This time of year is all about celebrating with family, friends and good food, and we’ve got you covered with a round up of the best festive happenings in Qatar. Have a read, take your pick, make the plans and reserve a table now!

• The Ritz-Carlton, Doha

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, is pulling out all stops for a memorable festive season, featuring take-home feasts, diverse and abundant culinary experiences, festive holiday packages, and an unforgettable send-off to 2015. The holiday season is about family vacations and spending quality time with your loved ones and with the exciting, extensive and luxurious offerings of The Ritz-Carlton, Doha you can’t go wrong! Experience a warm welcome to a winter wonderland! Making gingerbread houses is a traditional way to share the festive spirit. Bring your Xmas creativity and inspiration and the hotel will take care of the kids as they decorate their gingerbread houses. The morning and afternoon workshops are available at 10am and 2pm at QR200 per house. Light refreshments will be served. Advance reservation is required.

On Xmas Day, enjoy a jolly festive family brunch at Lagoon Restaurant with festive decorations everywhere and the aroma of gingerbread in the air to evoke childhood memories. A visit from Santa Claus will cheer the little ones up as he’ll be bringing special Christmas surprises. Starts at 12.30pm, priced at QR350 per person inclusive of soft beverages and QR550 FESTIVE HAPPENINGS per person for the full beverage package. Kids under the age of four dine for free while four to 12-year-old pay half price. On December 11, 12, 18 and 19, take part in the Gingerbread House Making Classes! For more festive happenings at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, check out the spotlight on page 95.

Call 4484 8000 or email rc.dohrz.leads@ritzcarlton. com for reservations and more information.

• Marsa Malaz Kempinski

Santa’s helpers are here to treat you with festive delicacies at K Festive Boutique. Gingerbread houses and cookies, traditional stollen cakes, panettones, cinnamon stars and mince pies transform the lobby to a winter wonderland! Available in the Grand Lobby from 7am to 10pm. Sit down for Afternoon Tea with Santa as he returns to Doha and makes a stop at Marsa Malaz Kempinski. Children can have their picture with Santa with the hotel’s compliments and decorate gingerbread cookies with inhouse bakers in the special mini-corner.

Parents can spoil themselves with the afternoon tea buffet in the comfortable festive setting of the Ambassadors Lounge. On Christmas Eve, there are joyful moments to be had, in festive surroundings at Sawa. A luscious buffet with traditional Xmas offerings, inspired by the grand European heritage of Kempinski, alongside the sounds of a live band, will make you and your loved ones feel the warm and cheerful festive spirit.

From 7pm to 11pm for QR295 per person. Beverages à la carte. Feliz Navidad! Also on Xmas eve, celebrate in El Faro with the Nochebuena four-course set menu and live Spanish entertainment. The classic à la carte menu is also available. From 7pm to 11.30pm for QR295 per person. Beverages à la carte. On Christmas Day, share merry times with loved ones at the Christmas Brunch of Marsa Malaz Kempinski in Sawa. Enjoy a traditional festive brunch buffet and allow the hotel to entertain the little ones with a bouncing castle, face painting and of course the surprise appearance of Santa. From 12.30pm to 4pm, QR495 per person, including soft beverages and QR595 per person, including vino, grain, cocktails and bubbly. Sounds yummy!

Call 4035 5011 or email restaurants.marsamalaz@ for reservations and more information.

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• Four Seasons Hotel Doha

Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with a festive twist to get you in the seasonal mood. Savour an irresistible selection of finger sandwiches, pastries and scones, alongside a selection of fine teas at Seasons Tea Lounge for QR215 inclusive of one hot/cold beverage. Served from 3pm to 6pm from December 21 to January 1, 2016. On Xmas Eve, escape to the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Il Teatro. Enjoy a four-course dinner created by Italian Chef, Marco Arlotti. QR410 including soft beverages and amuse bouche.

On Christmas Day, Four Seasons offers an extensive brunch selection of international cuisine including festive special dishes like oysters, caviar, wild salmon and much more. An extra special area for kids is available too. Regular brunch is QR550 including soft beverages; Sparkling Brunch is QR750 including special beverages; and Kids Brunch is QR275. Sounds like a fab Xmas!

Call 4494 8600 or email dining.doh@fourseasons. com for reservations and more information.

• Doha Marriott Hotel

Let the festive celebrations begin! Join the Doha Marriott Hotel on December 19 for the annual tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy performances by the famous Marriott Christmas Choir and enjoy a special ‘Christmas Treat’ pass around, traditional gingerbread houses and festive drinks, as well as a visit from Santa with goodies! From 7.30pm at The View Poolside Restaurant. From December 20 to 24, enjoy special daily performances by the Marriott Choir.

