After a rollercoaster 2020, the year is finally coming to an end. Given the events of the year, the countdown to New Year’s Eve seems more anticipated than usual. So, if you’re thinking of bidding farewell to 2020 in style, here’s a look at some of the best deals and parties in the UAE.
It's worth noting that as the celebrations fall on a Thursday this year, it’s bound to get busy – you might want to make those bookings early.
Under Dh500 per person
The gastropub is known for its laid-back atmosphere, and if you nab a table on its terrace, there are Burj Khalifa views to boot. The year-ender menu includes unlimited starters such as popcorn prawns, tuna tartare, beetroot carpaccio and chicken wings. For mains, choose between options including beef brisket tacos or blackened salmon with cauliflower and artichoke, and bring the meal to a close with desserts such as New York cheesecake, Distillery's ice cream sandwich, Eton mess and chocolate mousse.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-12.30am; Dh449, Dh949 for outdoor seating; Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai; 054 998 2003; firstname.lastname@example.org
This NYE, the relaxed Indian restaurant is offering a four-course set menu marrying Indian comfort food with international flavours. Those sitting outside can enjoy sharing platters with dishes including the Kerala shrimp biryani, black gram pachadi, mushroom pate, bun tikka, Parsi chicken curry and potato nest, topped off with mocktails and dessert plates such as saffron makkhan malai and nut crumble. Those sitting outdoors can soak up the bustling City Walk ambience while the Burj Views are an added bonus. There is an a la carte menu with no fixed price for those sitting indoors.
Thursday, December 31; Dh249 for outdoor seating; City Walk; 052 689 2012; farzicafe.ae
Want to eschew set menus and minimum spends altogether? The newly opened dine-in market at The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah is offering exactly that, in a bid to give back to the local community this year. The venue is set across two storeys at The Pointe, with 13 home-grown brands within, including Sticky Rice for spicy green curry and pad Thai, The Roost Rotisserie for quality rotisserie chicken, Bite Me Burger Co for the lambtastic or beef encounter burgers, and Dibba Bay for fresh local oysters. Guests can sample some international flavours in one location, support home-grown brands and not break the bank. The views of The Palm Fountain are an added plus.
Thursday, December 31; a la carte menu with no minimum spend; The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah; 052 509 4783; instagram.com/food.district.ae
Garden on 8
The no-fuss British venue offers expansive outdoor seating and sparkling views of Dubai Media City, the perfect location for those wanting to ring in the New Year in a relaxed manner. Tuck into classic comfort food from the meat station, pizza station and live barbecue counter as you count down to 2021.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-midnight; Dh399; Media One Hotel, Media City; 04 427 1000
Reform Social & Grill
This quintessential British hideaway offers all the perks of an open-air dinner with a lively ambience and classic comfort food. For New Year's Eve, raise a toast over a three-course meal with dishes such as grilled salmon, spiced roast lamb and spiced plum and blackberry crumble. There will be entertainment for the little ones and live music to usher in that celebratory mood.
Thursday, December 31; any three hours between 5pm and midnight; prices start at Dh375; The Lakes; 04 454 2638; reformsocialgrill.ae
The Tap House
For a beachfront destination with views of the Dubai skyline, head over to The Tap House. For New Year's Eve, the venue will be serving sharing hot and cold appetiser platters for guests, followed by mains including the Hokkaido scallops, wagyu short ribs, pan-seared duck breast and baked cod. Whether you sit directly on the beach or in the venue's lively outdoor seating, good views are guaranteed.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-midnight; Dh395 with soft drinks, Dh495 with house drinks; Club Vista Mare, The Palm; 04 514 3778
The rooftop destination in Grand Plaza Movenpick Media City offers great views of the Dubai Marina skyline (and even a glimpse of the Burj Al Arab in the distance). Take in the sparkling city skyline over signature tapas at its year-ender bash.
