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La Ville Unveils their Unique Identity

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  • Exactly Like Nothing Else

Renowned for their distinctive contemporary artistic wall illustrations, La Ville Hotel & Suites unveils their unique identity. Capturing the essence of City Walk and the Autograph Collection Hotels, the sketches bring to life the 5-star boutique hotel’s unique character and stories. 

The black and white sketches of a bustling City Walk with specs of colours and the Dubai skyline makeup the iconic backdrop of every hotel room at La Ville Hotel & Suites CITY WALK. The sketches are complete with elegant shoppers, active families and charming couples strolling in the vicinity of the chic hotel’s neighbourhood. 

Resembling the Autograph Collection’s motto, “Exactly Like Nothing Else’, unique to the property, through visual expression of care and attention to detail, the artists’ illustrations celebrate the hotel’s prominence in City Walk. Anke Glässing, General Manager of La Ville Hotel & Suites, says, “We wanted to connect our guests and their experiences to the pulse of the urban artistic landscape of Dubai. Inspired by the property, and the idiosyncratic City Walk, we wanted to demonstrate skill in an unusual flair. Now, the wallpaper illustrations have become an important part of guest experiences and help them identify and connect with the property.”

Embodying the subculture, spontaneity and sophistication of City Walk, the hotel worked closely with a Dubai-based artists’ group, Art Painting Lab., to create custom artworks for the hotel room wallpapers. Commenting on the collaboration, Anna Florian and Max Laurence, of Art Painting Lab., the artists who dedicatedly worked on creating an immersive illustration, say, “The project began just around the time when the plan for City Walk was being implemented – and wasn’t ready for viewing. The illustrations in the room are inspired by our understanding of the very early stages of City Walk’s design and architecture.”

Blending the quirky illustrations with contemporary furnishings, the low rise La Ville Hotel & Suites makes for surprising cosmopolitan and social experiences. 

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New Year’s Eve Like You’ve Never Experienced Before

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If you can beat the crowds and find a spot, you could greet the new year before everyone else and head to Sydney Harbour this New Year’s Eve (quite possibly the best fireworks display the world has to offer on NYE). Likewise, you could watch the ball drop in Times Square, see the Eiffel Tower pulse with colour, or go to London to hear Big Ben strike midnight.

But if all that feels a bit, well, expected, conventional, a bit ‘been there, done that’, what about something completely different to welcome the new year?

The Winter at Tantora Festival has its roots in Al-Ula’s celebrations of the winter planting season, but this year it’s taking on a whole new dimension as it announces the reawakening of the Al-Ula region, Saudi Arabia’s first tourist destination. An open, living museum the size of a country, the region is regarded as the world’s best-preserved heritage site.

In this unique, and quite magical setting, guests can truly expect the unexpected – from tours of ancient, unseen, heritage sites, unparallelled stargazing explorations and shopping in a traditional souk to light shows, a sculpture trail, cooking classes, a Balloon festival and Fursan, the King’s Cup Equine Extravaganza featuring Arabian horses.

Every weekend during the festival, guests can also enjoy concerts performed under the stars by some of the world’s most stellar musical talents, including Andrea Bocelli, Lang Lang and Yanni.

So, for a totally different experience this NYE – or want to inject light, colour and life into the winter months of December, January and February, discover the world’s best-kept secret at Winter at Tantora. For more information please visit Day packages begin at $933 and weekend packages begin at $2080.

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Al Raha Beach Hotel unveils deals & offerings for the festive season

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  • Bringing the seasonal spirit to life, the beach side resort is the perfect place to soak in the luxury and celebrate the festive season

Al Raha Beach Hotel, a 5-star beachfront resort set in the beautiful landscaped gardens along a stretch of white sandy beach, offering magnificent views of the Arabian Gulf and a panoramic view of Abu Dhabi’s premier Al Raha Corniche, has panned out several magical delights for the whole family to revel in the exquisite festive season celebrations.

