Cost of New Year's Eve in UAE: From Dh12,000 to being free

Fireworks display at Al Majaz Waterfront to illuminate Sharjah Skies.- KT file photo
Fireworks display at Al Majaz Waterfront to illuminate Sharjah Skies.- KT file photo

Staying home and watching the fireworks from building's rooftop or balconies remains to be the best choice for a lot of UAE residents.

By Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 26 Dec 2018, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Dec 2018, 10:59 AM

How would you like to ring in the New Year ­- or rather, how much would you be willing to shell out for a last 2018 hurrah?
Some residents Khaleej Times spoke to were busy planning their celebrations, which range from heading to the best spot to see the fireworks around the Palm to intimate house parties. Others remained undecided, so we have scouted around for the best events happening in town and we have kept your budget concerns in mind.
The expensive
Go all out and book a Dh12,000 table for 12 at Dubai Opera, which is just a stone's throw away from the usual star of Dubai's New Year countdown, the Burj Khalifa.
"Guests will count down to midnight while being treated to fireworks and Dubai Fountain shows at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, with a reserved viewing area in the heart of the action," a Dubai Opera spokesperson said. There will also be live music and DJ performances.
For those who prefer to be at the iconic the Palm, fabulous events are coming up on that side of the emirate, too.
Enjoy the fireworks by the beach at Anantara, The Palm as The Beach House will be throwing a party from 8pm to 2am at Dh1,995 per person
Also, do not forget the ever-reliable gala dinner at Atlantis. This year, it starts at 7.30 pm and is priced at Dh 2,240 for 12 to 20-year-olds and Dh3,200 for 21-year-olds and above.
The Affordable
On a hunt for something out of the ordinary? La Perle - that aqua theatre which features a show produced by the Cirque du Soleil genius Franco Dragone - is a good option. Its mesmerising show is paired up with a dining package at one of the three restaurants in Al Habtoor City, just for the New Year.
"A total of 65 artists will perform breathtaking feats including diving, flying and even defying gravity on motorbikes. See the aqua-theatre come to life as projections, lighting, sound and special effects combine to create an out of this world performance that will immerse and amaze the audience," La Perle said. The event is priced at Dh788 for a gold ticket and a set meal.
Dusit Thani Dubai is organising a Street Carnival Dinner Party at the 24th floor on December 31, from 8:30pm to 12:30am. The experience costs Dh599 per person. But at half that carnival price, you can get a five-course dinner (Dh299) at Tribeca Restaurant in Dubai Marina.
Abu Dhabi's Shangri-La Hotel at Qaryat Al Beri, on the other hand, is serving a special buffet from 7:00pm onwards and it will feature flavours from all around the world at Dh730.
The Free
Who said a sparkly New Year's Eve breaks the bank? Celebrate for free. Staying home and watching the fireworks from your building's rooftop or your balcony remains to be the best choice for a lot of UAE residents.
Devika Nair, a mother-of-two living in JBR, said: "A few family friends will be coming over at 2pm on the 31st. In this way, everyone will beat the traffic and we can enjoy the JBR fireworks as a family."
Anees Mohammed, a Sharjah resident and accountant, has similar plans. "NYE traffic is always terrible. During the 2015 NYE, I spent the entire night in the car. I don't want to repeat that as I prefer spending a quiet night at home with my family."
Another way to be part of the festivities is to head to the Downtown area or the Burj Al Arab beach for free, front-row seats to watch the fireworks. Just make sure you get there early - really early.
Shop till you drop
Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) visitors can enjoy a host of events on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. From day-time shopping adventures to gala dinners and firework displays at night, visitors also have the opportunity to win Dh1 million.
Those visiting Al Barsha Mall, Al Bustan Centre, Al Mulla Plaza, City Centre Shindagha, City Centre Me'aisem, Burjuman Centre, Karama Centre, Oasis Mall, Dubai, Dubai Outlet Mall, Etihad Mall, Reef Mall, Times Square Centre and Century Mall have the chance to win a cash prize starting from Dh10,000 by spending over Dh200 on December 31.
KT's guide on the best spots to catch the fireworks
1-Burj Khalifa
>Grand fireworks are back by popular demand
>Catch water-music performances from The Dubai Fountain
>Special viewing platforms will be set up across Downtown Dubai and Burj Park
>The show will be broadcast live on television and beamed on big screen, and will be streamed online.
2-Burj Al Arab/ Madinat Jumeirah
>Best viewed from arious restaurants across the Madinat Jumeirah.
>Packages at these restaurants range from Dh495 to Dh 3,800.
3-Global Village
>A grand NYE celebration is coming up, featuring seven huge fireworks displays.
>The show will take place between 8pm and 1am
>Doors open at 4 pm, with the theme park staying open until the later time of 2 am.
>Tickets will remain at Dh15.
4-Al Seef
>A festival will be opened to all.
>Enjoy carnival rides, live music, a petting zoo and outdoor cinema
>You can shop at its new waterfront market, too.
5-The Beach, JBR
>The annual fireworks display remains a must-see.
>See it for free at a various spots at The Beach.
>Restaurant packages are also available.
6-Atlantis, The Palm
>Its iconic fireworks show comes at price of Dh1,100 to Dh 1,900
>But you can view it for free from various points at Jumeirah Beach.
>Take note of road closures after 8pm on December 31, though.
7-La Mer
>Enjoy the midnight fireworks show by the beach.
>Restaurants here will be offering good deals, too.
8-Dubai Festival City
>Four fireworks displays will be taking place here.
>Free entertainment shows start at 7:00pm
>Festival Bay will then light up at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm plus a grand finale.
Abu Dhabi
9-Al Maryah Island
>A turnout of 12,000 is expected for 'The Capital Celebrates' event.
>Entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.
>Large screens will be in place so nobody misses the action.
10-Yas Island
>Watch the skies light up as you enjoy a feast in one of the venues on the island.
11-Emirates Palace
>Its private beach will be the site of a massive fireworks display.
>Enjoy drinks and bites at the Palace Terrace, At Dh2,762 for adults.
12-Al Majaz Waterfront
>Brace for a 10-minute-long fireworks display.
>Sharjah Fountain shows will be complemented with a spectacle of lights and colours, after the countdown.
>Be there by 8:30pm - or earlier - to avoid the traffic rush.
Ras Al Khaimah
13-Marjan Island
>A 12-minute fireworks display will light up the island.
>A host of family-oriented activities will be held, too.
>Three additional viewing areas will be set up on Al Marjan Island and Al Hamra Village
Tips to ensure you have a worry-free NYE
>For Dubai Mall, get to the Dubai Fountain area well ahead of time to grab the best views
>Carry blankets, water bottles, and snacks to survive the wait
>Given that there are road closures towards Atlantis, leave home at 5.30pm for the best views. The eastern crescent of Palm Jumeirah is a great spot to view the Burj Al Arab fireworks.
>Wear comfortable shoes as revellers can prepare themselves to walk several miles to gain access to public transport facilities

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