Thursday, December 31; 9pm-1am; prices start at Dh399 for indoor seating or the Sheikh Zayed Road terrace, Dh599 for The Palm terrace and house drinks; Grand Plaza Movenpick Media City; for reservations, WhatsApp 054 793 1425; email@example.com
Dh500 to Dh1,000 per person
Aprons & Hammers
For those looking to welcome the New Year with a seafood soiree, Aprons & Hammers is here to deliver. The laid-back restaurant has three beachfront venues across Dubai, including a newly opened one on Palm West Beach, with all offering a three-course menu. Guests can feast on dishes such as fresh scallop ceviche, a mixed seafood platter and grilled lobster, capping it off with a cookie skillet dessert.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-1am; prices start at Dh545; The Beach Mall, JBR, 04 456 7888; La Mer, Jumeirah 1, 04 388 8670; Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, 04 589 5444; apronsandhammers.com
The perfect place for those looking to usher in the New Year with Latin American flair and party vibes. The restaurant is located on the 72nd floor of the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, and features panoramic views of the city including the Burj Khalifa, guaranteeing firework views. Guests can tuck into everything from lobster to truffle-filled empanadas, and groove to the beats of resident Kio DJ as they usher in the new year.
Thursday, December 31; 9pm-1am; Dh799; JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Downtown Dubai; 045601799; hotelcartagena.ae
Level 43 Sky Lounge
It's located on, you guessed it, the 43rd floor of Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, giving guests some unbeatable views of the skyscrapers along the glittering highway. For New Year's Eve, the venue is offering guests the choice between vegetarian and non-vegetarian set menus as they take in the sparkling vistas. Some of the dishes to expect include the octopus carpaccio and beef tenderloin, and barley, chia and spinach cutlet. Apart from a dessert of raspberry and dark chocolate cake, there will be live music to sweeten the offering.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-2.30am; Dh800 per person; Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai; 056 414 2213; firstname.lastname@example.org
LPM Restaurant & Bar
The chic French restaurant is bidding farewell to 2021 with a circus-themed extravaganza. Guests are encouraged to dress up and there will be a DJ and decorations. There will also be special festive dishes including pan-fried foie gras and whole black leg chicken.
Thursday, December 31; 6pm until closing; a la carte menu, minimum spend of Dh980 per person; Gate Village 8, DIFC; 04 439 0505; email@example.com
The Meydan Hotel
The hotel is putting on a varied spread to make sure diners have a memorable end to 2020. From a seafood ice bar to a meat and poultry platter to tapas and live stations, there will be a lot to savour. Carve yourself some beef Wellington or try the caramelised pineapple dessert with vanilla ice cream as you take in the Burj Khalifa views in the distance.
Thursday, December 31; 7pm-1am; prices start at Dh550; Meydan Racecourse Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba; 04 381 3111; themeydanhotel.com/festive
Located on the 68th floor of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, a seat at Weslodge Saloon guarantees gorgeous views of the Burj Khalifa fireworks. The menu for New Year's Eve includes a mix of Canadian and classic festive plates, from scorched wagyu tataki to turkey with stuffing, while hip-hop and RnB beats spun live will keep everyone entertained. A vegetarian menu is available upon request.
Thursday, December 31; 9pm-1am; Dh799 with house beverages; JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Downtown Dubai; 04 560 1799; weslodge.ae
The Asian restaurant is hosting an all-you-can-eat celebration at its Downtown Dubai branch, located in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa. Gorge to your heart's content on grilled lemongrass prawn skewers, vegetable spring rolls and more before tucking into mains such as aromatic roast duck with steamed buns and coconut-braised prawns. There will also be unlimited Vietnamese coffee, tea, and desserts including Basque burnt cheesecake and matcha tiramisu to wrap up the "pho-nomenal" meal.
Thursday, December 31; 8.30pm-midnight; Dh560 indoors and Dh720 outdoors if you book before December 15, Dh699 indoors and Dh899 outdoors if you book after; ground loor, Burj Vista Residence, Tower 1, Downtown Avenue Dubai; 04 554 2090; vietnamesefoodies.com
Dh1,000 to Dh1,500
With floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace, there will be great firework views on offer at this Palm Jumeirah venue. Expect to dine on sharing-style Japanese street-food dishes, from tempura and sashimi to mains including the grilled sea bass and wagyu beef.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-12.15am; Dh1,200 for indoor seating, Dh1,500 for outdoor seating; Andaz Dubai – The Palm Jumeirah; 04 581 4037
Kyo Restaurant & Lounge
Japanese fine-dining restaurant Kyo is serving up a special set menu for New Year’s Eve. Guests will dine on appetisers such as the tuna avocado tiradito, salmon tataki sashimi, wakame, sushi platter and wakame soup, before moving on to main course offerings including citrus guajillo octopus and short rib teriyaki. For dessert, there’s a hazelnut sprit. All this, plus views of The Palm Fountains and Atlantis, The Palm's fireworks.