Bring the whole family along to the Doha Marriott this Christmas and enjoy a warm, festive spirit. Don’t forget to check out the unique ginger bread house! From 7:30pm to 8pm in the lobby. Featuring a fine selection of traditional Xmas roasts, seasonal holiday desserts and festive drinks, the Doha Marriott is the perfect choice for your family festive brunch on December 25! There’s a kids entertainment room featuring a bouncy castle, cool games and lots more. From 12.30pm to 4pm at the Doha Marriott Restaurant Gallery. It’s all about festive fun here!

Call 4428 8499 for reservations and more information.

• InterContinental Doha

The famous Turkey To Go is available again this year. Xmas hampers and other specialties are available for take away at the ginger bread house in the lobby from December 13 to 26 and a pre order turkey menu is available at Tea Lounge!

There’s also a daily festive afternoon tea in Tea Lounge from 3.30pm to 6.30pm for QR95 per person, food only, or QR125 per person including festive drinks. (Time changes to 4.30pm to 5.30pm from December 20 to 25). On Xmas Eve, though all outlets at the hotel will be hosting a special dinner, try the four-course set menu at Mykonos. With live entertainment from a bouzouki band as well as the Xmas Choir and a visit from Santa with gifts for little ones, at QR320 with one glass of Glühwein, this is a stellar festive deal. From 6.30pm to 11.30pm!

On Xmas Day you also have some fabulous brunch and lunch options but the two standouts are the Sparkling Christmas Brunch at Coral, priced at QR425 per adult including sparkling, red and white vino, and festive beverages, and QR225 for children, with fantastic live entertainment from the Xmas choir as well as awesome kids activities and a visit from Santa with presents. For something equally delicious, head to Belgian Café for an amazing roast menu with special festive dishes, turkey offerings, and festive beverages. There will be a choir and Santa will drop by with gifts for the little ones! From 12.30pm to 4pm. There’s nothing but great festive choices at InterContinental Doha this month!

Call 8000 0880 for reservations and more information.

• Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha

Lift the little ones’ spirits and build the excitement early with a fun ginger bread decorating session at Quick Bites. From December 12 to 19, 4pm to 6pm, children aged from five to 10-years-old can enjoy getting creative and in the festive spirit. QR75 inclusive of snacks and refreshments for kids. Also at Quick Bites, rediscover sugar and spice and all things nice with the huge display of Christmas cakes, cupcakes, cookies, hampers and other goodies, available until January 6 from QR40.

For those of your throwing festive dinner parties, host brilliantly without the hassle. Fill in the Turkey To Go order form and pick up your sumptuous Christmas turkey festively plated, with trimmings and all to complete your table, only at Quick Bites! Available until December 26 for QR450 – place order 48 hours prior to pick up. On Christmas Eve head for dinner at Crossroads Kitchen for an extensive three-course buffet lay-out with seasonal offerings, live interactive cooking stations, and a roast of turkey carving station.

Christmas desserts and a visit from Santa Claus too. From 6pm to 11pm for QR245. Make Christmas Day an elegant occasion with brunch at New York Steakhouse. For QR390 tuck into a delectable buffet from 12noon to 3.30pm. Marriot Marquis is taking the festive offerings to new heights!

Call 4419 5000 for reservations and more information.

• The St. Regis Doha

Experience a time-honoured tradition of Festive afternoon tea featuring a selection of bite-sized sandwiches and delicate mini cakes and pastries. This afternoon tea will be available from December 1 to 25 at Sarab Lounge for QR165, served from 2.30pm to 8pm. On Christmas Eve, head to the stunning Vine for BBQ night served from 6.30pm to 11.30pm, priced at QR320 per person with soft beverages and QR420 per person with premium drinks.

There’s also a festive tribute dinner on December 24 at Astor Grill with a threecourse set menu for QR355 for food only and QR610 including a sommelier’s collection, from 7pm to midnight. Opal by Gordon Ramsay dishes up a fabulous festive a la carte brunch menu for Xmas Day – designed by the celebrity chef himself. Running from 12noon to 4pm, priced at QR495 including soft drinks and QR555 including premium drinks. There are plenty of festive cooking classes for the grownups and kids, as well as a great Turkey To Go promotion for QR990 serving from eight to 10 people.

Call 4446 0105 or email diningreservations@stregis. com for reservations and more information.

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• W Doha Hotel & Residences

Market by Jean-Georges invites you to celebrate with loved ones on Christmas Eve, with an exquisite four course Christmas menu and entertainment by Doha Jazz. From 6pm to 11.30pm, priced at QR295 per person on set menu. A la carte available. The venue will also host a fabulous Xmas Day brunch with an exquisite buffet this Christmas in an environment full of illusions and festive tunes and entertainment by Doha Jazz. From 12noon to 4pm, priced at QR450 per person including selected alcoholic beverages and QR350 per person including selected non-alcoholic beverages.

