Strategic planning, avoidance of certain areas and a LOT of patience
31 December 2018| Last updated on 31 December 2018
The New Year is almost upon us, and there's no better place to celebrate its arrival than in Dubai...
Hailed as one of the best - and most expensive - places to celebrate New Year's, Dubai is famed for its marvellous events, entertainment and of course, firework displays... With the iconic Burj Khalifa fireworks in the center of it all.
With several 5* buffets and brunches being held in hotels across the city, events and festivals happening, and fireworks also being held at Burj Al Arab and Dubai Festival City Mall... It's no wonder, then, that Dubai is one of THE most popular places to welcome in New Year's.
But all the above means there's risks involved.... In the form of crowds, traffic, expensive taxis and potentially a LOT of walking. Especially if you're heading to Downtown Dubai or close to Palm Jumeirah/Al Sufouh; expect to walk a fair distance when trying to get home.
It's not all painful though; and with a little planning and some thinking ahead, your New Year's Eve in Dubai could be the very best yet.
Here's our survival guide to New Year's Eve in Dubai...
1. Use public transport
Plan how you're going to get to your destination ahead of time, and double check that there's no road closures or Dubai Metro closures on your way.
If you're heading to Burj Khalifa, the roads WILL be gridlocked around popular areas like Downtown Dubai. To prevent over-crowding, the RTA are closing main roads leading up to Burj Khalifa, like Al Asayel Street, Happiness Street, and Financial Centre Road amongst others. Find the list here.
If you want to drive and park, there will be 3,000 parking spaces available in Al Wasl Club, GDRFA are and Mankhool Mosque parking - and each will have shuttle buses or access to Dubai Metro to take you to Burj Khalifa.
2. Carry only essential items
No matter where you end up for New Year's Eve in Dubai, there's a high change you will have to do some walking - especially in busier communities like Downtown and close to Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina.
It's worth carrying a portable USB phone charger with you so you're ready for all emergencies should any arise or you can't get home.
3. Arrive early to your destination
Across the city, NYE celebrations are a huge logistical operation for Dubai's authorities; including Dubai police, ambulance, civil defence and public transport authorities. Traffic builds up quickly despite feeder buses, parking and Dubai Metro stations.
If you have a dinner/brunch reservation, it's best to head to your destination early to avoid any unexpected delays because of traffic.
4. Book your taxi/safe driver in advance
If you're going out with friends and loved ones, you can book a taxi in advance. There's also safe driver services available across the city, whereby you can drive to your destination and have someone drive you home safely at the end of the night. Check rates first though - we can imagine prices are premium on NYE.
5. Wear comfortable shoes
Like we've said... You're bound to be walking somewhere for New Year's in Dubai.
6. Seek lesser-known, advantage points for viewing
Instead of heading to one of the well-known areas to see the fireworks, choose another location or restaurant that may still have the same view - but without the crowds. For instance, places like Jebel Ali Recreational Club behind Ibn Battuta is quite high up and New Year's revellers will no doubt be able to see the fireworks along the coast.
For Dubai Marina/JLT and Emirates Living residents, heading to Pier 7 or similar venues will offer partial views of fireworks. For Global Village fireworks - why not head out into the desert behind the attraction? Same views, without the crowds.
7. Avoid expensive taxi fares
Imagine you're walking, and you have been for quite some time - your feet are starting to hurt, and a taxi miraculously appears! Take care with what care you hop into - unless it's a recognisable RTA national taxi, avoid private limos and cars as you'll no doubt find their rates have increased significantly.
8. Crash at a friend's place
If your friend lives nearby or they're having a bash, head there to welcome in the New Year. Avoid the crowds, the traffic and the potential of getting stranded and instead spend some quality time making memories with your buddies. A LOT less cheaper, too!
9. ...Stay indoors, where it's safe and there's no crowds
And for the cheapest, sanest and safest option? Stay at home! Snuggle up with your loved one, family and friends and watch the Dubai New Year's Eve fireworks displays from the comfort of your own home on TV. Most if not all major news channels in Dubai and the UAE will be displaying the New Year's fireworks shows across the city.
10. Enjoy it!
We hope you have a fantastic time no matter how you welcome in the New Year.