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Looking up to the future

Muaz Shabandri And Silvia Radan
Filed on January 1, 2012

Dubai got into the party mood on Saturday. The roads were packed near the iconic Burj Khalifa. And the Global Village was another hotspot for visitors.

DUBAI - Dubai got into the party mood early in the afternoon on Saturday. The roads were packed near the iconic Burj Khalifa. And the Global Village was another hotspot for visitors.

At the crack of midnight, fireworks ushered in 2012 at the Burj as restaurants, night clubs and parties sported New Year themes.

Tourists visiting Downtown made it a point to capture the memories as the breezy weather and comfortable winds set the right mood for a night of celebration.

The shining exterior of the world’s tallest building shone brilliantly in the spectacular fireworks as the clock struck midnight.

Schmedt Oliver, a tourist from Germany said the mood was exciting and enjoyable as the crowds started filling in.

“I wanted to see the Burj Khalifa and come here for a memorable time with my family. I’ve spent the entire week in Dubai and have enjoyed it here,” said Schmedt.

Roads leading up to the Downtown witnessed heavy traffic hours before midnight as police patrols directed traffic movement outside key landmarks in the city.

Heading into a night of partying and celebrations, the festive lighting and music added to the feel. As Mohammed Salahuddin who had brought along his family to witness the celebrations said: “It’s all about seeing so many people come together to celebrate New Year with joy and happiness. I would say it’s absolutely worth it.”

The jam-packed roads failed to dampen spirits as residents hopped on the metro to make the most of the extended timings. Shama Yogi, a resident said: “It’s very difficult to find parking near the venue but it’s all about being a part of the crowd and enjoying ourselves. Sitting at home doesn’t give me the same feeling and it’s a great time to go out with family and loved ones.”

New Year’s eve was a quiet affair in the capital, at least during the day. Most Western expatriates have gone off to their home countries to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Others have preferred the desert sand and have booked in at Liwa’s Qasr Al Sarab. For those who remained in the city, it was generally a night out or welcoming New Year’s day at home, with family and friends.

“We are going out tonight to see Coldplay, then we are planning to go over to Jazz Bar, at Hilton, to sing away into the New Year, and finally end the night in one of the clubs,” said Dennis Hutt. Her family arrived from Germany a few days ago and she has been taking them around Dubai and Al Ain.

“We decided to spend New Year’s Eve night at home, but my mom is cooking a duck. That’s why I have to finish the shopping now,” she added while waiting in a long queue at one of Abu Dhabi’s top supermarkets.”

Apart from special, late night meals at top hotels and restaurants in the city, the only ‘event’ related to New Year is the Coldplay concert, which according to the organiser, Flash Entertainment, was sold out. Fans from all over the country bought tickets ranging from Dh325 to Dh995 for the seven-time Grammy award winning rock band.

muaz@khaleejtimes.com, silvia@khaleejtimes.com


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