6pm: Assemble the troops Gather your mates at home for a few winter warmers before you hit the town. Make sure the fridge is well stocked, and tell your wannabe DJ pal to have the playlist ready.
8pm: Grab one in a local pub Get the evening started by heading for a quick drink in a traditionally buzzing bar – our favourites include Double Decker at the Al Murooj Rotana (04 321 1111) and the Crown & Lion at the Byblos Hotel in TECOM (04 448 8000). Remember, on NYE it’s always worth ringing your local in advance to confirm their door policy and make sure you can get in without a ticket.
9pm: Shawarma stop, pronto You’ll need to line your stomach to make it through the evening. Our favourite stop-offs include Shawermama, behind Mall of the Emirates (04 453 4704), and Automatic in JBR (04 434 2355) – the latter also has outlets in Bur Dubai, Deira, Jumeirah Beach Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road and Uptown Mirdif.
10pm: Hit the club It may seem a tad early, but by the time you’ve queued to get in and braved the hordes at the bar, you’ll thank us for the forward planning. You’ll usually need to buy tickets in advance – check our list of the biggest nights in town on the opposite page.
Midnight: Make a resolution With any luck, your chosen venue will have fireworks, renditions of Auld Lang Syne and a friendly face nearby. Take a moment to reflect on 2011 before getting back on the dancefloor.
2.30pm: Brave a last-minute dash to a late-night club At the time of going to press, only a few venues were advertising a post-3am finish. If your chosen party is drawing to a close, now’s the time to make a last-minute dash to the Black & White party at Club Sensation at the Crown Plaza on Sheikh Zayed Road (04 331 1111).
4.30am: Refuel at a late-night restaurant Do yourself a favour and eat again. Finding somewhere open isn’t always easy, but we recommend hitting BurgerFuel opposite the Hilton Jumeirah at JBR (04 445 8220), which is open until 5am, or Zaroob on Sheikh Zayed Road (04 327 6060), which offers 24-hour home delivery.