x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A banquet of Christmas dinner choices

The Life: Hotels around the UAE are offering lavish Christmas dinners for expatriates.

Free-range Norfolk Black organic turkeys. Matt Cardy / Getty Images
Free-range Norfolk Black organic turkeys. Matt Cardy / Getty Images

At the end of the Charles Dickens's novel A Christmas Carol, the characters all gather around a giant turkey to celebrate the joy of the festive season.

The Christmas dinner has been a fixture of the holiday for centuries, and hotels around the UAE are pulling out the stops this year to offer expatriates a taste of something festive.

Emirates Palace is offering one of the most diverse Christmas lists, which is likely to suit any palate.

If you are one of the unlucky elves who have to work on Christmas day this year (which falls on a Sunday), fear not, because the hotel has dinner options on December 24 and 25.

For Christmas Eve, three restaurants in the hotel will offer either a buffet or set menu.

The three venues overlook the beach and the marina. It is not quite the festive setting of snow-capped forests and fairy lights, but there are worse places to eat Christmas dinner - on your own in McDonald's is just one.

So for a Christmas dinner without plastic seats and bold yellow decor, Le Vendôme Brasserie at Emirates Palace offers a buffet with all your Christmas favourites for Dh340 (US$92.55) without alcohol, and Dh520 with Laurent Perrier rosé champagne.

Mezzaluna, an Italian restaurant, and Sayad, which specialises in seafood, are serving set menus of eight and nine courses, respectively, with drinks as extra.

If you have booked the big day off work, each of the restaurants is also serving Christmas lunch.

Le Vendôme has a buffet for Dh590 with champagne, and the Mezzaluna and Sayad are also serving buffet brunch, but food is brought to your table by waiters and displayed for your selection.

These are called "flying brunches" and each costs Dh650.

Christmas revellers should take note though: these prices are not inclusive of a 10 per cent mandatory service charge and a 6 per cent tourism fee - even if you are not a tourist.

If Emirates Palace does not take your fancy or you live in another part of the UAE, we have also listed five other Christmas dinners for your choosing.

 

rjones@thenational.ae