New Year’s Eve in Dubai
Your handy survival guide
When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st 2016, Dubai is one of the most exciting places to be to welcome in 2017. To make your celebration planning simple, read on for our top tips.
Downtown Dubai will shut down temporarily
On New Year’s Eve, over 1.5 million people descend upon Downtown Dubai to witness a spectacular display of fireworks around the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower on earth. In order to keep the area safe for visitors, many of whom will be tourists, roads leading to the neighborhood, and in particular Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, are closed as soon as the area’s car parks are full, which is usually between 6pm and 8pm.
Avoid the traffic and use public transport
Last year, police chiefs advised using the Dubai Metro and Road Transport Authority (RTA) buses to get to the neighbourhood. As roads become congested, it is not unusual for the police to restrict access to arterial roads. It’s important to note that while the red metro line remained open last year, the green line closed just as the New Year was rung in at midnight. It is also best to alight at nearby stations, DIFC or Business Bay, if you’re headed downtown. RTA buses will be provided to ferry passengers back and forth to the Burj Khalifa district.
New Year’s Eve is a huge logistical operation for Dubai’s authorities, managed by thousands of police, ambulance, civil defense and public transport personnel. Traffic builds up quickly, even though additional parking spaces are created and feeder buses to metro stations work round-the-clock. To make it to your dinner reservation or house party in time, it’s best to leave early.
Wear comfortable shoes
No matter where you end up, there will likely be walking. If you are offended at the proposition of choosing comfort over fashion on New Year’s Eve, keep a spare pair of flat shoes your car, you’ll need it.