Christmas Eve Dinner at Sevilla restaurant – On Christmas Eve, gourmet food lovers can indulge in festive specials like whole roasted Christmas turkey and an extensive array of global specialties and traditional dishes with an authentic touch. With live music and excellent food accompanied by soft or house beverages, the festive feast is priced at AED 250 per person with soft beverages or AED 350 per person with house beverages.

Christmas Day Brunch at Sevilla restaurant – Take the stress and strain away of preparing the most anticipated meal of the year and gather your friends at family at the hotel’s family friendly international themed restaurant to eat, drink and be merry. Guests can relish a festive Christmas buffet with international and traditional food, irresistible spread of freshest seafood, selection of desserts and beverage in elegant surrounding. Priced at AED 250 per person with soft beverages or AED 350 per person with house beverages, a choir will also be present serenading the diners with Christmas jingles. Kids will be entertained with various activities at the kids Christmas party while the adults enjoy the impressive food. Kids can also expect a visit from Santa himself.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations at La Piscine – Turn up and brace yourself for an epic chill New Year’s eve party by the pool side at La Piscine Pool Bar & Restaurant. With breathtaking views, live performances and exciting games, guests can feast on a lavish festive buffet with their friends and family. The venue will set up a dedicated kids’ area and activities for the younger crowd to have the best time of their life. The package priced at AED 580 per person includes 2 bottles of wine and soft beverages on each table.

New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner at The Grand Ballroom – Usher in the new year in fine style with a retro-themed gala at the Grand Ballroom. Take a step back in time and bring out your fanciest costume. Dance the night away with some groovy tracks, artful décor and gourmet surprises that will leave you asking for more. Priced at AED 380 per person, the package includes 2 bottles of wine and soft beverages on each table.

New Year’s Day Breakfast or Brunch at Sevilla – Keep the party going and start the New Year with New Year’s Day themed breakfast or brunch with live entertainment from the in-house band. Enjoy a lavish menu featuring an exquisite seafood selection, dishes with a regional flair, international cuisines, LIVE cooking stations and an enormous amount of choice for desserts. The breakfast served from 06:30 am to 10:30 and brunch served from 01 pm to 4 pm is priced at AED 250 per person with soft beverages and AED 350 per person with a selection of house beverages.

Make the last days of the year the best days of the year and savor the flavor of the festive season in a joyous atmosphere with your loved ones. For bookings or more information, call +971 2 508 0431 or email or visit


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Dubai’s new central oasis, Dubai Hills Park celebrates community living with rich lifestyle choices

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  • Four times the size of Place de l’Étoile in Paris, Dubai Hills Park is centrally located alongside the Dubai Hills Mall in Dubai Hills Estate
  • Highlights include a 2.5 km jogging park, skate park, café pavilion, the UAE’s first man-made beach-in-a-park, splash park, weekend markets and a dog park
  • Properties near a public park sell for as much as 19% more than a similar property further away
  • The first residences near Dubai Hills Park will be ready to move into as of early 2019

Dubai will soon be home to the meticulously designed Dubai Hills Park, one of the nation’s most beautiful outdoor destinations in Dubai Hills Estate.

Located at the crossroads of Al Khail and Umm Suqeim Roads, Dubai Hills Estate is one of the largest master-planned communities in the city offering breathtaking views of the iconic Dubai skyline, in addition to Dubai Hills Park, mall, golf course and other lifestyle amenities. Several residential projects are available for investors, with a projected strong return on investment. Tenants, on the other hand, will benefit from a laidback lifestyle in the heart of the city.

Only 15 minutes from Downtown Dubai, apartments near Dubai Hills Park will be ready to welcome their first residents in early 2019. The park will further improve their quality of living with its assortment of activities that promote wellness and a healthy outdoor lifestyle.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in London, apartments next to or very near to a public park are proven to sell for as much as 19 per cent more than the same type of property in another location. This further positions Dubai Hills Estate as a prime investment opportunity.

