x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

What and where for New Year's Eve parties in the UAE

Don't know how to spend your New Year's Eve? Here's a selection of choice events in the Emirates that night.

Paavo Siljamaki and Tony McGuinness of Above&Beyond.
Paavo Siljamaki and Tony McGuinness of Above&Beyond.

The sense of anticipation ahead of Culture Club's Dubai show is keen not only because of the group's reunion, but also because it kicks off a weekend of nationwide New Year's Eve events in venues ranging from hotels and clubs to auditoriums and even a water park.

If you find the thought of Coldplay's syrupy ballads kick-starting your new year too much to stomach, you might prefer a thumping beach party at Atlantis instead.

Sandance NYE will have DJs such as Basement Jaxx and Above&Beyond spinning the decks at the hotel's picturesque Nasimi Beach.

Basement Jaxx's Simon Ratcliffe says performing on the special night suits him fine. "I would rather work on New Year's Eve," he says. "I don't like New Year's at all, really. For a lot of people, it's a slightly awkward time. When I'm working, it's fun, because I am playing the music I want to hear and not having to fight for a drink."

For Jono Grant, one-third of the UK trance group Above&Beyond, the motivation to celebrate his New Year in Dubai was driven partly by the weather. "It's nice to be somewhere that is reasonably warm," he chuckles. "It's nice to be out of the UK any time during Christmas. I also heard the fireworks in Dubai are pretty amazing."

The group, regular performers in the UAE, are returning to play tracks from the ninth instalment of Anjunabeats, a compilation of artists from their record label.

Grant explains the group's sets will feature only two members (himself and Paavo Siljamaki), with the third - Tony McGuinness - having the night off.

He says each of their pairings brings its own distinct vibe to an Above&Beyond performance. "Paavo is very into the visuals elements of the show and the theatre of it," he says, "while I am more into playing the music and not worrying about that. So it's a good mix."

People wanting their dance beats delivered in a rave-type setting should head over to the Dubai World Trade Centre, where the Dutch trance legend Armin van Buuren will be ringing in 2012.

He will be accompanied by the singer and fellow Dutchman Roel van Velzen, who will be providing vocals to van Buuren's tracks, as well as performing material from his solo album, Broken Tonight.

For a mix of modern and old-world glamour, a Moulin Rouge-themed party will be held at Dubai's Jumeirah Emirates Towers, featuring a dozen burlesque performers, a fashion show, and music from six international DJs.

The Music Room in Dubai is also adopting a fashion theme for its New Year's Eve event, with a Masquerade Ball. Costumed punters will be mercifully spared of the onslaught of purely dance beats, with two cover bands playing funk and rock hits.

In Abu Dhabi on Saadiyaat Island, the newly opened Monte Carlo Beach club is getting in on the action with a typically glamorous evening at Sea Lounge. Fresh from his recent appearance at Creamfields, DJ Afroboogie will fuse his vocal house stylings with an extra dose of funk in what promises to be a swanky affair. For event details go to www.decadent.ae.

Finally, families can also take part in the end-of-year fun, with Ras Al Khaimah's Iceland Water Park hosting a special event with a bonfire, a henna stall and various games for children, alongside all the regular aquatic activity the space offers.


ŸFor details on all the events, go to www.timeouttickets.com