British Winter Wonderlands Warmly Invite UAE Families
Festive Markets and Family Activities throughout UK Offer a World-Class Holiday Experience
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Great Britain provides a myriad of opportunities for Gulf visitors to soak up the festive spirit, from London to Cardiff to Edinburgh, all showcasing festive markets and family-friendly activities, offering a world-class holiday experience like none other.
From November until January, families from the Gulf can roam winter wonderlands throughout the UK, revelling in holiday splendour, taking a city break to the bustling city of London, a relaxing trip to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, or visiting the Welsh capital of Cardiff for the first time. The UK’s winter festive season holds something special for everyone, including late night shopping, traditional markets, magical fireworks, holiday cuisine, and exciting year-end events.
From 23 November to 6 January, London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will house a Magical Ice Kingdom, created from over 200 tons of ice and snow over four months by 20 sculptors. Visitors can follow the magical pathways and roam through the forest of ice pillars and see a myriad of local fauna. Hyde Park also is home to the UK’s largest ice rink.
Regent Street will continue its celebration of the London 2012 legacy as Team GB and Paralympics GB switch on the world famous Regent Street Christmas lights. Decorated with gold holly and red berry garlands, celebratory tributes to the Olympic and Paralympic teams will hang from the sky, and interspersed along the street gold filigree plaques will tell the story of the twelve days of Christmas.
UAE fashionistas, young and old, will be pleased to know that the world-class shopping has only gotten better with the largest Burberry store now open on Regent Street. Spanning over three floors, the impressive space houses a VIP room for special consultations and an opportunity to design a personalized trench coat. Once a shopper tries on an outfit, digital screens will show how the pieces were made and what they look like on the catwalk. The ultra‐modern high‐tech aspect is contrasted with a real focus on the heritage of the store ‐ which is an interesting building historically and architecturally ‐ and the brand which is quintessentially British.
For the more culturally inclined UAE traveller, there’s nothing like holidays in Manchester, which offers a magical visit with a host of wonderful things to see and do to get visitors from the Emirates in to the festive spirit, most notably the renowned Christmas markets which open on 15 November. Covering numerous sites across the city centre, over 200 beautiful stalls offer their wares: from bratwurst and Glühwein to crafts and toys and so much more.
What better way to spend an evening than to soak up this special atmosphere before taking in a show. Both the Opera House and The Lowry offer their own exciting festive performances, whilst the big draw this holiday season will be The Lion King, playing at the Palace Theatre from 1 December through to 31 March 2013.
If culture is more your thing, Manchester has some fantastic free-to-enter museums to while away the hour at, including the Museum of Science and Industry, IWM North and the new National Football Museum which opened this summer.
An alternative and eclectic shopping experience waits at Wales’ Cardiff Christmas Market at Cardiff City Centre, a tempting venue with an extensive rolling programme of hand-crafted, unique festive gifts interspersed with irresistible seasonable food and drink. More than 40 bespoke traditional wooden chalets will house dedicated genuine artists and crafters in the refurbished Castle Quarter area of High Street with the magnificent backdrop of Cardiff Castle.
A real outdoor icy experience awaits expert and amateur skaters from the UAE in Wales’ capital city, at the Admiral Open Air Ice Rink, which is also surrounded by plenty of other attractions around the arena for the whole family, including an ice café lounge, heated terrace overlooking the ice, and traditional children’s carousel and rides.
For family members seeking more of a winter thrill, they will have to try the local Winter Wonderland’s spectacular Star Ride, back for its second year in a row. An exhilarating 60-metre high spinning chair ride, the only one of its kind in the UK, it will give UAE visitors spectacular panoramic views of Cardiff.
Recognised as one of the best cities in the UK to spend the holidays, Edinburgh in Scotland comes to life this winter with six weeks of festive celebrations, all kicking off on 29 November with the famous Night Light, a visual feast of dazzling fireworks that starts the holidays season off in style. Each year crowds descend upon the stunning city centre location to witness a ‘surprise’ music spectacular that takes place, which in past years, has included a French aerial trapeze troupe and a 14 metre high snow queen.
Edinburgh’s holiday markets include two of the most popular markets: the Traditional German Market – a delightful mix of traditional presents and scrumptious treats; and the Highland Village Market – an eclectic combination of delicious food and every holiday gift imaginable from woolly hats to candles.
· VisitBritain is Britain's national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain’s visitor economy. A non-departmental public body, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we work in partnership with thousands of organisations in the UK and overseas ― the Government, the industry and our strategic partners in London, England, Scotland and Wales ― and seek to ensure that Britain is marketed appropriately around the world.
· Our priority is to deliver a four-year match funded global marketing programme, working with the private sector, which takes advantage of the unique opportunity of the Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games to showcase Britain and attract new visitors from the tourism growth markets of Asia and Latin America and to reinvigorate our appeal in core markets such as the USA, France and Germany. This campaign aims to attract four million extra visitors to Britain, who will spend an additional £2 billion over the four years.
· We also provide analysis and advice on the issues facing potential visitors, on Britain’s competitive position and the barriers to inbound tourism growth. This is in addition to providing research; market intelligence and analysis to inform the British tourism industry.
VisitBritainShop.com – buy before you fly
· The official shop of the British national tourist authority, VisitBritainShop.com has over 150 products on Britain including travel and transport, sightseeing tours and attraction tickets. A one-stop-shop enabling the planning and purchase of products before arrival, VisitBritainShop.com ensures customers spend their time in Britain enjoying it and not waiting in a queue.
· The VisitBritain shops are made up of 13 local-market websites giving customers the convenience of purchasing in their own currency and language. And with products and discounts exclusive to the international visitor and customer service support in 7 languages, planning a trip to Britain has never been easier.