Happy Christmas Everyone!

Before I moved here I imagined that if people celebrated Christmas it might be done very privately, in people’s homes.  But no!  Christmas is the full deal here… enormous fully-lit Christmas trees in the malls, service people everywhere wishing you a ‘Merry Christmas’  and even the locals taking photographs of their kids in front of the Christmas decorations about town.

Richard and I enjoyed a quiet Christmas lunch at the Kempinksi Hotel in the Emirates Mall while looking out the window at the snow-covered indoor ski field, which was decorated with Christmas tress. It was really lovely watching the beginners and the little kids have their first lessons. They were all having a fantastic time falling over in the snow and the instructors (in their Santa hats) really took care of them.

The buffet was enormous in its scope of cuisine; Indian (really good curries, chicken tikkas and cumin rice), Indonesian (Curries and Sate),  traditional turkey and roast vegetables, Chinese (stir fries, Peking duck and dim sum) , Japanese (Sashimi, salads and bento boxes) and finally, the best of the selection in our opinion, Arabian salads, white cheeses, spiced rices and pancakes as well as delicious dips sprinked with pomegranate seeds.

The deserts were all served in little portions so you could try different things and were of European quality.  The little square of sacher torte I had was excellent and there were the usual mince pies and mini-plum puddings with vanilla anglaise to keep the traditionalists happy.

I didn’t try it but they also had a large profiterol pyramid with spun toffee and the largest – most GINORMOUS Pannettone (Italian Christmas cake)  which looked spectacular.

It was a lovely bunch of people from all around the world. Most of the waiting staff were Philippino and the guests were local Emirati Muslims, Pakistani Sikhs, Japanese Buddhists, English, Philippino and Eastern European Christians and probably a whole lot more that could not be identified from their dress or speech. In this articial snow mall, amongst all these people eating and laughing together, the spirit of Christmas was there in a way I have never seen it before. It was unique and very positive.

Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year!

Christmas 2008. Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.

Christmas 2008. Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.

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8 responses to “Happy Christmas Everyone!

  1. We notice the water!!!
    You both look relaxed, in spite of all the dramas

  2. LOL Yes the water!

    No alcohol allowed in that part of the restaurant. However, we were prepared because we had thought that the entire restaurant was ‘dry’.

    It has been remarked that our priorities in choosing a restaurant were somewhat warped. Neither of us have had a drink since we arrived so we have kind of got used to it.

    Father has made it very clear that he expects us to arrange our liquor license (license to buy alcohol) before he comes for a visit.

    By the time he arrives (possibly March next year) we will probably have no alcohol tolerance at all!

  3. Thanks Kath! I think turning off the flash so we could pick up the ski field did a few favours for my complexion. 🙂

  4. Happy Birthday
    Happy Christmas
    Happy New Year
    I love your blog and hope this gets thru.
    So sorry Mozzle has been sick & hope they can join you soon

  5. Thanks – Mozz is pretty sick. We are hoping for the best for him.

  6. We are waiting for news of Mozzle. Hope all is well. Please let us know if there is anything that we can do.

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