Holidays, work trips, Umrah: How UAE residents are welcoming the New Year

From Azerbaijan to Georgia, the country's citizens are all geared up to ring in 2023 from various corners of the world


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Tue 27 Dec 2022, 8:05 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Dec 2022, 7:29 PM

As the New Year approaches, several UAE residents are set to welcome 2023 from different parts of the world, with families all geared up to travel to countries in the Caucasian region, and neighbouring ones like Oman and Saudi Arabia, to celebrate the last night of the year.

Deepak Dunani, marketing manager at Konica Minolta, is travelling with his wife and a few friends to Georgia this New Year. “We were supposed to travel during the Christmas vacation, but due to heavy rush and [a prior] engagement, we couldn’t. Now, we have all our travel sorted,” said Dunani.

Dunani is a travel enthusiast, and takes a trip three times a year. “We travel on my birthday, my wife’s birthday, and at the end of the year – and this year it happened to be New Year’s Eve. We have heard a lot about Azerbaijan, but haven’t been there. And I have heard from my friends that Baku is a place to be to welcome the New Year."

Photo: Deepak Dunani
Photo: Deepak Dunani

Dunani purchased a package for Dh2,200 that was inclusive of everything. “We booked our package from Rooh Travel and Tourism, and it includes flights, accommodation, sightseeing, and much more,” he said.

But for Filipina Honey Lenn, this is the first time she is travelling for New Year's Eve since 2016. Lenn will be visiting Georgia on December 30 with her colleagues. “This is my first New Year trip, and we will make a point to travel every New Year now,” said Lenn.

Photo: Honey Lenn
Photo: Honey Lenn

“We had been making plans for the last four years, but due to the pandemic, it was not possible to travel.”

Lenn is very excited, and has gathered a list of countries she wants to visit in the next two years. “I want to go to Europe, Middle Eastern countries, Japan, and China in the next two years - I also want to visit New Zealand to celebrate New Year's Eve.”

Many residents had also planned trips to Oman and Musandam, but they are now in a quandry due to the intense rain lashing the Arabian peninsula. “I recently received my residence visa, and all my friends planned a trip to Oman. We have even got our Oman visas and fine-tuned our travel plans. But due to the rain, it may not be possible, and we may have to cancel our travel plans,” said Fahim Ahmed, who has recently moved to Dubai.

Syed Aijaaz and his brother Syed Zeeshan are travelling to Mecca to kickstart the New year by performing Umrah. “We are flying on December 30. We will welcome the New Year with a spiritual touch, and will pray for the entire world to live in peace and harmony,” said the brothers.

The Indian expats will travel to their hometown for their spiritual journey before returning to the UAE.


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