Abu Dhabi residents are being urged to keep safety in mind when they ring in the New Year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on daily lives throughout 2020 – from the widespread use of face masks and the adoption of social distancing, to the rise of remote working and learning.
The final day of a turbulent 12 months will be no different.
While New Year's Eve traditionally involves thousands packing streets or gathering at homes, Covid-19 safety precautions will affect how people celebrate the occasion.
Last week, Dubai confirmed that private gatherings of up to 30 people would be permitted at homes and tents on New Year's Eve.
But what are the rules for Abu Dhabi?
Strict safety measures remain in place in the capital
Abu Dhabi Police confirmed to The National that private gatherings of up to ten people are allowed in line with Covid-19 regulations.
A fine of Dh10,000 will be imposed on anyone who hosts, invites or organises social gatherings, meetings, private and public celebrations that exceed this number.
Participants also face fines of Dh5,000 each.
Abu Dhabi Police also cautioned against antisocial behaviour by revellers, such as sounding car horns loudly and repeatedly, reckless driving and playing music at excessive volume.
What are the regulations for public events?
Those attending public celebrations, such as the fireworks display on Yas Island, or at the Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba, must abide by measures in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Face masks must be worn at all times. Visitors must keep two metres apart in line with social distancing measures.
The Yas Island fireworks display will be beamed live on social media to encourage people to watch the spectacular show from their own homes.
“The well-being of our guests on Yas Island will continue to be our top priority,” said Nouf Al Boushelaibi, director of destination management at Miral, which is operating the showpiece New Year's Eve event.
“Residents and visitors to Yas Island will safely enjoy fireworks and New Year celebrations across its attractions and restaurants, with all precautionary measures in place to ensure their safety,” she said.
Where can residents celebrate?
Organisers of the Sheikh Zayed Festival have said the event will host a fireworks show that spans more than 35 minutes in an attempt to break two Guinness World Records on New Year's Eve.
The display will include the “world’s first-ever Girandola fireworks show”, according to a tweet shared by the festival. Girandola is the Italian word for pinwheel, so spectators can expect a spinning, sparkling display.
The second Guinness World Record organisers are looking to set is for the largest straight-line fireworks display.
Anantara Eastern Mangroves
The five-star hotel has announced that it will host a grand New Year's Eve bash, with fireworks displayed over the mangroves and Abu Dhabi skyline when the clock strikes midnight. Guests at the hotel can get up close to the pyrotechnics with any of the hotel's four celebratory events.
As with previous years, the skies over Yas Island are set to burst into colour to see in the New Year. However, those keen to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks will either have to view them via a live-stream event, or book dining options at one of Yas Marina's restaurants.
Several venues – including Aquarium, Mr. Miyagi's, Casa de Cuba and Cipriani – have launched New Year's Eve packages for diners looking for front-row seats to the dazzling show.