This article has been reviewed by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

For many of us, the New Year holidays have always been about that heartwarming olio of hope, positivity and celebration. There’s just something about the turning of the year that allows us to believe in the promise of a better tomorrow.

With the year 2020 pretty much defined by the pandemic, we look forward to better and brighter days in the coming year. 

For those looking to experience hope, positivity and celebration in lieu of the doom and gloom of the icy weather this year, treat yourself to a vacation in a place where the weather’s agreeable and the sun shines 10 hours a day.

So ditch your thick winter coat and your heavy-duty moon boots as we celebrate the coming of the year 2021 in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai

Celebrate the New Year in the world’s most exciting desert city. With its dazzling vibe, futuristic architecture and oriental heritage, Dubai has established itself as the place to be for the coming New Year’s Eve.

Countdown, fireworks, and celebrations

Image © medium.com

Typically, downtown Dubai will be adorned with spectacular decorations to capture the festive spirit of the occasion, and to the delight of many, it’s indeed been confirmed that the Burj Khalifa will host the grand masterpiece of fireworks and light and laser show this year. 

The countdown to 2021 splayed on the Burj Khalifa will most likely be the star of the show, while the dancing lights and fireworks display are gloriously synchronized with the Dubai Fountain Show.

Building on the festivities, everyone will be presented with the opportunity to be a part of this grand showcase. Restaurants and hotels on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard and Dubai Mall terraces will be open and are taking reservations for the night celebrations. 

Additionally, the Burj Park will be the family-friendly place to be, with food and drink outlets readily available. A giant screen will be erected to live stream other New Year’s Eve events taking place around the world. 

Where to best watch the fireworks

If you prefer to watch the light show while sipping a cocktail, you may find the following rooftop establishments to your liking:

  • Level 43 Sky Lounge: Perched atop of the Four Points by Sheraton on the 43rd floor, the bar’s exalted location naturally provides guests with a stunning 360-degree view of the dazzling celebrations.
  • Iris Dubai: This open-air lounge offers great cocktails, a selection of fusion food and a calming breeze. It’s perched on the 27th floor of the Oberoi Hotel Dubai.
  • The Treehouse: This rooftop bar is located at the Taj Dubai Hotel and has built a reputation as an oasis of relaxation in the midst of bustling Dubai. Relax and mingle as the year comes to a close.

Options galore!

Dubai has virtually an inexhaustible list of venues where you can celebrate the New Year’s Eve festivities. If you’re looking for alternatives to the Burj Khalifa, the following is your best bet.   

Burj al Arab Jumeirah

The Burj al Arab Jumeirah fireworks show returns this year, and visitors will be presented with the option of selecting their ideal vantage point. Head to Kite Beach for a lively atmosphere while waiting for the year to pass. Or head to Black Palace Beach where the crowd is thinner if you’re looking for some relative peace and quiet.

Atlantis, the Palm

Next up, Atlantis, The Palm. As the tradition of holding the New Year’s Eve rave mandates the presence of a dazzling pyrotechnic show, you can head to the luxury hotel to spend your last days of 2020. If you’re feeling it, you can also take part in the hotel’s New Year’s Eve Royal Gala and enjoy fine dining as you secure the best seat in the house for the dazzling show. 

Go on a cruise dinner

Getting some distance can sometimes be one of the best ways to enjoy the festival of fire. The best option to avoid the New Year’s Eve traffic jams in Dubai is to go afloat on dinner cruises. This will usually allow you to observe several fireworks displays while at the same time allowing you to avoid traffic congestions and the oftentimes bumptious crowd.

Global Village fireworks

This year, Global Village Dubai will present you with a special fireworks show along with the setting up of seven big displays to showcase the passing of the year in numerous locations worldwide. Commencing at 8 PM Dubai time, the screens will allow you to view the new year events in China, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Dubai and Russia, at around 1 AM.

Town Square Dubai

This relatively new suburb will host its very own New Year’s Eve party, thus granting you more options for your end-of-year Dubai fiesta. Town Square Dubai has confirmed its plans of hosting live entertainment, family-friendly attractions and stalls peddling food, which will culminate in the six-minute-long midnight fireworks spectacle.

Safety precautions

In order to ensure the health and safety of all visitors, several preventive measures will be implemented, which include thermal cameras, social distancing, contactless payment and frequent deep cleaning and disinfection in accordance with the Dubai government guidelines.

 

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi regularly attracts visitors looking to enjoy themselves in its pristine beaches and charming atmosphere. When it comes to New Year’s Eve celebration, the city pulls out all the stops and dress to the nines to ensure an unforgettable passing of the year.

Countdown, fireworks, and celebrations

Image © bayut.com

Unlike Dubai, the fireworks display and new year countdown aren’t especially ‘centralized’ on a single location. There are quite a few places in Abu Dhabi where visitors and residents alike may take part in the festivities.

Abu Dhabi Corniche

As above, so below; as the fireworks illuminate the night sky, their reflections can also be seen on the waters below, adding a certain festive sheen to Abu Dhabi’s favorite spot.

Yas Island

Renowned for hosting numerous high profile attractions such as Ferrari World, Warner Bros World, Yas Waterworld and Yas Marina (among numerous others), the turning of the year celebrations have always been marked by the spectacular fireworks display. What’s more, the entrance fee is non-existent. 

Emirates Palace

If all goes well, the luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel will once again host an end-of-year celebration featuring a stunning fireworks show just as in previous years. While admission won’t be free, the exquisite dining experience along with the aforementioned fireworks display will definitely be worth the cost.

Al Maryah Island

Everybody who’s anybody has traditionally attended the end-of-year festivities in Al Maryah Island when they’re in Abu Dhabi. Prior to the pandemic, the live entertainment, exquisite dining experience and dazzling pyrotechnic show served as a magnet attracting everyone from celebrities, famous athletes to socialites, all drawn to the liveliness of the festivities.

Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival

The Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival is essentially an event exhibiting the UAE’s heritage highlighting the history and union of the UAE. This year’s event has commenced from 20 November 2020 all the way to 20 February 2021, and as a part of the New Year celebration, fireworks display will be held for everyone to enjoy.

Hazza bin Zayed Stadium

The football stadium traditionally hosts one of Abu Dhabi’s impressive new year celebrations. Assuming the authorities give their go-ahead, numerous fireworks display will once again light up the night sky as the countdown to the new year reverberates in and around the stadium.

 

Ras al Khaimah

Image © thenationalnews.com

Encircled by the mystifying Al Hajar mountains, the emirate of Ras al Khaimah prepares itself to wish you a ‘fiery’ new year. Organizers have stated that come New Year’s Eve, they are planning to treat RAK residents to a 10-minute long visually stunning pyrotechnic spectacle stretching four kilometers long. 

The island of Al Marjan will be the venue and to alleviate safety concerns, the event will be held with no on-ground activities and general viewing areas. Instead, the entirety of the event will be live on television networks, social media outlets and on the website www.raknye.com

However, guests in hotels across Al Hamra Village and Al Marjan island will be provided with dedicated viewing areas. These viewing areas will only be accessible to hotel guests, residents and ticket holders of special events. Additionally, patrons of the surrounding restaurants will also have access to these areas.