New Year in Dubai: Residents stay put, enjoy socially distanced parties

People feel safe and comfortable in Dubai, having easy access to all the possible services at any time of the day



A picture taken on December 31, 2021 shows fireworks erupting  in front of Ain Dubai (the Dubai Eye -- the world’s largest and tallest observation wheel) as part of the New Year's festivities in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. (Photo: AFP)
A picture taken on December 31, 2021 shows fireworks erupting in front of Ain Dubai (the Dubai Eye -- the world’s largest and tallest observation wheel) as part of the New Year's festivities in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. (Photo: AFP)
by

Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Sat 1 Jan 2022, 12:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 1 Jan 2022, 1:11 AM

For residents, Dubai was the safest place to welcome 2022 amid the pandemic — so they stayed put and opted not to fly abroad.

As the night sky sparkled to life, they looked up with optimism and hope.

Families, friends and couples from different cultures dressed up in fancy costumes as they rang in the New Year at Ain Dubai, the latest popular destination that opened in October on Bluewaters Island.

While some gathered at dinner tables in restaurants and watched the celebrations from afar, crowds moved through the night to top DJ tunes and fireworks that coloured the skies. It was a safe, socially distanced party, with a view of the world’s tallest observation wheel.

“I am in awe of how efficient the management is across the UAE. People feel safe and comfortable in Dubai, having easy access to all the possible services at any time of the day,” said 56-year-old Meisa Ataya from Lebanon. She’s marking 2022 with her daughter and grandchildren who have been longtime residents of the emirate.

“Dubai sets an example of uniting people from all over the world in harmony, commitment and dedication to overcome this crisis, yet provides a space for everyone to celebrate with their families,” Ataya said.

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Another resident, Mariam Aggad, added: “There’s nothing we cannot get here in Dubai, which is why I didn’t look to celebrate New Year’s Eve anywhere else.”

South African healthcare worker Samantha Pillay and her colleague drove all the way from Abu Dhabi to join the party at Ain Dubai.

“It’s an event in the works for 365 days and not to miss. The New Year’s Eve celebrations bring people together from different cultures all over the world in a spectacular, yet safe, extragavanza,” said Pillay, who works in maternity care at Abu Dhabi’s Danat Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Being a frontliner who once took care of Covid patients, the expat urged the public to keep their guard up. “The four golden rules of getting over the pandemic are: wearing masks, keeping a safe distance, sanitising and getting a booster shot,” she said.

sherouk@khaleejtimes.com


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