World’s biggest fireworks display?
Atlantis the Palm at the far end of the Palm Jumeirah is an excellent option for watching the fireworks this New Year's Eve.
It isn’t New Year’s Eve without lighting up the last night of the year with fireworks. And Dubai is taking it to the extreme this year by going for a Guinness World Record for the biggest firework display – ever.
Hosted by various hotels on the Palm Jumeirah (the man-made palm shaped island out at sea), plus downtown Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab hotel and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, the midnight firework frenzy will be split into two parts. First, an intense six minute display across the Palm and at the Burj Khalifa that hopes to seal the world record. If your eardrums survive that barrage, there will then be a second 15-minute display along a 1km stretch of Jumeirah beach, giving plenty of time to get in your oohs and ahhs. To seal the record, Dubai needs to beat neighbour Kuwait, which let off an almighty 77,282 fireworks over the course of an hour in 2011.
So where should you watch this mammoth sky-lighting extravaganza? Access to the Palm Jumeirah will be restricted on the night, so if you want to see the magic up close, you’ll need to think outside the box.
Atlantis the Palm, at the far end of the Palm Jumeirah, will be running Sandance, its hugely popular monthly festival, on Nasimi Beach, with a great New Year’s Eve lineup that includes DJ Paul Oakenfold. You’ll be able to party the night away with a stellar view of the fireworks.
Alternatively, check into the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the West Crescent of the Palm Jumeirah. The hotel was used as a set in Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible 3 and often hosts Hollywood A-listers when they visit the Middle East. You’ll be able to view the display from the hotel’s private beach, bubbly in hand, or from one of its many terraces. The luxurious Ottoman-inspired resort will also broadcast aerial footage of the entire fireworks fiesta to its various bars and will host an after party in its Voda Bar.
If you’re looking for something a little less costly, head to Dubai Marina for a view onto the Palm Jumeirah. In particular, try the public beach at Jumeirah Beach Walk or a sky high bar with a view over the sea, such as Pure Sky Lounge at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah or the Observatory at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel. Burj Park, next to Dubai Mall in downtown Dubai will offer a free view of the Burj Khalifa section of the display, although access in and out of the neighbourhood is likely to be congested.
Georgina Wilson-Powell is the Dubai Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes the hotel review blog sogoodtogetoutofthecity.wordpress.com.