New Year's Eve in UAE: Residents spend more than Dh25,000 to watch fireworks from yacht

Yachts offer luxurious amenities like well-appointed salons, entertainment systems, gourmet dining, and comfortable cabins


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 25 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 30 Dec 2023, 4:25 PM

Revellers in the UAE are preparing to ring in the New Year in luxury. Partygoers are ready to spend upwards of Dh25,000 for a two to six-hour scenic voyage on the waters of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ras Al Khaimah to enjoy the fireworks display.

Yacht charter fleet operators in the country explain that they have observed a noticeable surge in their bookings, particularly as the last week of the year commences.

Dubai's world-famous New Year celebrations boost demand for yachts, which offer privacy and stunning views of the city’s skyline and the Arabian Gulf. They appeal to both locals and tourists, showcasing Dubai's luxurious lifestyle.

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Simon Wickham, Managing Director, Sky Walker Yachts said, “Typically in Dubai, you see a big influx of inquiries in the last seven days. If one were to charter a yacht in Dubai on a normal day, it would probably cost around Dh1,000. So, for five or six hours one would pay Dh6,000. But on New Year's Eve, because it's such a special time, the packages start from Dh25,000 for the charter, which starts from 8pm, with guests typically returning at 1am or 2am.”

These yachts include a professional captain and crew, and adhere to Dubai's strict maritime regulations. Experienced captains and a hospitality-trained crew further enhance the luxury yachting experience.

“On occasions like [New Year's Eve], it feels like a special event and people pay a premium to go out and watch the fireworks - significantly more than they would on an average day,” he added.

These yachts provide a scenic trip for guests cruising past Dubai landmarks like Atlantis The Palm and Burj Al Arab. For longer experiences, full-day or multi-day charters are offered to destinations like the World Islands.

Charters start from Dubai Marina or Dubai Harbour with customisable itineraries for a unique experience.

Amit Patel, Managing Director, Xclusive Yacht said, “As the New Year approaches, we are experiencing a notable increase in demand, aligning with the season's festive and luxurious spirit. Our fleet has grown to almost 100 vessels. With high demand around New Year's, most of our fleet is booked in advance.

Amit Patel
Amit Patel

“Our yachts accommodate various group sizes, from 10-20 guests on smaller yachts to 100-200 on larger vessels, adhering to safety standards.”

Surge up to 20%

“This year, our bookings have significantly increased, showing about a 15-20 per cent growth from last year. This is due to a clientele that values unique yacht charter experiences,” he added.

Teams customise every detail, from décor to entertainment, to meet the discerning clientele's standards. Yachts offer luxurious amenities like well-appointed salons, entertainment systems, gourmet dining, and comfortable cabins.

Some yachts have Jacuzzis, bars, sun decks, and water sports equipment. Tailored services include onboard chefs, live cooking stations, barbecue facilities as well as customised entertainment.

Bashar Mihyar, Marketing Director at The Captain’s Club said, “As we approach New Year’s Eve, bookings have increased. [Almost] all our boats are booked out. This starts happening from the beginning of December because guests want to ensure that everything is in place as they inch closer to December 31.”

Guests operate boats themselves

Captain’s Club, which operates from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah, has over 150 boats in six different categories under its banner.

Unlike the others, the concept behind this club is for members to personally operate the boats they use. Instead of purchasing or renting boats, members hold an annual membership by paying Dh1,400 per month which allows them to captain the boats themselves.

The fleet includes wakeboarding, cabin cruisers, pontoon, speed, and fishing boats.

“If the boat commences from Abu Dhabi, a lot of people prefer going around the Corniche or Yas Island area to watch the fireworks shows that happen there. After that, they go to an island or stay on the yacht and enjoy their time. If it is in Dubai and RAK, the guests stay on the yacht itself,” added Mihyar.



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