Dubai rings in New Year with awe-inspiring fireworks and overflowing tourists

Hotels overlooking the iconic Burj Khalifa boast a staggering 100 per cent occupancy

By WAM

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Fireworks at Dubai's Global Village to celebrate the new year in Thailand. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad
Fireworks at Dubai's Global Village to celebrate the new year in Thailand. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Sun 31 Dec 2023, 10:39 PM

As the clock strikes midnight tonight, Dubai will erupt in a kaleidoscope of light and excitement, marking the arrival of 2024 with a vigor unrivaled by any other. This year, the emirate's New Year's Eve celebration takes on a special significance, pulsating with an infectious energy fueled by record-breaking tourism and a palpable economic surge.

The crown jewel of this festive frenzy lies in the heart of Dubai, where hotels overlooking the iconic Burj Khalifa boast a staggering 100 per cent occupancy. Every room with a view of the world's tallest building has been snapped up by eager celebrants, testament to the unparalleled allure of witnessing the Burj Khalifa's annual fireworks extravaganza.

But the magic extends far beyond the waterfront. Throughout the city, hotels report occupancy rates soaring above 90 per cent, with every corner buzzing with the arrival of international tourists. From families seeking festive fun to thrill-seeking adventurers, Dubai has become a magnet for global revelers, drawn by its promise of an unforgettable New Year's Eve experience.

This influx of visitors translates into a vibrant economic heartbeat. Commercial centres thrum with activity, their aisles teeming with shoppers enticed by exclusive discounts and the irresistible spirit of the Dubai Shopping Festival. Restaurants overflow with joyful laughter and clinking glasses, while entertainment venues pulsate with music and merriment, catering to every taste and age group.

High above the revelry, Dubai International Airport hums with the symphony of departure and arrival. Soaring passenger numbers paint a picture of a city eagerly welcoming the world, ready to paint the night sky with a spectacle of light and wonder.

During the peak holiday season, Dubai Airport sees a notable increase in passenger numbers, with an anticipated 4.4 million passengers from December 15 to the 31 and a daily average traffic of 258,000 passengers.

On New Year's Eve, Dubai hosts fireworks displays at 32 locations, notably including the Burj Khalifa area, The Beach and Bluewaters, Palm Jumeirah, Kite Beach, and others.

The Roads and Transport Authority announced special offers and distinctive services for the public to enjoy New Year's Eve events via maritime transport, including the Dubai Ferry, Abra, and Water Taxi, to witness the moments of celebration along Dubai's waterfront.

The Global Village, one of the most important cultural parks globally and the leading family destination for culture, entertainment, and shopping in the region, invites guests and visitors from all around the world to join its New Year celebrations. The occasion will be marked seven times during the New Year's Eve night within immersive atmospheres filled with exceptional experiences.

The visitors will witness stunning fireworks displays every hour starting from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. following midnight. The people can explore over 90 cultures from around the world, enjoy unique shopping experiences across more than 3,500 retail outlets, indulge in over 250 diverse dining options, and witness artistic performances by artists from over 40 countries. Additionally, there are 195 thrilling rides, games, and a variety of entertainment destinations to experience.

The Global Village opens its doors at 4 p.m., extending its operating hours until 1 a.m. until December 30th, and until 2 a.m. on Sunday, December 31st, 2023. However, entry on Sunday, December 31st, is restricted exclusively to women and families.

Riverland Dubai offers its visitors the opportunity to witness fireworks along the riverbanks and laser shows decorating the sky.

Hosni A.Hadi, CEO of Carlton Hotels, mentioned that occupancy rates reached 100 percent in the three Dubai hotels two days before New Year's Eve. Reservations for this night had surpassed 90 percent more than two weeks ago, highlighting the extremely strong demand, as usual, in Dubai, especially on this day each year.

He pointed out that several factors contribute to hotels reaching 100 percent occupancy, with location being paramount, whether it's waterfront properties or those situated and overlooking famous landmarks in Dubai like hotels with views of the Burj Khalifa. Additionally, the significant impact of promotions, pre-marketing activities, and other elements play a substantial role.

He said that Carlton in Dubai has three hotels situated in vibrant and distinctive tourist areas. Two of the hotels overlook Dubai Creek, while the third hotel is located on Sheikh Zayed Road, offering views of the Burj Khalifa.

Regarding the nature of the bookings, he indicated that about 70 percent are from international guests, compared to approximately 30 perecnt from residents within the country, noting that the majority of international bookings are made well in advance.

On the other hand, Mohamed Awadalla, Chief Executive Officer of the Time Hotels group, stated, "New Year's Eve is the most crowded night for hotels, and this year, as usual, witnesses significant demand for hotel rooms, elevating occupancy rates to levels surpassing 90 percent in general and reaching 100 percent for some hotels."

He explained that achieving full occupancy for Dubai hotels primarily depends on location, outlining three main types of hotels in this regard: waterfront hotels, hotels overlooking key tourist spots specifically like the Burj Khalifa, and hotels close to metro stations.

He indicated that this trend applies to the group's hotels, as the occupancy rate reached 100% in two hotels close to one of the largest malls and a metro station simultaneously, while the rates ranged between 75 and 80% in two other hotels.

Nisreen Boustani, PR and Corporate Communication Manager at Mercato & Town Centre Jumeirah, Nasrin Bastani, Corporate Communications Director at Mercato Shopping Mall and Town Centre Jumeirah, highlighted the significant economic impact of the holiday season and New Year's celebrations in Dubai.

She noted a more than 50 percent increase in visitor numbers to shopping centres and around 35% sales growth for stores. Additionally, she emphasised that entertainment events organized during this period, along with the Dubai Shopping Festival, make the centres attractive destinations for diverse community segments, particularly families.

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