What were you doing for New Year’s Eve?
The results are in.
January 3, 2010 4:09 by Aarti Nagraj
2009 was a tough year for many people; the global financial crisis laid waste to jobs across the region, and often reduced the salaries of the jobs that were spared. It was a pretty depressing time, but things are at last starting to change – the markets are looking up, and hopes for 2010 are high.
To usher in this bright New Year, UAE residents had many options to choose from, from Rihanna’s concert in Abu Dhabi to hotel parties in Dubai to camping in the desert.
According to our poll, however, only 12 percent of our respondents spent the inevitable fortune on a night out. In fact, the largest number of respondents, 42 percent, celebrated the big event by going to a friend’s place, while a further 17 percent said that they welcomed the New Year at home.
And who could blame them, given that prices for Rihanna’s concert at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi started at AED395, rising to AED1,695 for the VIP package? Partying at the Cavalli Club in Fairmont Dubai, meanwhile, cost a cool AED850 for women and AED950 for men, and an evening at 360 Degrees bar in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel with the Trash Pussies (AKA Peaches Geldof and Fifi Brown) cost AED895. Even a desert safari outing on December 31 with belly dancing, fireworks and music at Al Awir was priced at a not-insignificant AED399 with North Tours.
There were some people out and about, however. Events like Dazzle Dubai New Year’s Eve 2010, a musical concert at the Dubai World Trade Centre featuring singers like Atif Aslam, Shaan and Vasundhara Das, saw huge turnouts. Tickets for Dazzle Dubai started at AED150 (rising to AED1, 500).
A lot of people also gathered near the Burj Al Arab hotel, where 2010 was welcomed with a beautiful fireworks display. But the depressing mood of 2009 seems to have stayed on for 20 percent of our respondents, who said that they did nothing special to welcome the New Year, and have no friends.