Observatory Bar & Grill
It's all in the name – the panoramic restaurant is located on the 52nd floor, giving guests some of the most spectacular views of the city. Depending on where you choose to sit, you can get views of the Palm Jumeirah or Dubai Marina, so sparkling sights are guaranteed as you dig into a curated six-course set menu.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-1am; prices start at Dh1,200; Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St, Dubai Marina, Dubai; 04 319 4000
The five-star hotel is celebrating the New Year with a 1001 Arabian Nights theme, complete with characters such as Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie making an appearance. Starting 7pm, guests will be welcomed with canapes and drinks on the Mosaico terrace, followed by dinner in the restaurant of their choice, from an international buffet at Giardino to an Italian five-course dinner at Vanitas. Following their meal, guests are invited to the after party at the Central Pool where beats by DJ Tim and a live band will keep them entertained, along with other 1001 Arabian Nights-themed surprises.
Thursday, December 31; 7pm-2am; prices start at Dh690 for dinner, the after-party by the Central Pool is an additional Dh699; Jaddaf Waterfront; 04 556 8805; firstname.lastname@example.org
For New Year's Eve, Sonara is throwing a Great Gatsby-style party complete with Broadway dancers, live musicians and a fire show. Furthermore, all of the camp's regular features, from the film under the stars experience for children to the camel ride, will also be on offer. Feast on a four-course menu with dishes such as pita puff with sun-dried tomatoes and basil, wagyu beef and miso served in a crispy cone, slow-cooked peppers and roasted farm chicken thigh as you start 2021 in true UAE fashion, surrounded by dunes.
Thursday, December 31; prices start at Dh1,200, excluding tax; Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve; nara.ae/sonara/book/nye
Dh1,500 and above
Those looking for something truly special can start the year within the world's tallest building. At.mosphere in the Burj Khalifa is hosting a luxe NYE bash that lasts seven hours and includes a nine-course menu, including everything from scallop ceviche to slow-cooked wagyu steak. There will also be premium drinks, live entertainment, and a special guest appearance from a Secret Parties magician adding to the magic.
Thursday, December 31; Dh3,000 per person, with a Dh300 deposit; Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai; secret-parties.com
Ce La Vi Dubai
Located on the 54th floor of Address Sky View Hotel, this fine-dining Singaporean restaurant easily stuns with its Burj Khalifa backdrop, visible from every angle. For New Year's Eve, guests can order executive chef Howard Ko's signature dishes, and listen to the soulful sounds of the resident DJ as they watch the Burj Khalifa light up at midnight.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-3am; a la carte ordering with Dh2,500 minimum spend per person; Address Sky View Hotel, Downtown Dubai; 04 582 6111
Those looking to end the year with French flair can visit this Instagram-worthy bistro and boulangerie which is having a Moulin Rouge dinner party for the occasion. There will be live performances throughout the evening by dancers, a violinist and a DJ. From the kitchen, highlights include grilled prawns, escargots de Bourgogne, frog legs with garlic and parsley, a raw selection of tuna, beef and smoked salmon tartare, followed by a middle course of lobster linguini, oxtail ravioli and confit duck stuffed cannelloni. For those with room for dessert, sweets from La Serre’s famed bakery await.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-midnight; prices start at Dh1,999; Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Downtown Dubai; 04 528 3779; email@example.com
Don your sharpest 007 look because pan-Asian restaurant and lounge Taikun Dubai is ringing in the New Year with a Goldfinger-themed New Year's Eve party, inspired by the James Bond adventure. There will be performances by dancers, singers and artists throughout the night, while guests enjoy a set menu with the restaurant's signature dishes including sushi, black cod miso, spicy marinated lamb chops and black pepper beef with shiitake mushrooms. There's indoor and outdoor seating, with the garden area giving diners views of the Burj Khalifa in all its glory.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-midnight; Dh1,999; Vida Downtown, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai; 04 528 3780, taikundubai.com
The rooftop lounge at Taj Dubai offers picture-perfect views of the Burj Khalifa from a lush green space that's designed to transport guests far away from the bustling city life. Other than the unlimited grills and platters of fresh oysters, guests can expect drinks that pair with the food and beats by resident DJ Taylor to keep them company as they ring in the new year.
Thursday, December 31; 8pm-1am; prices start at Dh1,750; Taj Dubai, Downtown Dubai; 04 438 3134; firstname.lastname@example.org