Look, who's bracing for NY bash

Sajila Saseendran/Dubai
Filed on December 26, 2015 | Last updated on December 26, 2015 at 10.24 am
Look, whos bracing for NY bash

Radhamani and grandson
(Supplied photo)

Edgar Tomagan, 60 and his wife Alicia, 59, from the Philippines are visiting their son and daughter in Dubai.

The countdown to a brand-new year has begun in right earnest, and the UAE - which doesn't believe in holding back its punches - is gearing up to welcome 2016 with big-ticket bonanzas and night-long soirees.

The overall festivities, however, may be a tad too fast for those who are getting on in years. Or so you would imagine. Surprisingly - or, perhaps, unsurprisingly, given the country's infectious spirit - the older folks have set their own enthusiastic agendas for New Year's Eve. No sitting at home, watching television or reading a book - or even a quiet dinner - for many of them.

Sixty-seven-year-old Radhamani, an Indian grandmom, caught the first flight of her life earlier this month - along with her younger sister Latha Rajan - to spend the festive season with her son's family in Sharjah. Radhamani, who's already made trips to Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai Mall and Eye of the Emirate in Al Qasba so far, is now looking forward to watching the marvellous New Year fireworks in the Burj Khalifa.

"My son said we will go to a relative's house in Al Quoz and watch it from there as it will be too crowded near the Burj Khalifa," said Radhamani excitedly as she headed off to Global Village.

For Paddy McAteer, who's visiting his daughter and granddaughter in Dubai, this is his third Christmas in the emirate. He visits around this time of the year to get away from the freezing cold in Northern Ireland, "The weather here is brilliant," he said. His New Year plans are "to relax".

He said: "We'll spend it at home, with family and food, and then watch the fireworks. They're just fantastic!"

Edgar Tomagan, 60 and his wife Alicia, 59, from the Philippines are visiting their son and daughter in Dubai.

"My daughter lives with my son's family in Deira. He has been here for 11 years and wanted to bring us over for a visit here for a long time...But finally we managed to make it only this festive season," said Edgar who works as a supervisor with a building maintenance company back home.

Having spent some memorable days and a great Christmas with his children and grandchildren, the couple is gearing up to welcoming the New Year with the family. "We will probably go out for a simple dinner on New Year's Eve... and then watch the Burj Khalifa fireworks from Zabeel Park," said Edgar.

Emirati national Ismail Ahmed, 60, said though New Year celebrations are not part of traditional Emirati culture, UAE nationals share the joy with the rest of the world on this day, and enjoy the celebrations in every nook and corner of the seven emirates - especially the fireworks. "Some families and friends, whose houses overlook spots where fireworks are set off - like Burj Khalifa or Burj Al Arab - gather to watch the displays while simultaneously enjoying a special dinner or a barbeque," he said.

He'll be part of one such gathering. Other places where elderly Emiratis have a good time and feel the spirit of New Year's Eve, he added, include the City Walk.

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