New Year's Eve activities beyond the city - or the country
Time Out Dubai Staff
Get out of the city…
If you’d rather pull out your own teeth out than compete with the NYE crowds and traffic for which Dubai is renowned, here are some local and foreign breaks to take you out of town
See Coldplay in Abu Dhabi Ring in the new year to the tune of Chris Martin’s voice as this globally popular band plays at the waterside venue on the Corniche breakwater. Get a crew together and organise a minibus to take you to and from Dubai to avoid the nightmare of taxis. Arabian Dubai (04 396 7675) provides seven-seaters (and more) for 10 hours for Dhs750. That’s less than Dhs110 each. Coldplay tickets from Dhs325 for general admission. Available at Virgin Megastores, various locations including Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4353), or direct from Flash (800 35274).
Camping in the Desert Escape the bright lights and watch the glow of the city from a distance – camping spots can be found as little as an hour outside Dubai. Hit ACE Hardware or Adventure HQ for the necessities and organise a group of friends for a more lively party, or simply hit the road with just the two of you. ACE Hardware, various locations including Festival Centre (800 275 223). Adventure HQ, Times Square Center (04 346 6824). For more tips, see www.timeoutdubai.com for our recent camping feature.
Pamper yourself at Banyan Tree Al Wadi For a more private affair, lap up the luxury at Banyan Tree Al Wadi with the resort’s special Welcoming 2012 package. With a minimum stay of two nights, you’ll be treated to a lavish buffet spread, live music and a fire show on New Year’s Eve. The package also includes a New Year’s Day brunch for two (there’s no escape from the Dubai institution!), two complimentary on-site activities and a one-hour spa treatment for two. From Dhs5,690 per night. Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah (07 206 7777).
…or out of the country
Party in St Petersburg, Russia For a wintery NYE steeped in tradition (and loads of partying), hit the town Russian-style in an ushanka (aka a furry Russian hat). Emirates flies direct to St Petersburg from Dhs3,640 return including taxes (www.emirates.com).
Relax on Unawatuna Beach, Sri Lanka Beach raves, chilled thatched-roof bars and friendly locals is what you’ll find on Unawatuna Beach near Galle. It’s a four-hour drive from Colombo, so make sure you plan that into your itinerary. Qatar Airways flies from Dubai to Colombo with one stopover from Dhs1,710 return including taxes (www. qatarairways.com).
Snow or Sun in Beirut, Lebanon Ski the fantastic mountains at the popular resorts of Faraya and Mzaar, or turn things up a notch (or four) at Beirut’s beachside super-clubs. Flydubai flies direct to Beirut from Dhs2,022 return including taxes (www.flydubai.com).