Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Dubai hotels boosted by return of Burj Khalifa fireworks

Bookings surged after it was announced that last year's laser show was being replaced by fireworks

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

Hotels in Dubai have reaped the rewards of the return of the iconic New Year’s firework display at the Burj Khalifa – charging customers more than double for rooms.

Last year’s event at the world’s tallest building took the form of a lazer show, but a return to traditional fireworks this year has seen a surge in reservations.

Hotels close to the Burj Khalifa have revealed a dramatic boost to occupancy rates, with many all sold out for New Year’s Eve.

“When it was announced that the fireworks display was coming back this year it caused a huge surge in bookings,” said David Allan, general manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Canal Waterfront.

“Occupancy is very strong this year and we’re seeing a lot of international visitors for New Year’s Eve, especially from Saudi Arabia.”

New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year for hotels in Dubai and many properties raise their rates for the night to take advantage.

Mr Allan’s hotel was sold out for New Year’s Eve, with a standard room for two adults going for Dh2,700. On New Year’s Day the same room would cost around Dh1,170, according to Booking.com.

Meanwhile a standard room at the Address Boulevard for two adults cost Dh7,200 for New Year’s Eve. To book the same room 24 hours later would mean spending Dh3,600.


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Similarly, the nearby Steigenberger Hotel in Business Bay is charging Dh3,000 for a standard room on New Year’s Eve compared to Dh1,200 the next day.

But it was not just hotels around the Burj Khalifa that have increased their prices for the start of 2019.

The Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah was charging Dh4,900 to Dh5,000 plus taxes for a New Year’s Eve stay.

Another trend that emerged this year was people leaving it right to the last moment to book their hotel rooms.

“We noticed a lot of people leaving it to the last minute to book for New Year’s Eve,” said Caroline Rowe, director of marketing at Dubai’s Media One Hotel.

She said the heavy traffic that was synonymous with New Year’s Eve in Dubai would also work to the advantage of hoteliers.

Many Dubai residents were choosing nightlife options that were close to home in order to keep costs down, according to Ms Rowe.

“People are choosing to go to hotels that are more local to them this year,” she said.

“That’s because they don’t want to get stuck in the heavy traffic and increased cost of taxis on New Year’s Eve.”

Updated: December 31, 2018 06:12 PM