Northern emirates residents opt for low-key New Year’s Eve celebrations

Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Fujairah residents chose to avoid the hustle and bustle of Dubai and spend New Year's Eve with family and friends.

AJMAN // New Year’s Eve celebrations last night in Umm Al Quwain and Ajman were a quiet affair, with most people heading to the beach or parks for low-key barbecues with family and friends.

With no official celebrations planned by the municipalities in either emirate, it was down to residents to make the most of the occasion.

In stark contrast to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where huge crowds flocked to the coast for the traditional fireworks displays, the corniche in Ajman was quiet with only a few people gathering at the water’s edge to see in the new year or heading to restaurants for a meal.

Khaled Waleed, the owner of Aragil Restaurants and Cafe in Ajman, said that his restaurant was fully booked by families who wanted to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a family-friendly atmosphere.

“Even though there is no singer or any celebration planned at the restaurant, the whole restaurant is booked because families are coming to celebrate.”

Rawan Mohamed, 26, a Lebanese housewife, decided to spend the occasion with her husband and daughter at home in Ajman. They stayed at home to watch the fireworks on TV. Ms Mohamed added that “from the balcony we can see Burj Khalifa from here”.

Ms Mohamed said that she wished good health and long life to her parents, husband and daughter.

It was the same story in Umm Al Quwain, with people in the least populous emirate enjoying simple celebrations at each other’s homes.

Omar Saleh, an Emirati from UAQ, decided to celebrate the occasion in his emirate instead of going to Dubai and getting stuck in traffic.

Earlier in the day, he said he would “go to the desert and have a barbecue with my friends in UAQ. Last year, I left UAQ at 6pm heading to Dubai Mall and I reached it at 11pm, so I won’t go to Dubai and get stuck in traffic for hours.”

The 28-year-old added that he went with the flow when he celebrated New Year’s Eve.

“It is a day in the new year, and all people celebrate this occasion, so we celebrate as well.”

Mr Saleh has his own business and said he wishes in the new year to be a successful and famous businessman.

Khaled Saadeddin, a manager at Flamingo Beach Resort in UAQ, said that 98 per cent of the rooms were booked and that the resort had a programme to celebrate the new year.

“We have a DJ with a dinner, and 80 per cent of revellers are booked to attend the DJ live [concert] and most of them are Russians.”

In Fujairah, Aser Mohammed, a senior engineer, heralded in the new year with his family after travelling home from Dubai. “There is a festival at the beach in Fujairah, so we are going back to watch the fireworks and celebration there,” said the Egyptian expatriate.

“This is the first time that there is celebration in the emirate for this occasion.”

roueiti@thenational.ae

Published: December 31, 2014 04:00 AM

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