21 best New Year's Eve parties in Dubai to see in 2016
Need a hand planning your New Year’s Eve in Dubai? Luckily, Hype’s little helpers can guide you through: they’re here to make sure your NYE celebrations go off with just the right bang to suit your needs.
Here are 21 places in Dubai (well, one’s in Abu Dhabi but it’s worth the drive) that will keep you up until well after midnight…
Starring: Pete Tong and Duke Dumont
Big bang: Something of a living legend, British DJ Pete has been pivotal to the continued development of dance music in the UK and beyond since its inception through his label FFRR, BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and Essential Selection shows, and now as an integral part of the International Music Summit team.
DJ and producer Duke Dumont’s Need U (100%) track was ubiquitous throughout the summer of 2013, peaking at No.1 in the UK charts, and he scored his second No.1 last year with I Got U.
DETAILS: Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, 5pm to 3am, Dhs250 early bird, Dhs390. Taxi: Skydive Dubai Drop Zone. Tel: (04) 3990009.
Starring: Martin Garrix
Big bang: Fresh-faced Martin Garrix returns to Meydan on New Year’s Eve after headlining the first Sensation event in the UAE there last year. His Animals track, released in 2013, catapulted him into the EDM stratosphere and as well as playing major festivals around the world, the 19-year-old has since collaborated with Usher, Tiësto, Avicii and Ed Sheeran.
Away from big stages, Garrix has been involved in a label bust-up this year, which has seen him put the breaks on his relationship with Spinnin’ Records. In the studio, he’s also been attempting to bring a bit more maturity to his productions. “This year I tried to reinvent myself. I tried to go more melodic,” he said. “I released Forbidden Voices this year, and that’s one of the songs where I’m really proud. It’s not just a banger; it’s a story that can make you feel some type of way. That’s what I want to do with my songs, so I’m in the studio a lot right now.”
Martin added: “Since I’ve recently broke up with my label, I’m gonna try to give more songs away for free”. That’s exactly what he did with his Poison track, which was given away to fans as a free download on Halloween.
Having also recently turned in a remix of The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face, it’s widely expected that Garrix will launch his own label next year after he hinted at such on a recent Dutch TV show. He’s supported on NYE by Julian Jordan, Justin Mylo and Jay Hardway.
DETAILS: Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, 6pm to 3am, Dhs299 early bird. Taxi: Meydan Racecourse. Tel: (055) 8759254.
Starring: David Guetta
Big bang: French super producer David Guetta will play to a no doubt sell-out crowd at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. If you’ve turned on the radio anytime in the last five years, chances are you’ll have heard a Guetta track. The DJ and producer, who has sold over 30 million singles worldwide, seems to be omnipresent these days, and videos for his hits are regularly viewed by hundreds of millions of people when they’re posted on YouTube. Titanium, featuring Sia, has 510 million views on YouTube, and to put that into context, the USA is home to 320 million people.
Guetta, who has collaborated with the likes of Black Eyed Peas, Sia, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Showtek and Akon, is no stranger to Dubai, where he has a strong fan base, and has previously played at the Live @ Atlantis festival.
The once underground house DJ may have come in for a lot of flak over recent years for embracing the mainstream EDM sound, but earlier this year, he defended the move. “I believe that people who think EDM is really simple, very often are people that don’t really understand our music, and they are confusing minimal with simple,” he said. “It’s two different things, because if you’re able to get to the point, and use a minimum amount of sounds and musical sentences to say what you really want to say, then it will make the song more powerful. Just because you use 15 stacks of synths, and lots of strings, doesn’t mean that your music is more beautiful. It just might be busier.”
DETAILS: Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, 8pm to 3am, Dhs350 early bird, Dhs495. Metro: Nakheel. Tel: (050) 3571113.
Starring: Luciano and Davide Squillace
Big bang: After his Cadenza record label clocked up its 100th release earlier this year with Grace of Art, under his Lucien-N-Luciano alias, Luciano fired out his only other track of 2015 this month. 7direction(s) – described as “a sprawling and sultry journey” – features remixes from Dennis Ferrer and Matthew Herbert.
The summer also saw another immense season of Luciano’s Vagabundos parties at Space Ibiza. “We took things to the next level,” said Luciano. “Vagabundos is much more than a party, it’s a way of life.” Catch the Chilean DJ and producer on NYE before he takes his party brand around the world.
