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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

New Year’s Eve 2017: Our guide to the parties and festivals in the UAE

We round-up some of the most exciting musical gigs around the emirates 

Fireworks explode from the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, in Dubai on January 1, 2017 / AFP PHOTO / STR
Fireworks explode from the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, in Dubai on January 1, 2017 / AFP PHOTO / STR

From the biggest names in western and in regional pop, to rooftop soirées, gala dinners, vintage rappers and international DJs, the UAE once again has a jam-packed New Year’s Eve programme, leaving revellers spoilt for choice. To help you pick your destination, we break down some of the top party action on offer for the biggest night of the year.

The big gigs

Music royalty will descend in both Abu and Dubai on Sunday. The capital will undoubtedly host the biggest NYE concert of the region with over 20,000 fans set to attend Katy Perry’s Abu Dhabi debut. With the 33-year-old touring on the back of her latest album Witness, expect a high-end production featuring state-of-the-art light shows, giant screens, myriad clothing changes and the obligatory fire-works shooting out of the arena’s roof at midnight.

Meanwhile, in Dubai, you have a chance to see to Egyptian pop king Amr Diab under the relatively intimate ballroom confines of Conrad Dubai. With nearly four-decades worth of hits, the 56-year-old arguably has the best back catalogue of any touring Arab singer. Katy Perry tickets begin from Dh350 from www.thinkflash.ae. Amr Diab tickets cost from Dh1,495 from www.dubai.platinumlist.net

Arabic pop extravaganza

A constellation of Arab stars will take to stages across the Emirates on Sunday too. The biggest of which is Kadim Al Saher, the suave Iraqi crooner will give a free performance at the promenade of Abu Dhabi’s Galleria Mall. Not too far away, Emirati singer Hussein Al Jasmi will team up with Egyptian heartthrob Tamer Hosny to lead the celebrations at the Abu Dhabi Corniche (www.ticketmaster.ae).

In Dubai, the Grand Hyatt features a triple bill of Saudi Iraqi singer Majid Al Muhandis, Lebanon's Elisa and Egyptian songbird Sherine Abdelwahab. While in the Dubai Festival City Arena, Lebanese star and Arab Idol judge Nancy Ajram headlines a bill that includes Egypt's Mohammad Hamaki and Syria's Nassif Zeytoun. Tickets can be found at www.eticketing.ae Diana Haddad will also take part in Dubai celebrations. The Lebanese songstress will helm the countdown at City Walk before launching into a free greatest hits concert.

The DJs

It will be a busy night in the UAE clubs; a wide array of spinners has been enlisted to cater for most tastes. If you like your beats catchy and radio friendly, then it’s best to check out the UK duo Sigma who will lead the decks at Dubai’s Zero Gravity. For the more dance music refined, French DJ Klingande will bring his brand of deep and tropical house - with an additional live band - to Soho Garden at Meydan Racecourse.

Ghantoot's Blue Marlin is bringing acclaimed Bosnian Solomun, whose adept style includes everything from lounge to tech house, while German trance music veteran Tom Novy will take the stage at XL Dubai at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa. Abu Dhabi's Rosewood hotel will bring over TCTS to Roberto's, the in-demand British DJ had a busy year sharing festival stages with the likes of Disclosure, Jackmaster and Duke Dumont. For details of all shows go to www.platinumlist.net

Urban beats

Hip-hop is always in the building when it comes to New Year’s Eve in the capital. However, even the most die-hard fan of the genre would admit this year’s picking is not the most riveting. The biggest name is serial UAE visitor Akon, who will ring in the new year at Mad on Yas Island. Performing minutes away is Turbo B, the US rapper squandered a good thing after leaving the Euro-pop duo Snap at the peak of their fame in 1993 for an unsuccessful solo career.

Those seeking reggae vibes should head to Hiltonia beach club in the Abu Dhabi corniche for a live performance dance-hall veteran Mr Vegas. Making his Abu Dhabi debut, Vegas is known for the club hits Yu Sure, Jack It Up and Latest News.

Dubai’s Barasati is bringing Fat Man Scoop to its decks while Indulge at Atlantis the Palm will have rapper Yung perform a selection of solo material and the hit Teach Me How to Dougie from his former group Cali Swag District. Go to www.platinumlist.net

Party with a view

For those looking for an elegant night out, you're well catered for too. Those looking for the best position to see the new anticipated light show at Downtown Dubai should head to main attraction itself. The Burj Khalifa will open its chic roof top venue, The Burj Club, for the first time on New Year's Eve for unparalleled views of the celebrations. For details call 04 888 8888.

Nearby, Dubai Opera is also hosting a fancy bash with its New Year’s Eve Gala -naturally, their evening will include an orchestral performance in addition to a DJ, in addition to food and beverages. Tickets begin from Dh800 from www.dubaiopera.com

The chilled night spot Vault, located on the 71st and 72nd floor of Dubai’s JW Marquis, will also be running hot on Sunday night with a full list of packages available on www.jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com. Those wanting to spend their NYE on the water, the luxury mega yacht Desert Rose, is taking on families (including children) with live music on board. For details talk to www.dubai.platinumlist.net

Beach parties in Ras Al Khaimah

Those look to get away to ring in the New year, should consider heading to Ras Al Khaimah's Marjan Island for dance party Destination Dawn. Running for a few years, the beach party is gaining a well-earned reputation for idyllic surroundings and music selection. UAE dance duo Hollaphonic will perform alongside the acclaimed Swiss DJ Yves Larock.

For a more psychedelic experience, the emirate's Bin Majid Beach Hotel is attempting to recreate the spirit of Thailand's full moon parties with revellers able to camp onsite and experience over a dozen trance DJs and beach side acrobatic performances.www.platinumlist.net

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Read more:

New Year's Eve 2017 food and party guide in the UAE

From Amman to Muscat: the best New Year's Eve gigs in the region

Najwa Karam to perform in Dubai on December 29

Sharjah World Music Festival: Balqees and Abdallah Al Rowaished to headline opening night

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