New Year's Eve in the UAE is once again filled with events catering to all tastes – from cutting-edge dance music and Arab pop to one-hit wonders from the 1990s and a smorgasbord of delicious eats. Here are a few choice picks on ways to ring in the new year.
Activities that will make this New Year as eve to remember
• Sandance proves once again to be the UAE’s biggest musical gathering of the night. The artists coming along to celebrate on the beach at Atlantis, The Palm are the soul singer Emeli Sandé alongside the leading DJs Axwell, Paul Oakenfold and Pete Tong. Tickets begin from Dh450 and are available from www.timeouttickets.com.
• If a rowdy festival experience is not your thing, head into the luxury hotel’s signature club, N’Dulge, to party along with the 1990s rapper Vanilla Ice, who will perform his handful of hits including the irrepressible Ice Ice Baby.
• Another star from the 90s, the DJ Jazzy Jeff, is also in town for his own New Year’s Eve gig at Barasti in Le Méridian Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina. While he is maybe known as a goofball in the TV sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Jeff is dead serious on the decks with his innovative blend of hip-hop, soul and pop. Tickets begin from Dh150 and are available from www.timeouttickets.com.
• For more R&B sounds, Omarion & Mims will headline 2Liv Dubai at Sofitel Hotel in the Palm Jumeirah. Tickets are for Dh600 and are available from www.platinumlist.net.
• On the Arab pop front, gala dinners by TV talent show personalities dominate New Year’s festivities. The Voice winner Mourad Bouriki will perform at the Hyatt Regency Dubai with Sarya Al Sawas and Omar Al Shaar. Tickets begin from Dh500 for dinner and soft drinks; call 050 800 4635 for more details.
• The Lebanese crooner and Arabs Got Talent judge Ragheb Alama will headline a gala dinner at Conrad Dubai alongside Maya Diab and Divanessa. Tickets begin from Dh1,000 with dinner and soft drinks; call 056 771 2277 for more details.
The celebration – Abu Dhabi
• Book a room at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. All guests celebrating New Year’s Eve in any of the hotel’s restaurants – as well as in-house guests – will be invited to release floating lanterns into the waters of the Grand Canal (Al Maqta Creek) at midnight while enjoying a six-minute firework show.
• One of the capital’s newest luxury hotels, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, is kicking off its first New Year’s Eve with each of its four in-house restaurants hosting its own celebratory dinner. A standout is Spice Mela, offering a six-course menu of Indian fine dining after which guests will be ushered to the open-air lounge Glo for a New Year’s Eve party. Tickets begin from Dh950.
• Fancy a mysterious touch? Then don a luxurious mask and head to Cipriani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for a Venetian-themed celebration, augmented by a live band playing throughout the night. The four- course set menu is for Dh1,100 per person.
The celebration – Dubai
• Hakkasan in Jumeirah Emirates Towers is marking the night with a seven-course menu of Cantonese cuisine with music supplied by DJ Nina Kay. Packages begin from Dh888; call 04 384 8484 for more details or to make a reservation.
• Studio F is having a masquerade-themed party, which will see DJ Tim Kay provide the beats for a night shrouded in mystery – and masks – handed out at the door. Just before midnight, the best-dressed couple will win a prize. Tickets are Dh300 for ladies and Dh600 for men. For reservations or more information, call 055 226 8537.
• The Dusit Thani Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road is offering a combination of good food and a barrel of laughs, with an international buffet and a stand-up comedy show featuring Mina Liccione and Ali Al Sayed. The Dubomedy event’s tickets are for Dh150; call 050 440 0994 for more information.
For the family
• Fancy taking the kids for some fun earlier in the day? Then order tickets to the 3pm showing of a festive version of Beauty and the Beast at Madinat Theatre, presented in association with The Barnyard Theatre. From Dh150. Book online at www.madinattheatre.com.
• The UAE is known for leading the pack when it comes to New Year’s Eve fireworks displays – and this year is no different as the country attempts to break the Guinness World Record for the largest fireworks display. At the stroke of midnight, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, The Palm Jumeirah and Atlantis, The Palm will put rivalries aside to break the record currently held by Kuwait – with more than 450,000 fireworks going off across over 90 kilometres of seafront.
• At Emirates Palace, fireworks will be along the front of the hotel, not beach-side. Anybody looking towards the hotel will be able to see the five-minute show for free. Call 02 690 9000 for more information.