NYE in Dubai: Downtown area restaurants ready to entertain

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KT Photo: Shihab
KT Photo: Shihab

Dubai - It is the first New Year where social distance needs to be followed to view the spectacular fireworks

By Zubina Ahmed

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Published: Wed 30 Dec 2020, 5:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Dec 2020, 5:22 PM

As people across the world gear up to bid 2020 goodbye and usher in 2021, Downtown Dubai is preparing for a super spectacle this New Year's Eve. With the Burj Khalifa all decked up to set off its stunning NYE fireworks and laser show at the stroke of midnight, master developer Emaar has preparations in full swing for the upcoming celebrations.

It is also the first New Year where social distance needs to be followed to view the spectacular fireworks. KT took a quick tour to see what preparations are underway in what may well be the busiest area of Dubai, come Thursday.

Emaar has installed various checkpoints and command centres around the boulevard area to cater to emergencies like lost and found, first aid and plaza support. Access to Downtown Dubai for all residents and visitors will be through a pre-registration process on the ‘U By Emaar’ app. After successfully registering, guests will receive individual QR codes which can be used to gain access to Downtown Dubai on December 31.

The public viewing area is the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, where all important social distancing rules will apply. The entire area has yellow, square-marked areas, where one person will be allowed to stand per square to view the fireworks. Several health and safety measures have also been put in place, including thermal cameras, social distancing, contactless payments, and frequent deep cleaning and disinfection, in line with Dubai Government guidelines and directives.

Also read: NYE fireworks at Dubai's Burj Khalifa: How you can get access to Downtown

Restaurants and hotels on the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Opera and The Dubai Mall Promenade are also gearing up to ring in the new year with food, drinks, shisha and live music. All reservations for F&B venues must be done via the ‘U By Emaar’ app. This applies to all those who already have restaurant bookings as well.

Hussein Jaafar, General Manager of Beirut Khanum, said, “We have a set menu at this restaurant with different packages, starting from Dh650 person, including food, shisha and beverages. We also have a DJ in the house for live entertainment. The advantage of this area is it has the best views of the Burj fireworks, so all restaurants in the Downtown area are doing their best to make it an enjoyable evening for people, both before and after the fireworks. We are expecting it to be a busy day starting from early evening to post midnight. Most people will start coming to the boulevard area as early as they can to avoid the traffic and road rush too."

Sera Rghei, owner of TJ Bakery and Deli in Downtown, said, “We specialise in Turkish cuisine and are preparing for all our pre-bookings on New Year’s Eve. We have the advantage of having a stunning view of the Burj Khalifa fireworks as well for our outdoor seatings. Besides the evening, we are also preparing a special morning breakfast for January 1 with special Turkish tea and pastries.

Samhar Adra, manager of Karamna Alkhaleej, another Lebanese restaurant in the area, echoed, “We have the best advantage of the location as our guests can easily walk to the Souk Al Bahar entrance from where they can see the full view of the Burj Khalifa. This year, there are some changes with the bookings. Usually, the guests have a gate pass to get the reservation. This year, Emaar decided to have it online, so we got more reservations through their website. After the fireworks too, a lot of walk-in guests come here. So, we are well-prepared for that rush also."

Kawatar, a Dubai resident who stays in close proximity to the Burj Khalifa said, “My plan for NYE is to spend time with my son. I live in front of Dubai Mall, so I usually come out with my camera every year. We celebrate it there with neighbours, having fun and capturing the best photos of the Burj Khalifa fireworks."

For those opting to stay home, Emaar will be broadcasting the event live globally, on Zoom and on mydubainewyear.com. The event will be live from 8.30 pm on December 31, 2020.

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