Make your festive season merrier by reserving a spot at one of the UAE’s New Year’s Eve bashes if you haven’t already.
From the quintessential masquerade and Great Gatsby-themed galas, to dance parties with sets by famous bands and DJs, dinner tables with curated menus and even one soiree that'll take place in a library of sorts, here are some interesting options that are still available to book for December 31.
In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, La Petite Maison will host a Tous Celebres Ici (Everyone's Famous Here) bash, inspired by the glamour of the Cannes after-parties. The venues – at The Galleria and Dubai International Financial Centre – will be made red-carpet-ready with a DJ spinning tunes until 3am. The a la carte menu will feature LPM favourites – from oysters and foie gras terrine to black truffle tartlets, caviar, escargots and whole roasted duck – with a minimum spend of Dh1,500 in Dubai, and between Dh650 and Dh850 in Abu Dhabi. The latter charge includes a table on the terrace with views of the fireworks on Al Maryah Island. The kitchen will be open from 7pm until 12.30am and the bar will be open until 3am. Call 02 692 9600 or 04 439 0505 for reservations.
In the capital, fireworks are also in the offing on Saadiyat Island, and you can enjoy the display from a glitzy Great Gatsby-themed party at the Regal Ballroom in The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. From ornate chandeliers and a 10-piece live band to an international menu with a carving station and iced seafood bar, the black-tie gala is a fine opportunity to put on your shiniest shoes and dazzling jewels. The evening is priced at Dh1,950 and starts from 8pm.
Also within the resort and with views of the fireworks, Buddha-Bar Beach offers night-long entertainment in the form of go-go dancers, and a jam session by resident DJ Bambina and saxophonist Milan. Once the clock strikes midnight, guest DJ Sam Popat, from Buddha-Bar Paris, will take over until the small hours. Guests can choose from three packages: Dh600 for unlimited beverages; Dh800 for a round of canapes and beverages, or Dh1,000 for beverages and a four-course Pan Asian meal. Call 02 498 8888.
Jazz-lovers can head to Ingredients at Anantara Eastern Mangroves for a live performance by Parisian band Swing Deluxe, which will play French and American jazz alongside classics from the 1930s to the 1950s. Packages start from Dh425 and go up to Dh725 per person, and include a buffet dinner with a tapas counter, fish, beef, salad and cheese stations, Japanese fare and a Thai corner from 8pm to 11.30pm, and an after-party at the Pool Deck until 3am. Call 02 656 1000.
Dubai, meanwhile, has its own share of themed and costume parties, including a Glow-in-the-Dark bash at Tribeca. The New York-influenced, wall-art-filled restobar at JA Ocean View Hotel in JBR will be transformed with UV lights and other gleaming props, with a dress code that simply states sparkle and shine. The venue will offer a range of packages, including Brooklyn Lite (Dh299 for canapes until midnight and an open bar until 1am); Manhattan Lite (Dh499 for canapes until midnight and an open bar until 4am); Brooklyn (Dh549 for a five-course dinner and open bar until 1am); Manhattan (Dh749 for a five-course dinner and open bar until 4am); and one for latecomers (Dh199 for an open bar from 12.30am to 4am). Call 050 345 6067.
Over at the Fairmont Dubai, House Party Dubai and Cirque Le Soir are joining forces for an upside-down Home Alone-themed party, called Trashed. According to the team: "The rules are there are no rules. You can jump on the bed, party in the bath and dance on the sofa." The conjoined venues will also offer its guests arcade games, live performances and circus acts, and music from the 1990s to more recent commercial tunes. Doors will be open from 7pm to 4am, while Dh300 will get you unlimited beverages between 8pm and 1am. Call 050 995 5400.
At the same venue, Cavalli Club is making the most of its constellation-inspired chandeliers to host Skydance, a space-themed party with spaceships and starry props. The spot will offer a four-course set menu in the restaurant area for Dh1,650 with unlimited beverages, while club tickets cost Dh900 for women and Dh1,100 for men with an open bar until 3am. Call 04 332 9260.
If good food is what you're after this year, head to Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera, which is hosting a 1970s Roller Disco dinner (skates are optional), with a menu that features line-caught French sea bass with Scottish scallops and carabineros red prawns, king crab linguini with Amstur royal caviar, mushrooms with buffalo ricotta gnocchi and alba truffles, lemon tart a la marco, hazelnut semi freddo with popped corn and salted caramel, and an artic roll with strawberry soup. Prices start from Dh1,500 for indoor seating and Dh2,000 for outdoor seating with views of the Burj Khalifa fireworks. Call 04 362 7312.
A delicious meal is also to be had at Maison Assouline, in one of the most intriguing parties this year. As its name suggests, Dinner in the Library will be served amid the glossy tomes and literary objets d'art housed in the concept store in The Dubai Mall, which is designed to resemble a luxurious library. The four-course menu begins with truffle hummus served with crispy flatbread, veal rolls with yellow fin tuna mousse, caviar blinis, quail eggs and salmon roe. The main course includes sea bass with tomato and olive, and marrowbone and saffron risotto, while dessert is a sacher tart. Call 04 438 4546.
For a more Arabian flavour, check out Seven Sands for an Emirati menu, plus Arabic singers Amjad Suleiman Nouman and Abdulghani Ahmaf Kallah, belly dancers and views of the fireworks at The Beach in JBR. The six-course meal costs Dh399 for a selection of meze, canapes; mains such as chicken mashwai and aishu lahem; and date pudding and aseeda bobar for dessert; plus shisha for an additional Dh150. Call 04 551 6652.