NYE in the UAE: Family-friendly ways to ring in 2017

If you would rather opt for a fun time with the family and friends on New Year’s Eve, here are a few ways to celebrate.

The spectacular fireworks over Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. Marwan Naamani / AFP
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If you would rather opt for a fun time with the family and friends on New Year’s Eve, here are a few ways to celebrate.

The Fireworks

Always a family favourite, there are several good vantage points to catch the grand display. If your balcony doesn’t give you a decent view, try one of the community gathering spots to watch the spectacle with family and friends. The displays start at midnight.

Emirates Palace is set to have another dazzling display from the beach, while the air will be lit up at the other end of the island at Khor Al Maqta.

The Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival in Al Wathba will also have its own fireworks.

In Dubai, Atlantis, The Palm is always a popular place to ring in the New Year, with an awe-inspiring show of fireworks. The Burj Al Arab will also have a display, which can be viewed from along the Jumeirah strip. And then there is the king of all firework displays, at Burj Khalifa. Downtown Dubai and Business Bay are great viewing points to see the spectacle.

Fun and games

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has been dressed up in white to celebrate the festive season and the Yas Winterland Festival has a host of family-friendly activities running until January 7, from 11am until 8pm. The line-up includes Bjorn the Polar Bear show, an ice-skating performance and a gigantic snow slide. There is even a Snow Zone with real snow falling every hour. For more details, visit www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com

Al Maryah Island is once again one of the best family destinations for New Year’s Eve. Organisers promise “Oxford Street-style” promenade lighting as the strip transforms into a centre of entertainment, with a range of musical performances and dining options.

This year’s fiesta has a winter theme with an ice rink, snow park, ice slides and snow globes.

The fun culminates with the fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. For more details, check out


The Yas Winterland Carnival is du Forum’s family-friendly NYE bash. Running from 4pm until midnight, families can take part in snowball fights, snowman-making competitions and fill up on festive goodies from food stalls. At midnight, watch the 10-minute fireworks display at Yas South. For more information, go to www.duforum.ae

In Dubai, Wild Wadi Waterpark is gearing up for its own New Year celebrations, starting at 9pm on Saturday. Take in a front-row view of the fireworks while enjoying the Burj Surj, Jumeirah Sceirah, Tantrum Alley and Wipeout rides. You can also grab munchies at Julshan’s Burgers and Dogs and at Juha’s Family Kitchen. Tickets cost Dh250 for adults and Dh175 for children under 13.