A Guide to an Extravagant NYE in Dubai
If you have been to Dubai or heard things about Dubai and are whining about how Dubai is too fake for you, maybe you can stop reading this post now. NYE in Dubai could very possibly redefine your idea of extravaganza and grandeur, but at the same time it provides you with plenty of options if you want to have a quiet night out or in with not much of a hole in your pocket.
The only downside to all this is that Dubai wants to show all it’s class exactly at midnight, but you can be at only one place at midnight. Fortunately, it also means more options and different experiences. A word of caution, if you want to experience the best out of this day, you might need to plan quite early (Maybe a week early). Dubai has quite a diverse population with the super rich (Which Dubai is usually associated with) and a very high percentage of both Middle class and low waged immigrants. But Dubai manages to provide something for all the classes and that is something that has made me love this City.
Let’s get back to the Big day, Firstly, you need to decide what kind of day you want to have and just read through this post, you should be more than more or less equipped to get into the groove. I have been in three NYE in Dubai now and I have added a few tips, hope it helps.
The Burj Khalifa
This spectacle of an event has been a clear favourite for the residents and tourists alike, Dubai has been breaking records since 2014 and last year was no different, In-fact, they went a notch higher and fixed 70,000 panels of LED panels to give the perfect visual treat along with the fireworks, which almost make it look like the skyscraper is throwing fire arrows into the skies. The fountains dancing to the tunes of orchestrated music with precision and the lights glowing up Dubai in it’s awe inspiring moment is an experience to cherish.
The Palm Jumeirah and Burj al Arab
The Palm Jumeirah – Seafront covering over 90 kilometres set on fire with more than 450,000 fireworks is definitely a treat to watch breaking numerous records every year. The Burj al Arab, commonly called as the ”7 -star” hotel for it’s grandness showcases a perfect night filled with fireworks to enjoy a relaxed and classy NYE in Dubai.
Ways in which you could experience the spectacle:
1. Downtown Dubai
This is probably one of the most best ways to experience the fireworks, but also requires a lot of planning. Having lived in Dubai most of my life, i never could bring myself to go to the downtown and wait for 6 hours to enjoy the spectacle.
Things to keep in mind
- Leave for the Downtown by taking the metro to the Dubai mall station around 4pm (not after 5pm – You will not be able to get a place)
- Book at a restaurant nearby either at the Downtown (Dinner with beverages packages from 600 Dhs) or the Dubai mall(Preferably a week before) or go offbeat and pack your own dinner.
- Having the patience to wait for about 6 hours to watch the spectacle for about 6 minute, the fountain dances start quite early from 9 pm onwards (Definitely worth it) and leave with a lot of chaos as you will have to take the metro back.
- Do not bring your car unless you are not going to enter the main Downtown viewing area, There is no place to park or even worse is the traffic on your way back 🙂
2. The Water Taxis
I was at the fireworks on the NYE of 2013, it was a nightmare to get back home with the majority of the crowd leaving their parked cars and using foot as the preferred mode to get back. I remember it got quite bad as we got back around 4 in the morning, with my brother falling asleep in the car many times (he had to move inches/minute and do this for over 3 hours! Damn!) But, The government seems to have taken this into account and arranged for the water taxis since 2014, They leave from Dubai Creek with views of the fireworks from Dubai festival and Dubai Marina with the views of the Burj Al Arab, the Palm Jumeirah and The World Islands.
Things to keep in mind
- Boats leave from 10 pm onward
- Book tickets at least one week in advance from RTA water stations at Al Seef, Ghubaiba, and the Marina Mall.
- Tickets cost about 75 Dhs for a Round Trip.
A Richer Alternative – Rent your private yacht to cruise along the Jumeirah and have your own personalised moment.
A Cheaper alternative – You could take a ride on the Abra for about 25 Dhs to enjoy the spectacle.
3. The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Road (JBR)
Pack your food, get some blankets and camp at the Kite beach, JBR to have a relaxing New years Eve with beautiful views of the fireworks.
4. Rooftop restaurants
Roof top restaurants lets you have a mix between hardcore New year parties and experiencing the fireworks right up close. There are quite a few restaurants having deals with dinner and drinks included at reasonable prices starting from 150 Dhs. They let you enjoy the fireworks with some music from the restaurant (If you are lucky) without all the hassle you might have to otherwise go through.
5. House parties
If you have friends or family living on one of those buildings facing the Burj Khalifa or the Palm Jumeirah or the Burj Al Arab, you could just cozy up and enjoy a friends or family night with beautiful views and memories that will steal your night.
6. Park it, Watch it
- This is my preferred way of enjoying the New years eve, being the lazy person that I am. We usually leave our home at around 10 pm and park our car at the side of one of the main roads with a perfect view of the Burj khalifa with some snacks in the car. Recently Dubai has opened a viewing area for families right behind the Burj Khalifa, but you might want to be there atlas by 10pm. The road traffic system on the way back has improved drastically in the last two years, we could reach back home by 1 am, the last two years (it could get worse). The views are splendid, you can still hear the fireworks from the main roads, but if you want to hear the orchestrated music and the fireworks blazing right above you, you must go to the Downtown to experience it completely.
If you want to party your way into the next big year with a bang, Dubai is still the place you might want to be.
Biggest nights in Dubai on NYE
The biggest party in Dubai on the special night with spectacular views of the fireworks of the Palm Jumeirah. Party away till the morning on the Nasimi beach at the Atlantis the palm, with top DJs and pop singers.
Things to keep in mind
- You cannot visit the island directly, all visitors must go to American University first and buses operate from 5pm to 9pm.
- Easier to get there by metro, Come to the Nakheel station, which is right in front of the American University.
2. Medan NYE party
Medan, along with Sundance create the biggest party nights in Dubai on the eve of the New year’s. Medan also includes Top Pop artists and DJs and goes on till 5 in the morning.
3. Just about any Hotel/Resort
Many hotels and resorts have Djs playing all night mostly for an entrance fee, with a few without entrance fee on the big night.
1. Saadiyat Beach Club, Abu-dhabi
Saadiyat Beach Club, Abu-dhabi . I have been here once, It has a beautiful private beach which is part of a protected habitat which has dolphins and Hawksbill turtles. The pool is beautiful, in addition the resort provides excellent spa facilities. I think it would be awesome if you spend the day at this resort, enjoy a relaxing day at the beach and at night they host a party nearby at the dance floor, which is free for the people who dine at their Safina restaurant that night.
2. Chilling on your couch
This could work as well, you could order some food from any top-notch restaurant (Restaurants take order till 11.30 pm in Dubai and some take orders till late) and stream the fireworks on your television from youtube.com/downtown or just switch to any local Dubai channel.
There are quite a lot of Restaurants offering cheap New year deals with all the happenings around the fireworks. It could be a really good deal to just enjoy a chilled out night with your friends and family.
Check out for the local dailies, Emirates 24/7, Gulfnews and local things to do website Timeoutdubai.com a week before the date to check out for the packages offered by each restaurant with price details.
Looks like I won’t be in Dubai for New year’s this year, Hope you enjoy your visit to Dubai 🙂
Fireworks from New year’s Eve, 2004.