Are you umming and ahing about taking the kids to see Father Christmas this year? Are you loathe to brave the long queues for a disappointing beard and a second-rate suit? Well you’re in luck, because we’ve done the research, polled the parents and trawled the mums’ social groups to find the three top places in Dubai to go for your Santa fix:

1. Wafi Mall

A tried and tested favourite among UAE parents. Open from 8.30am until 10.30pm, there is plenty of time to catch the big man in the red suit. It’s a great deal too: For Dh60 you’ll receive a photo with Santa and a quality soft toy to take away. Fans comment on the length of time Wafi’s Father Christmas spends chatting to the kids while Santa’s grotto is impressively decorated with moving and singing characters. Plus, entry gets you additional vouchers and enters you into a raffle. However, the demand for this Santa means that queues get very long so arriving early is recommended.

2. Ibn Battuta, China Court

Riding off his success last year the popularity of Ibn Battuta’s Santa has skyrocketed for 2017. Many visitors comment on the fact that this Santa looks like the real deal - home-grown white beard included - and even better, the experience is absolutely free, with kids coming away with a festive cookie to boot. Again parents have been happy with the time dedicated to chatting to little ones and you’re able to take your own photos of the moment while they’re sat in Santa’s sleigh. One mum on Facebook even commented that her 9-year-old Santa sceptic was convinced by a trip to Ibn! The attraction runs from 4pm to 8pm daily.

3. Ski Dubai

While this choice can be pricey many parents find it’s justified by the extra attractions. There’s a special Disney Olaf’s Frozen Adventure area with your favourite snowman and entry includes a hot chocolate, a meeting with Santa and a gift. While it’s Dh130 per person in advance and Dh140 on the day there’s something particularly magical about wandering around in the snow during the festive season that makes Ski Dubai stand out. The grotto is open to visit from 12pm to 9.30 with short breaks for Santa in between.

All these Santa’s have to head home (to the North Pole, we guess) come Christmas Eve on the 24th so make sure you get your visit in before then.   

Read more: 
3 things child psychologists HATE about the Elf on the Shelf 
"Parents: get a grip. It's totally fine to 'lie' to your kids about Santa"
10 unique kids’ Christmas gifts that aren’t toys

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