Homesick expatriates staying in the UAE for the holidays can take comfort in the fact that Christmas dinner is likely to cost them less this year than in their home countries.
According to The National's price comparison, turkey and all the trimmings bought at Carrefour in the UAE is cheaper than competitors in the UK, France and Australia.
Carrefour's turkey, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts and gravy granules are among the most affordable in a group of supermarkets including Tesco, Coles, Safeway and even Carrefour in France.
The cost of a turkey is lowest in the US, with a 4kg bird retailing at an equivalent Dh55 (US$14.97). It is most expensive in France at more than Dh200, while Tesco in the UK sells an equivalent-size turkey for about Dh57.
But Christmas cooks will have to shop around for extras such as crackers, because staff at Carrefour in the UAE said they were not available.
Supermarkets and malls across the country have been getting in the Christmas mood, with many decorating early this year.
Retailers expect bumper sales immediately after the Christmas period. Next year, the Dubai Shopping Festival starts earlier, on January 5.
Almaya Supermarket has also flown in products from the UK and US for the festive season, and for the first time, LuLu Hypermarket began selling fresh turkeys to order up until December 5. It will fly them in from the UK to be delivered next Saturday. The supermarket is also selling frozen turkeys.
"We are trying to make Christmas memorable for our shoppers, especially those who miss their homeland," said V Nandakumar, a spokesman for Emke Group, which owns LuLu. "We have lots of different food such as cakes and puddings that are popular in places like the UK."
Hotels in Dubai are forecasting an upbeat, festive season, with Russian, Chinese and European tourists expected. For those expatriates not in the mood for cooking, despite the relatively low supermarket prices, hotels around the UAE are laying on hundreds of brunches and dinners with all the trimmings.