Serving you an English festive holiday

Festive-LondonUAE, 7 December 2015 – Christmas is the perfect time to treat your loved ones and for those who are travelling throughout the festive season, Heathrow’s Terminal 5 – the home of British Airways – is full of popular stores. To help festive shoppers narrow down what to choose, British Airways recently conducted a survey amongst UAE residents to find out their ideal gift from the airport.

Of those asked, just over one third of women revealed their perfect present would be a perfume and just over one third of men revealed their perfect present would be a watch, with both items receiving 33 per cent of the results.

This was closely followed by female participants choosing a classic gift of jewellery in second place (receiving 20 per cent of the votes) and a luxury handbag (receiving 15 per cent of the votes) in third place. In second and third place after a watch, male participants would prefer cologne (receiving 18 per cent of the votes) and electronics (receiving 17 per cent of the votes).

T5 has a wealth of stores to browse before a flight including Harrods, Tiffany & Co., Fortnum & Mason, Mulberry, Rolex, Dixons and World Duty Free, making it the ideal spot to pick up a special present for yourself or a loved one on your way home. This year there are special Gift Angels on hand at all the terminals at London Heathrow to help with all aspects of shopping – from gift choosing to wrapping and carrying.*

If you are lucky enough to spend the festive season in the UK, it really is the most wonderful time of the year to visit London with countless activities for all of the family to enjoy, from a wizardly winter experience on the set of Harry Potter to ice skating fun beside the River Thames.

Below, the little helpers at British Airways have pulled together a list the best things to see and do in London this December…

Go ice skating at The Coca-Cola London Eye

Combine a visit to one of London’s most famous attractions with a few laps of its breath taking outdoor ice rink called ‘Eyeskate’. The attraction has been installed especially for the festive period and guests can book a 45 minute session. Open until January 3 2016 from 10am until 9pm. Tickets for the Coca-Cola London Eye are priced at AED115pp (fast track is AED165pp) in December 2015.Click here to book. 

Have a magical time at Hogwarts in the Snow

With a wave of their wand, the folk at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter have transformed the wizarding world into a winter wonderland. Go behind the scenes and see real props and sets from the movies including the Great Hall decked out with a Christmas feast complete with flaming puddings. The detailed castle model has also been covered in snow too. Book via britishairways.comor here.  The Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour is priced at AED355pp in December 2015.

Catch a traditional Christmas pantomime

‘Panto’ has been a British Christmas and New Year tradition for centuries and if you can grab tickets to a show during your visit then do! Pantomimes are comedy musicals which often feature celebrity guests and take place across the country. In London, you could head to the Hackney Empire to catch their production of Jack and the Bean Stalk which is running until January 3 2016.

Enjoy your Christmas dinner…on the Thames

Tuck into a traditional British Christmas turkey dinner while floating down the famous River Thames on a luxury cruise, taking in the sights as you go. Over the course of a leisurely three hours and fifteen minutes you can enjoy drinks and fine dining all the way to Greenwich and back.

Watch the Serpentine swim!

Every Christmas Day since 1864 – no matter the weather – members of the Serpentine Swimming Club take to the icy waters of the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park for their traditional 100-yard swim. It’s called the Peter Pan Cup and it’s probably just as fun – and certainly a lot warmer – just to watch.

Marvel at the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

The tree in Trafalgar Square has been an annual gift from the people of Oslo, Norway, to the British people since 1947 as a thank you for their support during the Second World War. The tree is decorated with 500 white lights in traditional Norwegian style and forms the spot where carol singers perform throughout December and early January to raise money for charities. 

See the Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House

The Nutcracker is a classic Christmas ballet telling the story of how a young girl’s enchanted present leads her on a wonderful adventure. Danced to Tchaikovsky’s glittering score, this story of Edwardian London is sure to have everybody in the Christmas spirit. Book in advance at Visitors can even enjoy a Nutcracker themed afternoon tea at The Langham – you can take advantage of special dining options during the festive season here:

Take to the skies along with Santa this year and fly direct to London with British Airways to experience the magic of the English capital during the festive season.

Passengers can save extra money to spend on gifts this year by booking flights, hotel and car hire together through British Airways, or opt for a fly-drive trip to visit more than one location during their visit to the UK.

British Airways flies to London three times a day from Dubai and once a day from Abu Dhabi with return flights available from AED 2,485 from Dubai and AED 2,525 from Abu Dhabi into Heathrow T5. The airport is just a short train ride from the centre of the city and its world-famous shops and attractions – many of which offer exclusive discounts for British Airways passengers. For more information on participating outlets visit:

If you are looking ahead to January 2016, British Airways Holidays is offering London city break packages with return flights from Dubai and five nights hotel accommodation in the UK capital from AED 3151 pp. For further details click here.

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

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