Festive Moscow and Dubai ~ Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you, dear readers. Sharing a bit of holiday cheer with scenes from my recent trip to Moscow and Dubai. With Russia in New Year-celebration mode (the country celebrates Orthodox Christmas on the 7th January), and UAE’s Dubai catering to a large expat population, the Christmas tree, decorative baubles, and snow (!) were a common theme throughout my December journey.

Wishing you as much light and joy as it brings me when looking over my photos. And a shout out to my guide from afar, my papa, and traveling companion, my mama,Ā  who was determined to navigate Moscow’s underground and ice-slicked streets despite my all-over-the-metro-map itinerary. Much love to you both in scorching Sydney on this Christmas Day, Australia time!

MOSCOW

Light Show in Moscow’s Gorky Park

Light Show in Gorky Park

At the main entrance of Gorky Park

A tree made of fairy lights in Gorky Park

A tree made of fairy lights just outside Gorky Park

The GUM-Yarmarka markets and ice skating rink within the Red Square.

To the right is GUM, the pricey State department store.

To the right is GUM, the pricey State department store.

At the holiday markets in the Red Square

Holiday markets.

Tops of the Kremlin behind the markets.

Tops of the Kremlin behind the markets.

Whatever is left of the Red Square during the holiday season.

Whatever is left of the Red Square during the holiday season.

Outside our home-away-from-home, Swissotel Krasnye Holmy Hotel, Moscow (which is amazing by the way. More info to come on that property).

Outside Swissotel Krasnye Holmy Hotel Moscow

Outside Swissotel Krasnye Holmy Hotel Moscow

Metro Lights

Lights by the metro

At Kropotinskaya Metro Station

Flurries: I used the camera’s flash and unexpectedly, this is the effect I got.

I used a flash and unexpectedly got this effect with the flurries

Church of the Holy Martyr Clement, Pope of Rome (1762ā€”1774) near Tretyakov Gallery/Trekyakovskaya Metro

The festive facade of an Italian cafe/restaurant in a lovely neighbourhood near the centre of Moscow.

On Klimentovsky Lane in the pedestrian zone near Tretyakovskaya Metro

On Klimentovsky Lane in the pedestrian zone near Tretyakovskaya Metro

Ded Moroz, or Father Frost, is Russia’s Santa Claus. Ded Moroz is said to bring presents to children, however, unlike the secretive Santa Claus, the gifts are often delivered “in person”, at New Year’s Eve parties and other New Year celebrations.*

Ded Moroz

Ded Moroz

A “Snoopy” decorated Christmas tree in a main hall of the Bolshoi Theatre.

Inside the Bolshoi Theatre

Inside the Bolshoi Theatre

Christmas in a Matryoshka doll.

A store on the Old Arbat street.

A store on the Old Arbat street.

DUBAI

Through the looking glass — at the indoor ski field in 25C+ Dubai.

At the Mall of the Emirates.

At the Mall of the Emirates.

Baubles.

At Deira City Center.

At Deira City Center.

A snowman, and a snow machine

At Burjaman Mall.

At Burjaman Mall.

More shops; a couple more Christmas trees.

At Wafi Mall.

At Wafi Mall.

At the Wafi Mall Bazaar.

At the Wafi Mall Bazaar.

And decorations at the most expensive, and largest, mall of them all – the Dubai Mall.

DSC_0728PSDSC_0773PSDSC_0754PSA Christmas vacation on the Arabian Gulf.

In the Jumeirah area, near the 7-star Burj Del Arab hotel.

In the Jumeirah area, near the 7-star Burj al Arab hotel.

*Wikipedia

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22 thoughts on “Festive Moscow and Dubai ~ Merry Christmas

  1. Hey, great post. I am getting ready to hit a 12 hour layover in Dubai and I was planning in bumming around the city. Do you have any recommendations for top places to hit in Dubai for such a short amount of time?

    pS – I love your pic of the holy church of martyr clement

    • Hi! Thanks so much. Hmm, Dubai for 12 hours. Well, it depends what you’re into. You could do the double decker bus tour and see the city over a few hours; if you want to get to the top of the Burj Kalifa definitely book online as it was all sold out when I tried to visit the observation deck; you could hit the Jumeirah beach and check out the Burj al Arab hotel; or, on the opposite side of the city, there are the spice, textile, and gold souks but that would only take a couple of hours. The Dubai Mall has an underground zoo and a giant aquarium — it is attached to the Burj kalifa building. Does this help? If you’re interested in anything specific, please let me know and I’ll try to help! Where are you headed?

      • Thanks! That helps a lot. I’m hitting up a bunch of places around area so I swing a flight through there so I could check out the city. I know it’s a short amount of time but figured I could get a flavor of it. I juSt got back from Moscow myself, a few days before your post. It was my fourth trip trip this year and. I have to admit I like it much better in summer. Haha

      • I think you’ll find that one mall is enough to see šŸ˜‰ We must have been in Moscow at the same time. Would love your tips and advice for my next visit there. Did you blog about it? Do you travel there for work? I recommend the Swissotel in that city — made our stay so much better!

    • Thanks so much, Scott! Great to hear from you. I know my mum was wishing for it to have been summer given it was so cold and grey. I quite liked the change from Cali weather šŸ™‚ Merry Xmas and happy holidays!

    • Thank you, Lucy! Moscow needs to be on everyone’s travel list — I’ll compile a top 10 to give some advice to interested travelers šŸ™‚ Wishing you a wonderful 2014 — filled with travels and amazing experiences!

    • Thank you, my friend! It was an excellent trip and great way to feel the festive season come alive. LA is decidedly low key and so hot!! Wishing you a wonderful and photography-filled New Year! xx

  2. Wow, Marina, these pictures are fantastic! I love your
    photographs of Moscow all lit-up and gorgeous. You have covered a lot of ground. I guess you are home now – have a wonderful New Year!

    • Thank you, Karen! It was all very festive and thanks to early sundown, these lights made the city come alive. Moscow was truly illuminated, especially around the Kremlin. Happy upcoming New Year, Karen!

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