Also returning to Blue Marlin for the beachside blowout is Italian Davide Squillace, a favourite at Ibiza’s infamous Circo Loco. Despite a rather mental touring schedule that has seen Squillace complete a tour of the Americas recently, the DJ and producer turned in a track for Jonny White’s No.19 camp. Squillace’s Social Glue appears on the I Live In Barcelona compilation.
DETAILS: Ghantoot Al Jazira Island Hotel, Dubai, 7pm to 4am, Dhs650 (ladies), Dhs850 (gents). Taxi: Ghantoot Al Jazira Island Hotel. Tel: (056) 1133400.
Starring: Richie Hawtin
Big bang: Having secured regional debuts from Gui Boratto and Nicolas Jaar in recent months, Dubai’s boutique festival launches into 2016 with its biggest bang yet with Plus 8 and m-nus labels boss Richie Hawtin, whose Enter parties have made a huge impact at Space Ibiza and around the world.
English-born Canadian Hawtin, who cut his teeth in Detroit, is a techno visionary, and his first visit to the region is massive news for techno fans and a positive step for Dubai’s club scene overall. It also falls just weeks after he surprise released a new album on Plus 8 to mark the label’s 25th anniversary. From My Mind To Yours features music from Hawtin’s aliases Plastikman, FUSE, Robotman, Childsplay, 80xx and R.H.X.
Hawtin said an album of entirely new music felt like a more appropriate way to honour his label’s anniversary than a world tour or retrospective compilation. “For me personally, the anniversary was an inspiring moment to get back into the studio with similar intentions as in those early days,” said Hawtin.
“I was very happy to be back where it all started. Equipped with updates of my original studio ‘friends’ and combined with the latest recording technologies, I then stripped the set-up down to its basic components and found freedom within those limitations. No real plans, just the everyday process of getting up, turning on the gear and pressing record.
“In that environment I had the opportunity to revisit the personalities that I had explored earlier in my career, re-defining my own interpretation of techno.” The DJ and producer will be joined in Dubai by long-time cohort John Acquaviva.
The GOTG crew has been working towards landing Hawtin for four years. Congratulations guys, you did it!
DETAILS: Emirates Golf Club, Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai, 7pm to 3am, Dhs375 to Dhs450. Metro: Nakheel. Tel: (056) 7709898.
Starring: David Morales
Big bang: When it comes to house music pedigree, David Morales is a thoroughbred. One of the world’s first superstar DJs and an unofficial remix king, Morales learned his trade in famous New York clubs like the Loft, Paradise Garage and The Sound Factory. His biggest hit was the feel-good house anthem Needin U, which was a club and chart smash all over the world.
Morales enjoyed celebrating Q43’s first birthday so much that he’s back for the Q With A View New Year’s Eve party. Oh, and the views extending to the Burj Khalifa means you’ll get plenty more bang for your buck come those midnight fireworks.
DETAILS: 43rd floor, Office Tower, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, 7pm to 3am, Dhs399 early bird, Dhs500, Restaurant Experience and VIP Club Experience packages also available. Metro: Nakheel. Tel: (056) 1024298.
Starring: Anthony Bassoulou and Devon Kosoko
Big bang: Want to flirt outrageously and still hide your blushes? Then WHITE Dubai has the answer with its Masquerade Ball. There’s still time to acquire or make a fabulous mask for this night of full-on decadence that’ll see Anthony Bassoulou and Devon Kosoko providing the tunes.
Like all things WHITE, expect amazing performers and an incredible light show to bring the Masquerade to life. Plus, its outdoor rooftop location boasts a staggering view of the Dubai skyline – perfect for those midnight fireworks.
DETAILS: Meydan Racecourse Grandstand Rooftop, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, 9pm to 4am, from Dhs1,000. Taxi: Meydan Racecourse. Tel: (050) 4430933.
Starring: Urban Education DJs Val, 3GK and Rone Jaxx
Big bang: It’s an open format night, with Rone Jaxx’s crew promising anything and everything from classic house to hip-hop, R&B, funk, Motown, disco and pop served up tastefully in an Urban Education style. Both terraces overlook The Palm and the Burj Al Arab, so you won’t miss the fireworks.
DETAILS: Holiday Inn Express, Dubai Internet City, 9pm to 2am, Dhs399. Metro: Dubai Internet City. Tel: (050) 7730010.
