There’s hardly any time left until the dawn of the new year, and while December 31 can bring with it bundles of anxieties we bring you a guide on last-minute celebration options.
Internationally renowned DJ David Guetta is back in Dubai for New Year's Eve, and will be spinning sets at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Regular tickets cost Dh495 and VIP tickets cost Dh750, and are available at www.platinumlist.net and tickets.virginmegastore.me.
Luciano and Davide Squillace
"Spirit Odyssey" is set to take place with DJs Luciano and Davide Squillace, at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Dubai. Tickets cost from Dh650 for women and Dh850 for men, and are available at www.platinumlist.net and tickets.virginmegastore.me.
Marky Mark and Maplejacks
The Irish Village in Dubai will be hosting a huge NYE bash with both DJ Marky Mark and Dubai band Maplejacks playing live throughout the night. Tickets cost Dh200, and are available at www.platinumlist.net, www.tixbox.com and tickets.virginmegastore.me.
HOTEL OFFERS AND PARTIES
Save the hassle of having your own party by taking your crew to a hotel-hosted bash. These events promise plenty of food and drinks, and if you’re lucky, great music, beach access and prime views of the fireworks. Here’s a round-up of some hotels to consider in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
B-Lounge at Sheraton Abu Dhabi
This outdoor lounge combines a great setting under the stars with live music from a UK party band. Eat dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants on New Year's Eve for free entry to the beachside party, or pay from Dh130 for admission, which includes a free beverage at midnight. Call 03 677 3333 or visit www.sheratonabudhabihotel.com. Aquarium New Year's Party at Yas Marina
Enjoy incomparable views of the Yas Marina from the Aquarium terrace. As the DJ spins tracks, enjoy a set menu with a variety of packages. Prices start from Dh499; call 02 565 0007.
Giornotte at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
Feast on a lavish Italian dinner at Giornotte and afterwards get a grand view of fireworks and complimentary access to the NYE after-party. As an added bonus, if you have little ones, drop them at the Ritz Kids overnight beach camp. The accommodation, dinner and entertainment package costs from Dh3,550 and overnight kids' camp prices start from Dh550 per child. Call 02 818 8181 or email email@example.com.
Urban Kitchen at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
Enjoy a New Year's-themed buffet dinner, including roast loin of venison and beef Wellington, and live entertainment all night. There's also a play area where you can leave your little ones. Prices start from Dh349. Call 02 698 8137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Origins at Yas Viceroy
Enjoy a meal at Origins, and afterwards visit the hotel lobby, which is being converted into a massive dance floor with tunes played by a resident DJ. While fireworks are blasting outside, a confetti canon will boom at midnight. Prices start from Dh850; call 04 278 4907.
Cabana gala at the Address Dubai Mall
For a great view of the Burj Khalifa fireworks, an upbeat lounge setting and a mouth-watering menu with sushi, live station grills and a crêpe station, head to the Cabana Gala Dinner. Entry costs Dh2,350 per person, or Dh17,000 for a VIP cabana that seats eight. Call 04 888 3444 or visit www.myfestivedubai.com.
007 New Year’s Eve Ball at Vii Dubai
This party shouldn’t disappoint, especially with the dress code listed as “dress to kill”, and the promise of secret agents and mystery spies scattered throughout the garden area, which extends from the terrace and lounge to the Vii club, located on the 7th floor of the Conrad Hotel. Prices start from Dh600 for women and Dh800 for men; call 050 169 6777.
Estrellas Skyline lounge at Meliá Dubai
Dress in your most glamorous attire, and head to the Estrellas Skyline lounge for a rooftop party with a spectacular view of the fireworks at midnight. Nibble on canapés, feast at the buffet and dance away the rest of the night. Entry starts from Dh300 per couple, and table reservations start from Dh3,000. Call 04 386 8111 or email email@example.com.
El Sur at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi
Feast on a four-course set menu at contemporary Spanish restaurant El Sur. Food stations will serve cheese selections, tapas and classics such as sea bass ceviche, seafood paella and lamb shoulder with roasted potatoes, followed by some mouth-watering desserts. Prices start from Dh995; call 04 399 7700.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
Usher in the New Year at the hotel's "winter stellar soirée" taking place at the Asateer tent. The night will include a 30-piece band and unparalleled views of the fireworks. Prices start at Dh1,750 for ages 12 to 20, and Dh2,500 for adults. Call 04 426 2626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to take a break from the busy inner-city hotels, an overnight desert stay or boat trip could make for a memorable experience.
Arrange a private charter, and ring in 2016 on a traditional gullet out to sea from the Yas Marina. A minimum of 27 people is required, with a Dh1,000 fee per person; call 050 600 8113.
Arabian Nights Village
If you have visitors, this would be a great night to treat them to a top-notch tourist experience with an NYE twist. Proclaimed to be the UAE’s only “glamping” resort, Arabian Nights Village offers guests an overnight desert-safari trip with accommodation in Arabian-style tents. At 3pm on December 31, guests will be taken to the resort village, in Al Khatim desert, with a pit stop at a camel farm. A buffet dinner will be followed by European dance and belly-dance shows, a DJ and fireworks. The next day includes breakfast, dune bashing, camel riding and henna painting, or a dip in the pool. The gala dinner package is for Dh750 per adult and Dh350 per child under 12; overnight rooms start from Dh2,500; call 02 676 9990.
Don't fancy the above? Here's some DIY tips
If you’re not up to the concerts and hotel stays or parties this year, invite your family and friends over for a party at home. Here’s a checklist of things to do and traps to look out for.
• Keep a tight control on your guest list. Invite a group of your closest friends for a personal, intimate gathering. Remember, the more people you invite, the more mouths to feed, and the greater the clean-up duty will be.
• Have fun noisemakers on hand for when the clock strikes 12. Confetti party poppers also make fun, festive additions, though the messes they leave are quite a pain to clean up.
• Get the decor to match the date. Get NYE-themed paper plates and napkins from a party store, or blow up some balloons and scatter them around. Wrap some metallic party garlands around staircases or table legs, and don’t hesitate, if you have them, to reuse last year’s accessories. If you’ll be sitting outside, light up some Tiki torches or get your hands on some fairy lights for the garden.
• Have plenty of snacks laid out on the table, if not a main meal. If guests are coming during dinner time or shortly after, it could be a long wait until midnight, so prepare a range of options. If you’re hosting a last-minute party, keep the food simple to avoid pre-party stress. If you have time to prepare some home-made snacks, check out All in Good Taste, the newest book published by Kate Spade New York, which has some great tips and tricks for hosting, including recipes.
• Plan some NYE-themed games. Have everyone write out their New Year’s resolution, put them in a hat, and try to guess who wrote each one. Or play a few rounds of charades or Taboo.