As a sheltered, green oasis that celebrates community life, Dubai Hills Park will be a vibrant new outdoor lifestyle hub delighting residents of Dubai Hills Estate and their guests. There is a strong positive correlation between green spaces and improved levels of mental health. The University of Exeter’s Medical School has proven a long-term positive impact that frequent visits to parks and gardens can have on urbanites.

Dubai Hills Park has a size of roughly 180,000 square metres – four times the size of Place de l’Étoile in Paris. Residents of Dubai Hills Estate will be assured a relaxing getaway just minutes away from their home and the Dubai Hills Mall with over 650 retail, entertainment and dining outlets.

Drawing on the local culture and the region’s natural landscape, Dubai Hills Park will have many exceptional and innovative features including an urban beach and splash park, skate park, 2.5 km jogging park, a café pavilion, and a dog park, to name a few. Weekend markets will promote community engagement and local enterprise.

The UAE’s first beach-in-a-park has a sandy shored pool, a state-of-the-art splash pad, and a picnic area for families to relax while children play. Visitors to Dubai Hills Park can run, cycle, play, take a walk through the park’s lush landscape, or just kick back and relax in the open spaces.

Fitness enthusiasts can hit the 2.5 km jogging track, skate park or the Dubai Hills Golf Club’s 18-hole Championship golf course with world-class golf facilities. Dubai Hills Park will also serve as the finest events destination hosting ongoing seasonal events with three large events lawns.

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Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced plans to further drive industry Emiratisation efforts to create a strong pool of local talent that will play a key role in helping Dubai achieve its Tourism Vision 2025. As guided by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, nationalisation initiatives launched by Dubai Tourism’s vocational education institution, the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), continue to raise awareness among prospective young job-seekers within the local community, offering opportunities to pursue tourist-facing roles across diverse sectors. Under these initiatives, students can learn practical skills in a variety of disciplines, including hospitality, retail and entertainment.

One of the successful DCT initiatives offering Emirati job-seekers robust recruitment, training and industry on-boarding is the Medyaf programme. Launched in 2017, the comprehensive course encourages young nationals to join the tourism industry, preparing them for a suitable career based on their skills and competencies.

Mariam Al Maeeni, Director, Industry Nationalisation, Dubai College of Tourism, said: “Dubai Tourism’s efforts in increasing Emiratisation levels within the sector is in line with Dubai’s tourism strategy to attract 25 million visitors by 2025 and to further enhance the city’s position as the destination of choice for global travellers. We recognise how crucial it is to prime the next generation of UAE nationals for career opportunities in the sector, meeting the increase in demand for a skilled and qualified workforce which is able to provide authentic experiences that truly showcase Dubai’s local hospitality. Helping to achieve this, we have introduced more initiatives to support the Medyaf platform, as well as to correct common misconceptions that prevail among the local population on taking up a career in tourism. Today, UAE Nationals are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of this industry and how it contributes to the development of their city.”

The guidance and training offered includes a career counselling service;  the popular Emirati Tour guide programme; the summer/winter programme that is dedicated to school students by helping them experience the industry environment through training workshops and activities; industry internships that give university students and graduates the opportunity to learn and undergo on-the-job training at leading hotels and other partner establishments; the volunteer service scheme that allows Emiratis to offer their time and talent at tourism and hospitality events; the skills development initiative which seeks to bridge the gap between the knowledge and skills of candidates and needs of the industry and employer; and regular awareness sessions held throughout the year for the benefit of the community, to help give them a better understanding of the tourism sector.

“We are pleased that the various initiatives we have introduced and continue to implement in collaboration with our stakeholders have been so well received. Many university and high school graduates who have completed our training programmes have already found employment in different roles including tour guides, front office jobs in hotels, receptionists and guest relations officers.” Mariam Al Maeeni added.

Dubai College of Tourism has built strategic partnerships with key entities in private and government sectors to help job seekers find positions in the industry. The partnership between DCT and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation cements its position within the framework of the national strategy. The collaboration and insights include the organisation of career-related events, activities and training workshops that reaffirm DCT’s commitment to working closely with stakeholders and partners as one team, to ensure the success of the initiative. Supporting this is DCT’s recent partnership with Dubai Airports, which aims to enhance levels of hospitality offered to tourists whilst travelling through the emirate’s airports.