Big bang: “Four years ago we sat side stage and watched Calvin Harris play main stage at Creamfields Buenos Aires. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be playing that same slot.” So said Aussie twins Mim and Liv Nervo recently after yet another massive festival gig in what’s been a momentous year. The girls also recently reached No.1 in the Billboard Dance Chart with The Other Boys – a collaboration with Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears and Nile Rodgers. Expect plenty of party bangers and bucketloads of energy.
DETAILS: Rixos The Palm, Eastern Crescent, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 4am, Dhs150 (ladies early bird), Dhs250 (gents early bird). Taxi: Rixos The Palm. Tel: (055) 2771477.
Starring: Nina Kay, Chris Roberts and Baldovi
Big bang: If you want to launch with a bang, there’s no better occasion than New Year’s Eve. Dubai’s newest beach club, Purobeach Oasis Del Mar, opens at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort tonight.
The group opened its first venue in Mallorca back in 2004, and since then has become one of Europe’s best-known summer beach club destinations, with locations in Marbella, Vilamoura and Toscana, as well as the Black Sea resort of Mamaia in Romania.
Purobeach’s original urban oasis in Dubai opened at the Conrad Dubai, on Sheikh Zayed Road, in 2013, and its second instalment is the latest must-visit venue with 200 cushioned sun beds and lounge beds, a shisha area, swimming pool, four outdoor bars and restaurants (complete with Saturday brunch) and watersports.
Tonight’s opening will no doubt be a glittering affair with fireworks and flamenco dancers, and music from DJs Nina Kay, Chris Roberts and Baldovi, while party packages start from Dhs300.
DETAILS: JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Dubai, 10pm to 4am, from Dhs300. Taxi: JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort. Tel: (050) 7013303.
Starring: Shef Codes and DJ Bliss
Big bang: On the top two floors of Raffles Dubai, People boasts 360-degree panoramic views yet still retains an intimate feel. With Shef Codes and DJ Bliss bringing their hip-hop and R&B flavours to the party, this is one cosy retreat far from the maddening crowds.
DETAILS: Raffles Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Road, Dubai, 10pm to 4am, Dhs400 (ladies), Dhs700 (gents). Metro: Dubai Healthcare City. Tel: (050) 2972097.
Starring: Arcade 82
Big bang: Dubai’s Arcade 82 bring their signature deep house sound to Park Outdoor Lounge, one of our favourite new bars in town. Expect to hear tracks like Outrun and Never Enough while you party on the outdoor terrace, which will be given a frosty makeover for the night while the atmosphere remains warm and welcoming.
DETAILS: Level 5, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Business Bay, near Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 10pm to 4am, Dhs700. Taxi: JW Marriott Marquis. Tel: (056) 2240956.
Starring: Jon Besant, Charl Chaka and Frak Fu
Big bang: It’s back to the old skool in more ways than one when Infusion takes over Dubai’s Level 41 tonight for a club classics knees-up with the DJs dusting off their record collections for this vinyl-only event.
Fresh from securing a new weekly radio show on the UAE’s Radio 2 every Friday night, Journey Through House promoter Jon Besant will be laying down those big hands-in-the-air singalong anthems. He’s joined by Infusion boss Charl Chaka and Frak Fu, too.
DETAILS: Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs100 before December 22, Dhs195 after. Metro: Nakheel. Tel: (050) 8717493.
Starring: Brandon Block and Tall Paul
Big bang: Ibiza legend Brandon Block (infamous for starting the Space terrace parties on Ibiza) will be joined by former Gallery resident Tall Paul, of London club Turnmills fame. They’ll be rolling back the years and pulling out the club bangers for iKandy’s rooftop party.
DETAILS: Level 4, Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 8pm to 3am, from Dhs695. Metro: Financial Centre. Tel: (04) 4052703.
Starring: Jack Holiday
Big bang: DJ and producer Jack Holiday, aka Christian Korcan, brings his house, electro and EDM party bangers to Dubai. The young Swede first garnered international recognition back in 2009 following his Insomnia collaboration with Mike Candys, which was followed-up when the pair released Children and The Riddle Anthem in 2012.
Based in Zurich, he’s had output on Ultra, Sirup, Kontor and Happy Music, and has supported the likes of Showtek, Mike Candys, Axwell and Tiësto around the globe. Check out his latest JackAttack podcast on his Soundcloud page to get you in the mood.
