Concerts, gala dinners, festivals and a whole lot more – here’s how you can ring in the new year in the UAE capital

Festivals/live shows

The New Year’s Eve Countdown Village

Making its debut this year is the Countdown Village. It’ll have live music, a fireworks show, 50 F&B outlets, a balloon park, glowing kites and a graffiti wall. There’ll be a concert on NYE with local, homegrown performers playing, plus a laser show. The singers performing on NYE are Egyptian star Tamer Hosny and Emirati singer Hussein Al Jasmi.
December 28 to 31
Breakwater, Corniche, Abu Dhabi, timings and prices TBC. Taxi: Breakwater, near Marina Mall. Tel: (800) 5000.

Katy Perry live

The US superstar singer performs this NYE on Yas Island at the du Arena. You can find out more about her concert by clicking here.

Turbo B

The rapper, originally in Snap! (you’ll remember their classic early 1990s hit Rhythm Is A Dancer) is performing at Iris at the bar’s NYE party.
Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (055) 1605636. Taxi: Yas Marina.

Mr Vegas

The Grammy-nominated reggae star performs at Hiltonia Beach Club on December 31 as part of the hotel’s Showdown NYE bash.
Hilton Abu Dhabi, Al Khubeirah, Abu Dhabi, 6pm to 3am, Dhs100 to Dhs120. Tel: (02) 6924324. Taxi: Hilton Corniche.

Kadim Al Sahir and Balqees

Yemini singer Balqees and Iraqi singer, composer and songwriter Kadim Al Sahir are performing on the Promenade on Al Maryah Island. Gates open at 7pm.
Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, 7pm to 1am, free. Taxi: Galleria.

Akon at MAD

The American urban star will be on Yas Island on NYE to perform his songs Lonely, Don’t Matter and more.
Mad Yas Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (055) 8346262. Taxi: Mad on Yas.

Winterfest at Ferrari World

The Yas Island themepark becomes a winter wonderland to celebrate the festive period, for the fifth year in a row. There’s snow slides for kids to try, plus an ice skating show called Fairytales On Ice featuring seven international performers. There’s also an elf school and kids can hang out with Bjorn the Polar Bear in a snowy play area.
Until January 6
Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, timings vary. Taxi: Ferrari World. Tel: (02) 4968000.

Winterland Carnival

Back for a second year, this child-friendly carnival is part of Yas Island’s winter celebrations and features a snow park with a snowball zone, a magical forest, funfair games, and rides such as bumper cars and a snow tubing ramp. There’s also a local market selling arts and crafts plus a selection of food trucks. It’s open late on the last day, New Year’s Eve, and will be hosting a fireworks display.
December 28 to 31
du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Wed to Sat 2pm to 10pm, Sun 2pm to 12.30am, free. Taxi: du Forum.

Hotel happenings

Al Raha Beach Hotel

The hotel’s grand ballroom is the place to head for Al Raha’s New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner, which starts at 7pm. Colombian Band will be in attendance, along with belly and dabke dancers.
Al Raha Beach Hotel, Al Raha, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5080555. Taxi: Al Raha Beach Hotel.

Aloft Abu Dhabi

The hotel next to Adnec is hosting a white party at Twelve on New Year’s Eve from 8pm to 3am, with an Asian buffet included in the price.
Aloft Abu Dhabi, Adnec, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6545193. Taxi: Adnec.

Aloft Al Ain

Head to the Garden City for New Year’s Eve at its poolside bar The Rooftop from 9pm to 3am and in Olive Tree from 7pm to 11.30pm.
Aloft Al Ain, Al Towwaya, Al Ain. Tel: (03) 7138888. Taxi: Al Ain football stadium.

Beach Rotana

Finz has a special six-course menu on offer while Trader Vic’s is hosting a Pirates Of the Caribbean-themed party.
Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6979302. Taxi: Beach Rotana.

Courtyard By Marriott World Trade Centre

Up & Below is where the hotel is celebrating New Year’s Eve, with live music, DJs and a light show using SpectraDOT nanotechnology.
Courtyard By Marriott World Trade Centre, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6982222. Taxi: Courtyard By Marriott.

Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi

The hotel’s pub, Heroes, has a party with music from the International Playboys, from 8pm to 4am, on New Year’s Eve.
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6166261. Taxi: Crowne Plaza.