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Jumeirah Group opens its first luxury “Eco-Conscious” resort on Saadiyat Island

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Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company and a member of Dubai Holding, today announces the opening of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, the group’s first luxury “eco-conscious” Resort, located on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

The Resort overlooks 400 metres of mesmerising sand dunes and provides a luxurious, family-friendly and environmentally-sensitive holiday destination, just ten minutes drive from Abu Dhabi city centre.

Saadiyat Island is undergoing a remarkable transformation into a world-class leisure, culturally connected and residential destination. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, also located on the island, opened last year to international acclaim and has since received over a million visitors. It will be joined by the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi making the island a hub for global culture, arts and entertainment. The resort is only 10 minutes away from Yas Island, famous for hosting the annual Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Mall (the second largest mall in the UAE) and a variety of world-class theme parks including Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World and the recently opened Warner Bros. World.

Located on 9 kilometres of white sand beach on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Resort offers each guest a front-row seat to breathtakingly beautiful scenery and undisturbed wildlife including hawksbill turtles, dugongs, humpback and bottlenose dolphins, flamingos and gazelles.

José Silva, Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group, said:We are proud to bring Jumeirah to Saadiyat Island and to open our second luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi.  The opening is a significant landmark in achieving our strategic expansion goals worldwide and is our sixth Jumeirah hotel to open this year. We are confident that Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort will further enhance Abu Dhabi as a distinct and diverse tourist destination, and we look forward to welcoming guests from the local community as well as international travellers. We anticipate it will be a very popular and welcome addition to Saadiyat.”

The hotel comprises of 293 beautifully designed modern, sunlit rooms that overlook the open ocean, six panoramic suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, plus eight private 2, 3 and 4-bedroom villas with their own private pools. It also includes three outdoor infinity pools, a kids’ pool and the very first Bodyism Wellness Centre in the United Arab Emirates.   

The Spa is the resort’s lavish 2,700 square metre haven of tranquillity and quiet sophistication. It features a grand Moroccan hammam, 15 treatment rooms with male and female facilities that include saunas, hydrotherapy pools, steam rooms, salt rooms, experience showers and a traditional Arabic rasul room. Guests staying in one of the four Spa Villas can enjoy pampering experiences in the privacy on their own room.

The resort offers a variety of restaurants and lounges with a diverse, yet refined array of culinary options, serving up everything from sophisticated Middle Eastern cuisine to relaxed poolside dining. 

Guests can savour traditional Arabic flavours at Levantine-inspired TEAN, take long poolside lunches with refreshing drinks at the pool bar and dine al fresco at Mare Mare which serves the finest of Italian cuisine. 

White, the resort’s chic all day dining restaurant, offers local and international dishes alongside live cooking stations for a remarkable dining experience.

For guests looking for a more authentic experience, Majlis Saadiyat offers the warmth of Arab hospitality and a premium selection of refreshments, tea, coffee and delicious pastries.

Golf aficionados will enjoy the close proximity to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the Arabian Gulf’s first beachfront course. The 18 hole course, designed by revered golfer Gary Player, harnesses the stunning natural beauty of Saadiyat Island to create an unrivalled sporting experience made all the more rewarding by spectacular views of crystal blue waters fringed by pristine white sand.

“This Resort is a place like no other. Located next to one of the most spectacular beaches in the Arabian Gulf, every aspect of the resort’s design has been influenced by the beauty of this location,” said Linda Griffin, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort General Manager.

Jumeirah has partnered with Dubai-based water treatment company Trust Your Water, to offer guests locally-sourced filtered still and sparkling water in reusable bottles that can be refilled at the resort’s water stations. The resort has also eliminated the use of plastic straws, favouring straws made from recycled material instead.

