Dubai bans New Year dance parties in desert

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Live DJ music and dance parties in desert camps are banned for the New Year, according to a circular issued by the DTCM to tour operators.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Thu 30 Dec 2010, 8:27 AM

Last updated: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 11:04 AM

Several tour operators expressed disappointment over the new decision by Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) as the move directly affects their business.

North Tours, a company that has been hosting New Year parties for the last six years, decided to cancel its New Year party at a desert camp in Aweer following the circular issued by DTCM.

“We had over 800 bookings for our New Year party but it had to be cancelled following the new rule. This is going to affect our business but we have no other choice. We don’t want to be at the risk of being fined by the authorities,” said Suresh Kumar Laljee, Chairman, North Tours.

He added: “Tour operators in the UAE are competing with other countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore who also host similar parties. People want to celebrate in style and this new rule will force them to change their plans and go elsewhere.”

With 28 different desert parties hosted in Dubai every year, the new decision will put an end to dancing and late night parties in desert camps during the New Year.

Dubai Drums, a popular drumming get-together, initially announced its New Year party at a desert camp in Dubai but changed its venue following the announcement.

“I had two choices, either to cancel the event or find and alternative. Finally, we decided to move to a desert in Ras Al Khaimah because we had a lot of bookings from families that come every year and they have in turn invited their families from other countries,” said Julie-ann Odell, Managing Director, Dubai Drums.

Another tour operator said: “We are very disappointed because it is the peak season for us. There are lots of enquiries from people outside the UAE who want to enjoy the desert experience.”

However, the regular desert safari tours can continue on the New Year day. Hotels in Dubai will continue with their New Year celebrations as they do not fall under any restrictions.

DTCM officials could not be reached for an official comment.

New Year spectacle at Burj Khalifa free on TV

Those who are willing to spend their New Year’s eve in the cosy comforts of their living room can tune in to Dubai TV for the live broadcast of Dubai’s spectacle to ring in the New Year.

Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) has announced that it will broadcast live the scintillating firework display and water show from the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, through its three channels Dubai TV, Sama Dubai and Dubai One.

Viewers would also be able to follow the event live on the DMI website, as well as download a free transmission signal. With its unique central geographical location, Dubai will be perfectly positioned at at 20:00 GMT (Dubai GMT+4) to ring-in the New Year right in the middle of the global sequence after Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Mumbai, and before Moscow, Paris, London and New York.

The impressive fireworks display will last for three minutes commencing at 19:59:50GMT. The display will be preceded by a five-minute fire, water, and laser show on the Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest musical performing fountain, situated at the foot of Burj Khalifa. Dubai’s fireworks display, four hours after Hong Kong and three hours before central Europe will neatly complement broadcasters’ programmes carrying the New Year celebrations from the world capitals.

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