Eastern Mangroves Hotel And Spa By Anantara

The Pool Deck bar has a New Year’s Eve party, running from 10.30pm until 3am.
Eastern Mangroves Hotel And Spa By Anantara, Salam Street, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6561000 Taxi: Eastern Mangroves.

Emirates Palace

Emirates Palace
They have a New Year’s Gala at the Palace Terrace, running from 7pm to 3am, with a buffet and live music from UK band The Talent. You’ll need to dig deep into your wallets for this one – a ticket for an adult is Dhs2,750, kids aged six to 12 Dhs1,375 a ticket. The hotel also has a fireworks display planned for midnight.
Emirates Palace, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6907999. Taxi: Emirates Palace.

Four Seasons

Want to spend NYE on Al Maryah Island? Cocktail bar Zsa Zsa has a 1970s-themed NYE party at the Four Seasons.
Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 3332222. Taxi: Four Seasons.

Grand Millennium Al Wahda

All-day dining restaurant Al Wahda is offering a New Year’s Eve dinner. Porters pub (above) has packages for New Year’s Eve, starting at Dhs150. You can celebrate NYE at Sky Lounge 31, which has a three-course menu for Dhs450 and views of the Abu Dhabi skyline.
Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 4953936. Taxi: Grand Millennium.

Holiday Inn

New Year’s Eve will be celebrated in Sushi San (above), Silk Route Café and Thirty 1st Bar & Lounge.
Holiday Inn, Al Sarafat, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6574856. Taxi: Holiday Inn, Airport Road.


Head to Chamas on New Year’s Eve for live samba music and a Brazilian-themed carnival.
InterContinental, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (800) 423463. Taxi: InterContinental.

Le Méridien

There’s a Black And Gold NYE party from 10.30pm, in the hotel’s garden with live music from Once Duo.
Le Méridien, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6446666. Taxi: Le Méridien.

Le Royal Meridien

PJ O’Reilly’s has a pyjama party on New Year’s Eve, running from 8pm to 3am. Stratos also has a party on for NYE, with prices starting at Dhs325.
Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6950300. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien.

Marriott Hotel Al Forsan

On NYE, they’re hosting a party at Appaloosa (above), and another on their outdoor terrace. Both end at 3am.
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 2014131. Taxi: Al Forsan Sports Resort.

Marriott Hotel Downtown

The Eat.Play.Laugh brunch moves to 7pm on December 31 for a NYE edition. JW Steakhouse (above) is also serving a NYE menu.
Marriott Hotel Downtown, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 3047777. Taxi: Marriott Downtown, near Al Wahda Mall.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara

Fancy spending NYE in the desert? Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is hosting Parisian jazz band Swing Deluxe until December 31. They’ll be performing nightly in the dunes of the Liwa desert. They’re offering a Bedouin-style dining experience on December 28, 29 and 30.
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara, Liwa, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 8862088. Taxi: Qasr Al Sarab, Liwa.


For the first time ever, the hotel will hold a New Year’s Eve gala, with tickets priced at Dhs950 – it’s limited to 100 guests and will take place at a secret waterfront location. There’ll be fireworks, too.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 8135550. Taxi: Rosewood.

Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal

Ring in the New Year with a gala dinner at Giornotte, with prices starting at Dhs695.
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 8188282. Taxi: Ritz-Carlton.


Its outdoor bar The Beachcomber has an NYE party starting at 10pm.
Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6773333. Taxi: Sheraton Corniche.


NYE celebrations will take place at the hotel’s What’s On Award-winning bar Jazz & Fizz.
Sofitel Corniche, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 8137777. Taxi: Sofitel.

Southern Sun

The Foundry is hosting a gala dinner until 3am on NYE.
Southern Sun Hotel, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 8184888. Taxi: Southern Sun, Al Mina Street, Tourist Club.

St Regis Abu Dhabi

There’s a NYE beach party at Nation Riviera Beach Club.
St Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 6944444. Taxi: St Regis, Corniche.

St Regis Saadiyat Island

Head here for a ballroom gala dinner for NYE, called Moon And The Stars, with tickets costing Dhs1,600.
St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 4988888. Taxi: St Regis Saadiyat.

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