“Our commitment to protecting the natural sand dunes and sea around this hotel means that we are also continuously trying to minimise the impact that guests have on this environment by bringing in our own environmentally-friendly solutions and working with partners who are dedicated to employing sustainable, ethical practices in their businesses,” said Linda Griffin.

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Lufthansa expands lounge offering at Frankfurt Airport

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  • New Panorama Lounge operated by Lufthansa now open
  • Terminal 1 lounge capacity increases by 40 percent

Passengers with lounge access can now look forward to having an even more relaxed lounge stay before their departure in the Terminal 1A Schengen area at Frankfurt Airport. Today, Lufthansa is opening the Panorama Lounge operated by Lufthansa as response to the high demand for the two existing Business lounges in this area, caused by the increase in passenger numbers.

As a result of the recently available leasing space opposite Gate A26, an additional 1,100 square meters are now available for Lufthansa Business Lounge guests. This will increase the number of seats available in this area by 40 percent.

Dr. Andreas Otto, Lufthansa Group Product Manager for Premium Airlines and Chief Commercial Officer Austrian Airlines said: “I am delighted that by renting the Panorama Lounge we can once again offer our lounge guests the service they have come to expect from us. In addition, we have planned several further renovation and expansion measures in the lounge area at our Frankfurt hub, which will further im­prove the lounge experience for our guests”.

The highlight of the Panorama Lounge is the breath taking view of the Frankfurt Airport apron, in which rolling aircraft are almost within reach. The lounge, which initially differs from the usual Lufthansa design, has a spacious main area with many seating options as well as a food and beverage buffet. It also offers several smaller rooms for working or relaxing, a smoking area, additional buffets and a relaxation room. The high quality sanitary area is well equipped and has four showers.

The Panorama Lounge is open from Mondays to Fridays between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Butcha Steakhouse & Grill

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This New Year’s Eve, plan to wrap up 2018 at the city’s popular Butcha Steakhouse & Grill. The popular eatery is set to welcome revellers to an incredible dining experience with an extensive a la carte menu and a one-of-a-kind steak experience.

The sumptuous feast on offer will feature a variety of appetizers, signature steak cuts that can be topped up with caviar and a selection of favourite meat, poultry, seafood dishes and the signature caviar platter.

The New Year’s Eve dinner will also include a selection of traditional Turkish delicacies and signature cold and hot beverages such as Butcha’s butchajitos and mocktails.

For the ultimate family experience, Butcha Steakhouse & Grill will also serve an exclusive kids menu featuring a variety of healthy and delicious options to allow children up to 6 years to celebrate New Year’s Eve with their parents.

The exclusive offer will also be available throughout the day of 1 January at Butcha Steakhouse & Grill at The Beach and City Walk.

Date:               31 December and 1 January

Time:              From 5pm to 1am

Venue:            The Piazza at The Beach, opposite JBR

City Walk, Al Safa Street

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Senegal – a rising star

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  • One of the region’s best bets for tourism investment, say experts

As the potential for tourism investment in under-exploited Francophone Africa becomes ever-clearer, Senegal has been highlighted as an emerging economy that’s ripe for further development.

The country still faces challenges, but the government wants to put Senegal in the top five African tourist destinations with three million visitors a year by 2023.

A detailed analysis comes from Horwath HTL, a global leader in hotel, tourism and leisure consulting, ahead of the new Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA) in Marrakesh in February 2019. The conference, organised by Bench Events as a sister event to the long-established Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), will focus on the markets of north and west Africa.

During the conference, Philippe Doizelet, Horwath HTL’s Managing Partner, Hotels, based in Paris, will be sharing his expertise, gained from 300 development studies both in France and internationally. His verdict on Senegal is: “We’re of the opinion that Senegal has potential for diverse hotel development in the mid-term.”

As one of the best-performing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal’s growth is expected to stay at around seven per cent, sustained by agriculture and industry, including mining exports.