In Spice Market, enjoy the vibrant textures of South East Asian Street Food with pulsating festive dishes and entertainment by Doha Jazz. From 6pm to 11.30pm, priced at QR295 per person on set menu. A la carte available. Join the iconic Christmas brunch at Spice Market to celebrate louder with entertainment by Doha Jazz. From 12noon to 4pm, priced at QR450 per person including selected alcoholic beverages and QR350 per person including selected non-alcoholic beverages.

At La Spiga you can celebrate Christmas the Italian way with four courses from Chef Diego De Rosa and entertainment by Doha Jazz. From 6pm to 11.30pm, priced at QR250 per person on set menu. Mix in, get together with the glamorous crowd of Doha and indulge in a true Italian treat with Xmas Day lunch at La Spiga and entertainment by Doha Jazz. From 12noon to 4pm, priced at QR250 per person. A la carte available! The festive season done right at W Doha!

Call 4453 5000 for reservations and more information.

• InterContinental Doha The City

The magic begins in the spectacular main lobby atrium fully adorned with all the traditional trimmings. Immerse yourself in an impressively decorated Christmas tree at the festive light-up ceremony on December 10. Festive Christmas afternoon tea stands and regular afternoon tea themed with festive delights starts at QR90 per stand and runs from December 10 to January 7, 3pm to 5pm. For the ultimate culinary experience on Christmas Eve, treat yourself and your loved ones to a classic Frenchinspired dinner at Prime, consisting of a four-course menu.

This traditional festive menu will be available during the entire month of December for QR350 per person. Starting from December 10, until January 7, 2016, served 6pm to 11pm. Gather your family and friends and head to The Square on Christmas Day. Enjoy a lavish holiday brunch offering all your traditional favorites such as roast beef, turkey with all the trimmings, a decadent Christmas log and more. Priced at QR275 per person including soft beverages, QR450 including red and white vino, ales and bubbly. Served from 12noon to 3pm.

Call 4015 8888 or email doharestaurants@ihg. com for reservations and more information.

• Hakkasan Doha

This December, gather with family and friends at Hakkasan Doha to celebrate the festive season with a new signature menu. Set in the picturesque gardens of the St. Regis Hotel, Hakkasan Doha has a variety of elegant spaces to cater for any sized celebration, from hiring the entire restaurant for a large party, to a cocktail reception in the Ling Ling Lounge or an intimate gathering in one of the two private dining rooms. The exclusive festive menu has been designed to be shared with friends and family and features signature dishes that showcase the award-winning cuisine.

with curry lemon grass sauce and Stir-fry lotus root and asparagus in black bean sauce. The three-course signature menu is QR448 per person, or QR648 per person inclusive of drinks. Available until December 31.

Call 4446 0170 for reservations and more information.

• La Varenne

Tuck into a Festive Business Lunch at La Varenne, and enjoy two courses for QR85 or three courses for QR95. Available Sunday to Thursday from 11.30am to 3pm, until Christmas Eve. On December 11, 18 and 25, La Varenne celebrates the festive season with a special Festive Market style brunch.

A collection of seasonal treats taken from the market stalls and served straight to your table. QR280 per person includes; water, tea, coffee and warm spiced apple punch; and QR430 per person includes sommeliers seasonal choice. On Christmas Day, La Varenne also offers a very special five-course set menu packed with delicious seasonal dishes for you to enjoy with family and friends, for QR350 per person. Sounds delish!

Call 4499 0680 for reservations and more information.

• Melia Doha

With a wide selection of exquisite dinners and entertaining brunches, Meliá Doha will create a jovial atmosphere for the festive period to share with family and friends. Trim the tree and take in the tunes of the resident violinist while sipping a delicious and traditional festive drink in the Riqqa Lobby during the special Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 17, at 6pm. This Christmas Eve, dine in true Spanish fashion at Aceite, while enjoying Andalusian cuisine with a festive twist! This spectacular Gala Dinner features six courses, including but not limited to Lobster Salad, Tomato and Caramelized with Rice Tile, Sea Bass Mallorquina with Aioli Almonds and Saffron Mirror and Medallions of Beef Tenderloin with Foie Grass and Sauce Pastora Cheese.

Perfect for a holiday dinner with your loved ones and priced at QR220 with soft drinks, and QR295 with selected beverages. With a feast of international cuisine Nidaaya provides a merry Christmas Day brunch for even the most discerning diners. Hot dishes such as Seared Hammour with tomato fennel compote, Salmon Medallion with onion berries comfit, Veal Roulade with porcini sauce will be offered and a live cooking station will serve Pan Seared Foie Gras, Shrimp Tempura and a variety of pasta. A delightful Christmas carving station will serve Roast Turkey with all the trimmings and condiments. Finish off the meal with a sweet selection of festive desserts. From 12.30pm to 4pm, for QR250 including soft drinks and QR350 with soft beverages. Great festive dining options at great prices!

Call 4019 9999 for reservations and more information.

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