The nation states of the United Arab Emirates love to compete with with each other when it comes to providing a grand spectacle, and New Years Eve is no exception, with Abu Dhabi going up against their more well known neighbour Dubai in looking to put on the most spectacular party and fireworks display. They managed a remarkable coup for NYE 2012 with Coldplay leading the celebrations with a huge concert, which was an enormous success.
This year there is even more added excitement to the new year celebrations as a landmark signature event takes place with the boats and crews of the Volvo Ocean Race scheduled to be in town, which will add a significant amount of volume and colour to the various parties - see below for more details!
The fireworks in Abu Dhabi on new year's eve aren't as yet in the same bracket as near neighbour Dubai but they're heading in the right direction with a very impressive midnight display due again this year. Head to The Corniche area for the best viewing areas.
Abu Dhabi is very much a growing venue for big music acts too and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a huge name headline act head there this year - bear in mind that the Coldplay gig a few years ago was only confirmed a couple of months beforehand when it did take place, so we will be keeping a close eye our for updates right up until the event itself.
If you're planning on spending some time in and around Abu Dhabi over the holiday period there are a number of other attractions to fill in your time, with the added bonus that the climate at the turn of the year is at it's most pleasant, with cool, sunny days and clear blue skies, although you will need to be aware of the cold nights that take many be surprise! Places well worth a visit in Abu Dhabi include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Cultural Foundation and the National Theater
Abu Dhabi also has a number of prominent skyscrapers throughout the city, another attempt to match near neighbour Dubai in boasting a dramatic skyline, which helps make the city a globally recognisable venue. Some of the tallest buildings include the Central Market Residential Tower, The Landmark and the Sky Tower, all of which provide ideal potential focal points as a backdrop to the New year fireworks displays.
If you're looking for somewhere to eat out to start your evening then there's no shortage of places to choose from, with dining options in most of the main hotels as well as a large range of standalone venues. The Al Fanar Rooftop Revolving Restaurant at Le Meridien would be a great choice, while the Maharaja Palace has an excellent reputation. Check out all the best restaurants here.
Places to watch live online: Abu Dhabi webcams.
There is also a construction cam located at the site of the new Abu Dhabi Cleveland Clinic, which has a decent view of the city skyline in the background, should be good for catching some fireworks on:
There are also some excellent videos of previous New Year fireworks displays on Youtube, see how big the party usually is:
Places to stay are easy to find in Abu Dhabi, and the focus is very much on the top end of the market, with 5 Star accommodation available at prices far lower than other top end destinations. Top recommendations include:
Al Maha Arjaan Hotel
Al Rawda Arjaan By Rotana
Centro Al Manhal
Crowne Plaza Hotel Yas Island
Dhafra Beach Hotel
Cristal Salam Abu Dhabi Hotel
Danat Resort Jebel
Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa By Anantara
Golden Tulip Dalma Suites
Abu Dhabi Hilton
Hotel Park Arjaan By Rotana
Hotel Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi
All of these locations can be accessed for reservations and availability with online bookings here.
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