Dubai might be one of the world’s most famous New Year’s Eve destinations, thanks to its vibrant nightlife and glitzy parties – but a rowdy night out isn’t for everybody.
If you’re after a more relaxed (but still memorable) affair on December 31, we’ve rounded up 10 great options to suit everyone. Even if your inner party animal happens to be a sloth.
1. A DINNER CRUISE
Want to sail into 2018 in style? Cruise along the historic Dubai Creek on the floating restaurant, Bateaux Dubai. Guests on the glass-enclosed boat will enjoy an eight-course a la carte dinner, live entertainment, unlimited house beverages and a glass of bubbly to toast the New Year. You’ll also get some fantastic views of the Dubai skyline (without having to battle the crowds on land for the prime spot).
Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek, 8.30pm to 1am, Dhs1,150 with soft drinks, Dhs1,300 with unlimited alcoholic beverages. Tel: (04) 814 5553.
2. AN EARLY DINNER
For those wanting to head out (and back home) early this New Year’s Eve, Ostro is offering a dine-and-ride buffet from 6pm to 10pm. It comes with a free Nol card for every diner on tables of three or more, to ensure you’re home safe and sound by the time the clock strikes midnight. See you there, Cinderellas.
Ostro, dusitD2 Kenz Hotel, Barsha Heights, Sheikh Zayed Road, near Internet City Metro Station, 6pm to 10pm, Dhs225. Tel: (04) 567 2246.
3. A PIZZA PARTY
You can’t get a more laid back New Year’s Eve than pizza on the Bussola terrace – for Dhs750, you’ll get a three-course set menu (which, yes, includes pizza) and all-you-can drink sparkling and house drinks. You’ll get good views of the fireworks over the Arabian Gulf, too.
Bussola, The Westin, Al Sufouh, 8pm to 1am, Dhs750, children aged 6-11 dine for Dhs450. Tel: (04) 511 7139.
4. A JAMAICAN STREET PARTY
Ok, it’s a party – but it’s one with a chilled out Caribbean vibe. Miss Lily’s is throwing a Jamaican street-style party, where you can get your fill of its signature spicy dishes. You can sit down in the record room for the prix fixe menu made up of an appetizer, main, side, desert and unlimited beverages, or head out to the yard for the standing pass-around menu, with table treats, pass-around boards and unlimited beverages.
Miss Lily’s, Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, 8pm to 3am, Dhs600 for pass-around menu, Dhs800 for sit-down menu. Tel: (04) 356 2900.
5. A WALK-IN OPTION
Tossing up between going out for New Year’s Eve and staying home on the couch? 7 Elephants is letting you make that choice on the night. The DIFC spot is offering a walk-in package for Dhs150, which includes one house drink (if you’re feeling peckish, you can snack from the bar menu). There will also be jazzy live tunes until midnight.
7 Elephants, Level C, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, 6pm to 2am, Dhs150 for walk-ins including one drink, Dhs380 for sit-down dinner with soft drinks, Dhs450 for sit-down dinner with alcoholic beverages. Tel: (04)354 4354.
6. A DESERT FEAST
Want to escape the madness of the city on December 31? Qasr Al Sultan is located in the Dubai desert, next to Dubai Parks and Resorts. The Arabian-themed restaurant is putting on a New Year’s Eve gala dinner, with an enormous food bazaar featuring live-cooking stations, as well as a live band, dancers, and fireworks. We reckon this is a great option for families (and the buffet is top-notch).
Qasr Al Sultan, adjacent to Dubai Parks and Resorts, 7pm to 12.30, Dhs600 with soft drinks, Dhs950 with house beverages, Dhs300 for children aged 5 to 12 and free for under-fives. Tel: 0800 785826.
7. A SEASIDE DINNER
Fish Beach Taverna is famous for its special seafront location, and if you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve with an accompanying chilled sea breeze, this is a lovely option (plus you get spectacular views of the Gulf). A set menu here on the big night will cost you Dhs900 with free-flowing sparkling and Dh600 with non-alcoholic beverages, while kids aged 6 to 11 dine half-price.
Fish Beach Taverna, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh, 8pm to 1am, Dhs600 with soft drinks, Dhs900 with sparkling, Dhs300 kids aged 6 to 11. Tel: (04) 511 7373.
8. A NEW YEAR’S EVE MARKET
From December 28 to the big night itself, Bay Square is holding a New Year’s market, where you’ll find a unique selection of crafts, artisanal pieces and delicious food. On December 31, there will be plenty of family-friendly entertainment, including a mirror man, mime artist and stilt walkers, while a DJ and live bands will lead the New Year countdown. Oh, and there will also be a special outdoor screening of the movie New Year’s Eve.
Bay Square, December 28 to December 31, from midday to 1.30am on New Year’s Eve. Free entry.
9. A FAMILY-FRIENDLY PARTY
Here’s another one to suit the whole family: Meridien Village Terrace is throwing a Mad Hatters New Year’s Eve party, with plenty of live performances and fun. It’s all-you-can-eat-and-drink from 8.30pm to 12.30pm, so there’s the option of an early night – but if you do feel like staying out later, there will be happy hour prices until 2.45am.
Meridien Village Terrace, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Center, 8.30pm to 1230pm, Dhs649 with house beverages and bubbly on arrival. Tel: (04) 217 0000.
10. A FINE-DINING EXPERIENCE
If you’re prepared to part with some dirhams this New Year’s Eve, you won’t get much better than this. At.Mosphere – yes, the world’s tallest restaurant in the Burj Khalifa – is hosting an evening brunch, with delicacies such as oysters, foie gras torchon, seared seabass with artichokes, stuffed lamb saddle, as well as a line-up of delectable desserts.
There will be a live violinist to keep things fancy, and you’ll go in the draw to win luxury prizes. Plus, you can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing while everyone else is outside climbing over each other to watch the Burj Khalifa light show, you are literally inside it, in your safe little fine-dining bubble. Bliss.
At.Mosphere, Burj Khalifa, 7pm to 1am, Dhs2700 per person for a non-window table, Dhs2900 for a window table, both including unlimited sparkling. Tel: (04) 888 3828.