice president of sales for Rotana Hotels. "We're looking at December with three holidays coming in, starting with National Day, followed by Islamic New Year and then Christmas."
The Rotana group manages 27 hotels in the UAE, with 13 in Dubai, including the Amwaj Rotana at Jumeirah Beach Residence and Al Murooj Rotana near the Burj Khalifa.
Tourists from Europe and the GCC are being courted with special deals and festive promotions.
"There have been a number of initiatives to put promotions in place," Mr Darkazally says, adding that just one of the company's promotions aimed at Europe was expected to generate Dh1 million (US$272,000) in revenue this month.
Last year "was the heart of the economic crisis", Mr Darkazally says. "That was when travel was going down sharply. Last year was the worst dip for Dubai. That affected the leisure travel. People were not sure whether they would have a job next month. Now people are much more confident. It's very positive."
Last year, average daily room rates in Dubai fell to $235.48 from $308.51 in 2008, according to STR Global, a research company based in London. But now occupancy levels are increasing because of more-sustainable prices.
Data show the global industry has been recovering in terms of the number of people travelling but that spending is still down.
International tourism arrivals in the first eight months of this year reached 642 million globally, up 40 million from the same period last year, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation.
A major factor driving business in the region is the increase in capacity by airlines in the UAE and growth in low-cost carriers, such as flydubai.
Guy Epsom, the director of business development at Moevenpick Hotels and Resorts, said: "This means that every time we get to a peak season there's more business coming in."
Mr Epsom expects the long weekend to be particularly busy for Moevenpick's new Ibn Battuta Gate hotel in Dubai, which is popular among GCC travellers because of its proximity to the Ibn Battuta shopping mall.
But the beach resorts are expected to get the lion's share of the leisure business during the Christmas and new year holidays.
Walid al Awa, the general manager of Tamani Hotel Dubai Marina, is upbeat. "There's an improvement in November and December," he says. "Definitely it's better than last year."
Business started picking up from the middle of last month, with a steady stream of corporate travellers, but the emphasis will now shift to leisure tourism, with guests from China and countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States mingling with travellers from Europe and the GCC.
Hotels in Abu Dhabi will also benefit. "The National Day celebration in the capital will be a large event," Mr Darkazally says. He expects the Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island and the FIFA Club World Cup, being held in the capital this month, will be major draws.
Etihad Airways, which is based in Abu Dhabi, has also launched a promotion encouraging more people to stop over in the capital by offering free accommodation in the luxury Yas Hotel or the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort for business and first-class passengers.
Arshad Hussain, the director of sales and marketing at the Abu Dhabi hotel, said: "Business during the festive period is looking very healthy at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. We have a strong base of leisure business from GCC and Europe, and expect the business to be better than last year in terms of occupancy and restaurant covers."
The hotel is also targeting the domestic market and hopes for a strong response.
"We've launched attractive packages for residents, including Take the Elevator Home, whereby guests dining in our restaurants receive an attractive rate for overnight accommodation," Mr Hussain says.
"We're also showcasing an exciting festive dining line-up with highlights including beachside campfires, visits from Santa, as well as a monumental festive brunch experience spanning over three restaurants. We've targeted expat residents and local Emirati markets."