There is something magical and special about this festive time of year when friends and family get together to celebrate closure of the year gone by and welcome in the New Year. Although Dubai is predominantly desert, every year the government goes the extra mile to light up parts of the city, while most malls and outdoor public areas put up their own Christmas trees to highlight the season. Some of these are truly awe inspiring and brilliantly decorated with exotic baubles and bells.
Every year, residents of Dubai have a variety of choices in celebrating this special time of year. Whether you’re looking to spend it with a special dinner or get all dressed up to attend one of Dubai’s famous parties, we have plenty of entertainment suggestions to suit your preferences. Below we list the top seven most exciting ways to spend New Year’s Eve in Dubai.
Watch the spectacular fireworks
Every year Dubai outdoes itself with a spectacular range of fireworks at its three most iconic locations on New Year’s Eve: The Palm Jumeirah, The Burj Khlaifa and the Burj Al Arab.
Watching these fireworks is an immensely popular pastime with most residents of the emirate, so needless to say these venues are packed with hordes of people who gather here from 4 in the afternoon.
If you must be at these venues, make sure to plan well as the crowds are phenomenal! However, we also have a range of other locations from which these fireworks can be enjoyed without having to spend the better part of your day travelling or waiting around. Click here for other suggestions on where and how to enjoy the amazing light and laser displays on show every year.
Attend one of the dazzling New Year’s Eve parties
Each year, these parties are organized with great attention to detail and no holds barred to ensure that visitors have an unforgettable experience. Parties arranged in Dubai stand out from those hosted in other parts of the world in terms of the sheer scale of grandeur and celebration characterized by mind-boggling fireworks, superstar performances and VIP treatment guaranteed to make your night absolutely unforgettable.
Popular venues for parties include the Barasti Bar at the Le Meridien, Mina Seyahi, Nasimi Beach along the Atlantis on the Palm which is one of the oldest New Year party celebrations in Dubai, Sandance Beach at the Atlantis with a host of DJ’s and top-notch performers and the Meydan Racecourse Atelier festival which also features some of the top performers from around the world.
New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise
Enjoy the unique experience of a Dhow Dinner Cruise with one of the New Year’s Eve special packages that offer great dining aboard a beautifully lit dhow with vantage points to some of the best views of Dubai’s skyline as you cruise along the Creek, as well as the spectacular fireworks displays that occur every year. This is typically a three hour event with live entertainment, midnight cake and champagne and a multi-course international buffet.
Treat yourself to an extravagant dinner
There is surely no dearth of restaurants that offer exquisite feasts to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. As Dubai puts on an extravagant fireworks display every year, the best restaurants to eat at are the ones from which you can view the fireworks.
However, be warned that to ensure your evening is a total success will require plenty of pre-planning as many of the popular restaurants can get booked months in advance. Also keep in mind that these venues are definitely not cheap and will make quite a dent in your pocket; all the more reason to plan your special night well in advance. These are our recommendations for excellent food, service, ambience and a view to die for.
360° Restaurant and Bar: Overlooking the serene waters of the Arabian Sea, 360° provides a fabulous venue with stunning views of the Dubai skyline and your own personal seat to the fantastic fireworks display at the Burj Al Arab. Live music and sumptuous food prepared by expert chefs complete the perfect New Year’s Eve dinner experience for a wonderful night out.
Atlantis – The Palm: One of the most happening places to be on New Year’s Eve is undoubtedly right on the Palm smack in the middle of all the action. The Atlantis Hotel has a series of packages especially designed for New Year’s Eve with a selection of restaurants included in each package. Enjoy live music, dancing and exquisite cuisine at ringside seats to one of the most brilliant fireworks extravaganzas in the world.
Madinat Jumeirah: Offering ringside seats to the fireworks at the neighboring Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah has a host of restaurants that serve wonderful food from Thai to Asian and American cuisine to name just a few.
Downtown Dubai: Right at the heart of the action, Downtown Dubai boasts the ideal centerpiece for Dubai’s fireworks celebrations – the magnificent towering Burj Khalifa. The biggest party in town takes place here as the street party starts at 8 p.m. every year and the merriment continues way into the wee hours of the morning as the crowds gather to bring in the New Year. Downtown Dubai has a host of eateries, cafes and restaurants which quickly fill up as people come to enjoy a variety of live music and performers who provide live entertainment in celebration of the New Year.
Spend your evening at the Madinat Jumeirah
Apart from the dazzling array of cuisines available at the Madinat Jumeirah, this venue also boasts a gala New Year’s Eve dinner with fire dancers, musicians, live entertainment and free-flowing bubbly topped with an extravagant New Year’s Eve feast.
Parking on normal weekends can be quite a chore, so make sure to get here way in advance of the festivities to ensure you get a good parking spot; then sit back, relax and enjoy the show!
Enjoy a New Year’s Eve Desert Safari
A fantastic and unique way to bring in the New year, the Desert Safari is one exciting adventure unique to Dubai and an unforgettable experience.
Safaris depart in the afternoon from designated pick-up points and take you through the beautiful sand dunes of the Dubai desert to a well set-up campsite where you can watch the sun set over the majestic desert. The evening is lined with activities including a lavish buffet spread, live music, henna painting with a fireworks countdown to the New Year. For more detail on the New Year’s Eve package, click here.
Pack a picnic at the beach
For those of us that believe that friends and family, rather than venue make for a special New Year’s celebration, pack a beach mat and a feast and head to one of the public beaches at Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).
Bring in the New Year with friends and family together with thousands of others revelers who gather here to bring in the New Year against the backdrop of the spectacular fireworks display. This is a great, budget friendly way to bring in the New Year, but as with any place on this day, get there early and choose your spot from one of dozens along the coastline.