Future hotel demand is expected to come from both the business and leisure sectors against a background of positive factors, including:

  • Senegal’s regional position as a major economic hub, backed by a stable democratic political system
  • Improved air access thanks to a new airport Diass/Diamniadio
  • The discovery of natural gas in the north of the country
  • Government support for the tourism sector with infrastructure plans
  • A pipeline of internationally branded hotels
  • Improving hotel performances in Dakar

However, there are some challenges as well: on-going neighbouring conflicts; low-standards of services outside the capital, and the high cost of reaching Senegal compared to other seaside destinations in the region. Nevertheless, overall, Horwath believes there’s good potential for new mid-scale, economical hotels in Dakar and the “Petite Côte” area, which is now the top leisure destination in continental West Africa, where the market has been performing well.

That optimistic perspective is supported by the hotel industry, which is seeing a number of development projects in the pipeline, including, in 2019, the opening of a Golden Tulip with 118 rooms, the Days Hotel & Suites with 84 rooms and the Hyatt Centric, with 150 rooms.  In 2020, at the airport, a 460 room Movenpick recently announced by Accor is due to open and a midmarket hotel, developed by Mangalis. In the medium term, around 3,200 new rooms will be built – an Azalai along the Corniche, the Sheraton/Aloft in Almadies, Dakar, a second Club Med, which will be the largest seaside resort in West Africa, and two new hotel clusters, in Pointe-Sarène (1,600 rooms, 100% resort) and in Lac Rose (1000 rooms, Mixed business and leisure.

In the long term, Horwath expects there will be significant new development close to the new airport and in Saint-Louis, close to the newly-discovered gas fields.

Philippe Doizelet added: “With an average contribution of 10% of GDP and 9% of total employment in 2017, the tourism sector holds a key role within Senegal’s economy.”

All this will be explored in more detail at FIHA, aimed at helping countries to develop their economies and support hospitality investment. Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of Bench Events, concluded: “It’s this level of analysis that will make FIHA a must-attend event; plus, it will connect business leaders from the international and regional markets and drive investment in tourism, infrastructure and entertainment.”

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Bluewaters turns into Santa’s Secret Island for the festive season

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  • Winter fair to feature live performances, children’s workshops and a ‘freeze wall’
  • Snowfall, snow-laden trees, and other attractions to create an inimitable festive ambience on the island
  • Caesars Palace to serve holiday-themed food and beverages outdoors

Visitors to Bluewaters, the unique island destination by Meraas, can enjoy a white winter this year at The Wharf, Bluewaters’ retail district, donning seasonal colours to transform into Santa’s Secret Island.

Residents and tourists will have the opportunity to experience the delights of the festive season at this urban island getaway from 13 December 2018 to 5 January 2019.

A stunning 12-metre-tall bespoke Christmas tree will greet visitors at the entrance as they come in through the Bluewaters pedestrian bridge, the bridge that connects the island to The Beach. Three giant snow machines will shower snow throughout the day and make your winter come to life. A festive market, set among snow-laden trees, will feature themed kiosks selling unique items, F&B stalls, and several stages that host a wide range of live performances.

Caesars Palace Bluewaters will participate in the event with a licensed outdoor area, adorned in classic winter decor and serving holiday-themed treats.

Ardent Instagrammers will be in for a treat at Bluewaters with the 4.8-metre-long ‘freeze wall’ that enables them to capture their loved ones in frozen poses. A jumbo advent calendar will offer visitors the opportunity to enter an exciting social media competition to win special prizes, including tickets to The Green Planet, Laguna Waterpark, and Roxy Cinemas, concert tickets to The Rotunda Caesars Palace Bluewaters, Meraas Gift Cards, and more!

Children can use the giant post box to send letters to Santa and have a message played back to them on an interactive screen. Three work stations will be at hand – one to help the little ones write their letters, and two holding workshops on festive themes, such as making adorable ornaments and decorating gingerbread men.

Live performances for all ages, both roaming and on stage, will include guitarist, saxophonist and Christmas LED parade, among many other activations. In addition, little ones can also enjoy face painting and balloon bending.

With activations galore and an inimitable festive ambience, Santa’s Secret Island at Bluewaters promises a memorable experience for all.

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