I've probably celebrated New Years a grand total of 2 or 3 times in my adult life, I dont hate it however being in the hospitality industry I prefer to be more of a behind the scenes minion, working away in the background of the festivities rather than taking centre stage. You would usually find me arranging a villa party; promoting an EDM festival in Cape Town or working a NYE event in Dubai. The organised chaos coming together beautifully on the night especially when its my baby, excites me more than any countdown could. I’m weird like that. I guess I've always been about having a good time but I'm even more about my hustle.
That being said, there are some pretty hot parties happening around Dubai this year for people who prefer to enjoy that festivities as a guest rather than a minion so I've rounded up the options that have the most hype around them in the industry as we head into 2019. In the spirit of responsible spending I've stuck to the AED 1500 and below options - of course there are some fab options for around AED 2000 like the Gatsby theme at FIVE Palm Jumeirah which sounds amazing too but there are plenty of options that wont break the bank either.
Bagatelle is doing a menu comprised of options Pizzetta Ala Truffle Noire, Linguini Homard Epice and Bagatelle salad to the backdrop of live music and DJ Sam Sparks. There are two seatings, one at 7pm and a later one around 10pm-10:30. Prices start at AED 550 for the first seating and then they also offer a lounge table option of only AED 2500 for up to 6 people. Call: 04 354 5035 or email email@example.com.
If you're looking for something elegant on the water then the 8 course British tasting menu served onboard the QE2 could be a good option. Entertainment will be live Jazz music. Alternatively the QE2 Disco at the Yacht Club will have a DJ spinning some 80s and 90s music for a retro vibe along with unlimited beverages and a party food buffet for just AED 750. Bookings on 04 526 8888.
43 Sky Lounge has by far one of the most surreal views of the city lights. Their New Years offering is a buffet style dinner with unlimited canapes starting at 7pm paired with some live entertainment. Packages are AED 1400 per person. To reserve call 04 3169726.
Beefbar is hosting a special edition of Meat Me Mondays from their exclusive VIP menu for AED 1000 per guest. Entertainment is live and you get a bottle of complimentary bubbly if you arrive before 8pm on the night. Call 04 3522223 for bookings.
Cavalli Club is doing an intergalactic themed NYE with 4 course set menu with unlimited drinks for AED 1650 or you can go for the regular night club tickets which are AED 900 for ladies and AED 1100 for guys and includes an open bar until 3am. To book call 04 332 9260.
One of my favourite party themes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is happening at DIFC hotspot Cipriani and I am keen to see how they bring it together. Minimum spend per guest is AED 1200. Reservations can be made on 04 347 0003.
If you're keen to see the fireworks at the Burj, STK is a great option with live entertainment including a saxophonist, you will received a mixed drink on arrival and are welocme to pre book two bottles of bubbles for AED 999. its AED 999 for bistro seating, AED 1299 for carpet seating and AED 1899 for terrace seating. To book call 04 425 3948.
Another fireworks option at La Mer would be casual dining spot Stars n Bars. There are three packages which all include a delicious 3 course set menu and various drink package options starting from AED 500 for soft drinks, AED 750 for house beverages and AED 1000 for the premium drinks package. Its AED 350 min spend for walk-ins on the night. For bookings call 04 349 9903.
I was pleasantly surprised that Toko's packages are super reasonably priced for New Years eve so if you like sushi and Japanese style food its a guaranteed great option. The house beverage package option is AED 690 while the soft drink package is AED 490.
If its your first New Years in Dubai my biggest tips would be to get to your destination early to avoid the traffic and pack some comfy shoes - there is a high possibility that you're going to be doing some walking in areas not accessible by car on the night.
Questions Dubai expats are sick of hearing.
Dating in Dubai.
Marvel has created its first Muslim Superhero.
Mars city and the hyperloop in the UAE.
How to get out of the Friendzone.