Visiting Dubai will offer you a ton of surprises no matter the time of the year, but this destination becomes even more exuberant on New Year's Eve. Big parties are held all over the city, and for the occasion, you'll be able to see incredible shows as well as breathtaking fireworks that light up some of the tallest buildings in the world. In this post, I'll give you an overview of what you can do and see for New Year's Eve in Dubai.
Why celebrate the New Year in Dubai?
Simply because it's an absolutely unique experience. For the occasion, Dubai comes alive with a multitude of ways to celebrate the New Year in a memorable fashion. Fireworks, cruises, gala dinners, desert excursions... The possibilities seem almost endless.
On top of that, the weather in Dubai is ideal for this time of year: you can be sure that it won't rain and that the temperatures will remain very mild and pleasant – even in the middle of the night.
A word of advice: as soon as you are sure that you will be in the emirate at the end of December, start booking your Dubai accommodation as soon as possible. Hotels are bound to be more expensive at this time of year, but you can still get better rates if you book early.
Attend the New Year Fireworks in Dubai
They never do things by halves in Dubai, and New Year's Eve is the perfect time to witness this! On New Year's Eve, near some of Dubai's most iconic landmarks and monuments, you'll be able to watch some of the world's finest fireworks from several very famous locations:
- At the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building and one of the most famous tourist attractions in the UAE), you will have the opportunity to witness a magnificent sound and light show on the evening of December 31, starting at 8:30 p.m. The famous Dubai Fountain Show is held several times a day, much like every other night of the year – for the unique occasion of New Year's Eve however, it is exceptionally brightened up by a unique fireworks display from the highest tower on the planet, at the end of the evening. Every year, thousands of people come to see this magical show.
- You will need to buy a ticket to see this show from the best possible location, but it is also possible to see it for free from several places in Dubai, such as Jumeirah Beach, the Burj Park or the Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard.
- At the Burj Al-Arab (one of the city's most iconic hotels and architectural buildings), you can also attend a unique fireworks display on New Year's Eve. The Al Mahara Restaurant organizes an exceptional gala dinner with a great concert and a dance show, which concludes with this extraordinary fireworks display to celebrate the New Year.
- By booking a table in this restaurant or any other restaurant or club near this incredible hotel in the shape of a giant sail, you will be ideally situated to watch the fireworks. Of course, you can also watch it from other parts of the city, such as Al Sufouh Beach or from the Madinat Jumeirah Souk.
- Bluewaters Island is one of the artificial islands located off the Dubai Marina, famous for housing Ain Dubai (the world's largest Ferris wheel), but also for its many entertainment and shopping facilities. From this island, you will be able to enjoy a large fireworks display on New Year's Eve. You will get a great view of the show from the terraces of the many restaurants and bars on the island – but the best view will probably be from one of the 48 cabins on this incredible observation wheel. Of course, you'll need to book well in advance if you wish to be on board at show time. The Beach, the beach of Jumeirah which is just in front of Bluewaters Island, is also a very good location to watch the fireworks.
- Atlantis The Palm, the huge resort on the Palm Jumeirah archipelago, also organizes a great fireworks show to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. From the promenade more than 6 miles long located at the end of this artificial island in the shape of a date palm, you can watch this show for free. As you approach The Pointe, you'll also have the opportunity to watch The Palm Fountain – a water ballet that may not be as famous as the Dubai Fountains but is just as impressive.
Take a New Year's cruise in Dubai
A good way to spend an unforgettable evening of celebration and to be perfectly situated to watch the fireworks, is to embark on a cruise during the New Year in Dubai. Several options are available: dinner cruise, speedboat trip, cruise in the Marina, dhow cruise in the Dubai Creek... I personally highly recommend:
- The luxury dinner cruise on the canals of Dubai. As you sail, you will enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner on board a modern dhow, from which you will contemplate the beauty of the city and the fireworks.
- A speedboat ride in the Dubai Marina to watch the fireworks and the New Year's Eve countdown.
These attractions are very popular throughout the year, but are even more so on New Year's Eve. If you want to be lucky enough to get a seat, you'll need to book at least several months in advance.
Celebrating the New Year at the Global Village in Dubai
Global Village is one of the most popular family attractions in Dubai. This village is actually a seasonal theme park open between November and April, set on the banks of the Dubai Creek. It is a unique place where visitors have access to a wide range of stores and entertainment, and will feel like they are traveling around the world – without even leaving Dubai.
On New Year's Eve, dance performances, concerts and a large carnival are held, and many attractions stay open until late. You'll also also have the opportunity to experience the New Year's traditions of over 75 countries.
Attend a dinner show at the Dubai Opera House
The Dubai Opera House is one of the most popular cultural venues in the city. Every year, a grand themed New Year's Eve party is held there, during which you can enjoy a delicious meal, a great show, fireworks and of course a great party.
The theme of the evening changes every year. For New Year 2022 for example, the show paid tribute to the Roaring Twenties, and dancing duo Jasmine and Aaron took center stage. Shortly before midnight, guests are escorted to one of the best spots on the boardwalk to watch the big fireworks display, after which a famous DJ is in charge of livening up the party for the rest of the evening.
Participate in the New Year Gala Dinner at Madinat Jumeirah
Madinat Jumeirah literally means "city of Jumeirah", and indeed this enclave is like a small city within the city, located in the heart of Dubai (at the intersection of Al Sufouh Road and Beach Road). Inside, you can find souks, restaurants and big hotels.
This is also where you can enjoy one of Dubai's grandest New Year's Eve gala dinners. In addition to enjoying a delicious dinner, you can watch acrobats, musicians and dancers perform, before heading to one of the nearby public beaches to enjoy the fireworks in a stunning setting.
Take a trip to the desert of dubai for the New Year
How about a trip to the desert for an original New Year's Eve? Desert excursions are one of the most popular activities in Dubai, and you can leave on December 31 to celebrate New Year's Eve under the stars, in the Dubai desert.
The program includes dune bashing in a 4x4, camel riding, sand surfing... Once you have completed the activities, you will spend the evening in an authentic Bedouin camp in the desert, where you will watch the sunset over the dunes and enjoy a typical meal. During this very meal, you will be able to enjoy a belly dance show, participate in the preparation of tea and even get a henna tattoo!
Party all night long for the New Year in Dubai
In Dubai, several trendy restaurants and bars also throw their own New Year's Eve parties. If you feel like enjoying Dubai's nightlife on New Year's Eve, you can party in great clubs like The Office, BLU Dubai, Vault Bar or Zero Gravity, which host world famous DJs and artists for the occasion. And if you’re worried about whether you’ll be able to sip an alcoholic cocktail in Dubai, never fear – you can learn all about alcohol in Dubai in my article! 😉
That's it for this article about New Year's Eve in Dubai! I hope you enjoyed it and that it made you want to celebrate it in this extravagant city. I'm sure you'll enjoy the experience – it definitely won't leave anyone unsatisfied! 😄