DETAILS: Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Al Falea Street, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, 8pm till late, Dhs350 early bird, Dhs400. Taxi: Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa. Tel: (052) 6341040.
Starring: A cast of circus freaks
Big bang: When it comes to putting on a show, few do it quite as well as Cirque Le Soir. They’re promising a ‘Scandalous Circus NYE Extravaganza’ so roll up, roll up for a night of clowns, dwarfs, contortionists, burlesque twerkers, stilt walkers, sword swallowers, fire eaters and all sorts of crazy freaks that you’d be a little reluctant to introduce to your mum. The music policy is open format but expect a healthy dose of house and hip-hop, and there’s a special treat in store when the clock strikes midnight.
DETAILS: The Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 10.30pm to 4am, free, table bookings recommended. Metro: World Trade Centre. Tel: (050) 9955400.
Big bang: No, it’s not the name of some DJ you’ve never heard of but rather the theme for Cavalli’s NYE shindig, with the venue transformed to showcase and celebrate the elements – earth, wind, fire and water. Where else in Dubai will you find synchronised swimmers in the middle of a club? Cavalli is all about luxury so expect a ridiculously ostentatious and magical experience to unfold beneath the club’s crystal chandeliers soundtracked by the resident DJs.
DETAILS: The Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9.30pm to 4am, Dhs950 (ladies), Dhs1,150 (gents), dinner reservations from Dhs1,650. Metro: World Trade Centre. Tel: (04) 3325555.
Big bang: After throwing open its doors recently, MAD on Yas Island wants to tempt you down an Abu Dhabi rabbit hole with its Mad Hatter’s New Year’s Eve party.
Formerly O1ne Yas Island, more than Dhs7 million has been injected into the venue, and while its incredible graffiti and street art remains on the outside of the building from before, the interior now boasts the latest state of the art technology across sound, video and lighting.
Said to be “the biggest indoor clubbing space in the UAE”, MAD is backed by the same company behind WHITE Dubai, and its first New Year’s Eve is sure to be an all-out belter with surprises promised in every corner and DJAD on deck duty. What would Alice say?
DETAILS: Near Yas Tunnel, Leisure Drive, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9.30pm to 4am, ladies free, gents Dhs300. Taxi: Yas Island. Tel: (055) 8346262.
Starring: Mark McGreer
Big bang: If you live in the Marina, want to avoid huge crowds and would prefer to stay within walking distance of home, Cargo is a good shout. On the third floor of Pier 7, the restaurant and bar has views over Dubai Marina, which is pretty to look at any time of
We love Cargo’s laidback vibe and chilled atmosphere, and if you don’t have an NYE reservation you can still walk in as a guest from 4pm. If raving to thumping techno or EDM isn’t your thing but you’re not quite ready for a pipe and slippers just yet, we’d recommend here for a jolly good time with Mark McGreer providing the tunes.
DETAILS: Pier 7, 3rd floor, next to Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, 4pm until late, from Dhs100. Metro: Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Tel: (04) 3618129.
Starring: Chris Raynor
Big bang: We’re quite partial to sundowners at this 35th floor roof top bar with stunning views over JBR and The Palm. We’re down with its laidback atmosphere, which we’re happy to report runs through its New Year’s Eve plans. You can settle in for a New Year’s Eve brunch from 9pm to midnight, with dishes delivered to your table for sharing and inclusive of all beverages for only Dhs695. Alternatively just breeze in to join the celebrations and enjoy the tunes from the lovely Chris Raynor.
DETAILS: 35th floor, Hilton Dubai The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, 5pm to 2am, Dhs695 (NYE brunch). Tram: Jumeirah Beach Residence 1. Tel: (04) 3747888.
Starring: DJ JSA and Majestic
Big bang: Get your glitz and glam on and say hello to 2016 in a Studio 54 stylee inside the world’s tallest building. Armani Privé makes a nod to the legendary New York nightclub by ramping up the glam factor on New Year’s Eve. A soundtrack of commercial hits will take you into the new year and as fireworks shoot off the Burj at midnight, we suspect the celebrations inside the club will be pretty explosive too.
DETAILS: Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, ladies Dhs300 and gents Dhs600 before 11pm, ladies Dhs500 and gents Dhs1,000 thereafter. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. Tel: (04) 8883308.