Penguins, yachts, penthouses, ice rinks and more alternative party venues
Time Out Dubai staff
AT a stunning spa on the Palm Perhaps best suited to a private party rather than something you’re throwing for your workmates, holding your own ‘sparty’ is a great way to combine some much-needed end-of-year pampering with a treat for your nearest and dearest. Atlantis The Palm’s gorgeous ShuiQi is the perfect spa for such an occasion, with different packages to suit individual needs. Smaller groups can be accommodated in the Royal Spa Suite and surrounding treatment rooms, while the whole spa can be closed off for private functions for up to 30 guests. Botox party for four guests Dhs6,396, three-hour party for 30 guests with 60-minute massage each from Dhs25,000. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 0000).
In the snow at Ski Dubai For those of you originating from the northern hemisphere who are used to a white Christmas (or the ritual of hoping for one, at least), there’s one place to hold a party that might seem more fitting than the rest. Dubai’s only indoor ski slope promises frosty frolics if you book your festive shindig on its slopes or in the snow park. Parties can include lessons, slope access or just snow park entry, and platters can be organised from the adjacent St Moritz café. From Dhs140 per person for snow park, room hire Dhs200, platters from Dhs60. Mall of the Emirates, www.theplaymania.com (800 386).
Surrounded by animals Sitting on the border of Sharjah and Ajman, Al Tamimi Stables is a mere 40-minute drive from central Dubai and offers beautifully landscaped surroundings in which to host your event, whether it’s a party for a big group or a barbecue with friends. The private centre is home to hundreds of animals, from cows to gazelles, and can assist with all kinds of extras for your gathering, such as face painters, photo booths, henna artists, popcorn machines, pony rides, mascots and much more. Party packages from Dhs60 per adult, excluding catering. Al Tamimi Stables, Al Zubair, Sharjah, www.tamimistables.com (06 743 1122).
Under a palm tree at the beach If you’re throwing a bash on the cheap, check out one of the city’s spacious beach parks. Jumeirah Beach Park in particular has picnic tables, barbecue areas and plenty of shaded spots to escape the full glare of the sun. Bring your own food, find yourself a plot and hang your own bunting and balloons between the nearest trees. Dhs5 per person, Dhs20 per car. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 2555).
On Board a private yacht Host friends and colleagues on the water by chartering a private yacht to give your seasonal bash the edge. Dubai Marina-based Eden Yachting has a huge range of different yachts of varying sizes and capacities available for hire, and prices include the yacht, captain and crew, insurance, fuel, soft drinks and water. Catering, entertainment and transfers can be arranged for an additional cost, as can most other special requests. From Dhs1,100 per hour for 50ft yacht (12 people capacity). New Year’s Eve Dhs20,000 for a 50ft yacht for six hours. Eden Yachting, www.edenyachting.com (050 371 6377).
In an ice CafÉ Grab a coat and pile into Chill Out at Times Square Center, where you can mingle, munch and sip drinks in temperatures of -6°C. The venue is unlicensed but can hold 50 people, with an option to include nibbles or dine à la carte. From approximately Dhs2,000, Sun-Wed, Dhs2,800 Thu-Sat. Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.chilloutatdubai.com (04 341 8121).
HoleD up in a five-star penthouse Bring your guests together in a luxurious penthouse suite at one of the city’s glamorous hotels. Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah offers a range of event packages in its penthouses and villas, with some equipped with their own Jacuzzis or pools and able to accommodate up to 200 guests. Penthouses from Dhs10,000, villas from Dhs15,000 (minimum 40 guests). Palm Jumeirah, www.kempinski.com (04 444 2000).
With a private cinema screening Push the boat out and hire an entire screen at one of the city’s cinema complexes. Vox Cinemas has just launched its brand new MyVox concept at Deira City Centre, where private parties can book a 34-seater screen for all manner of events, whether you want to hold a corporate soiree or a gaming tournament. Catering, mascots, entertainment and 3D movies can be provided for an additional cost, and MyVox will soon be rolled out across the firm’s other cinema complexes, including Mall of the Emirates. From Dhs1,500 for private screenings. Deira City Centre, www.uae.voxcinemas.com (600 599905).
On the ice As well as offering a special rate for group bookings of more than 25 people, The Dubai Mall’s Dubai Ice Rink can also host private parties for companies and individuals, and help you organise games of broomball or hockey, or even concerts. Price on request. The Dubai Mall, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5257).
In a private dining room at a top restaurant Check out The Rib Room’s private dining room, where you can celebrate by tucking into some of the restaurant’s excellent range of steaks in a more intimate setting. The room has a capacity for up to 20 guests as one big room, or two smaller rooms of ten each, and no minimum spend. All restaurants in the hotel, including Alta Badia on the 50th floor (with a capacity of 60 people – venue hire starts from Dhs35,000), and Harry Ghatto’s karaoke bar (also housing 60 guests) can be booked for private events and functions. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.jumeirah.com (04 319 8088).