It’s time to wave goodbye to one year and usher in another – and we get a long weekend to celebrate, hurrah!

The last weekend of 2016 is finally here, and we’re going to make the most of it with world-class DJs, free fireworks, outdoor movies, and Latin-inspired brunches…

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Thursday 29

Check out a new laser, lights and fireball show

Festival City

The start of Dubai Shopping Festival marked something other than month-long discounts – it also signalled the launch of a free waterfront extravaganza at Dubai Festival City Mall. Named Imagine: A Show Like No Other, the first-of-its-kind attraction features fountains, fireballs, lasers and lights, as well as 3D projections. Get down there and gawp (there are many shows a day, though they vary in what you’ll see, so check out the full list of timings here).

Dubai Festival Centre, from 12pm. Tel: (800) 332. More info on website.

See a world-class DJ live

david guetta

You know him from hits such as Titanium, Would I Lie To You and When Love Takes Over, and now you can catch David Guetta performing in Dubai tonight (so you can cut loose in a warm-up to NYE). The dance music legend is playing at Atlantis, The Palm, and judging by every photo we’ve seen of his previous performances, concertgoers are in for a real treat.

Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm. December 29, 7pm till late. Tickets from Dhs295. Tel: (04) 4261000. Buy tickets here

Friday 30

See fireworks light up the sky


Want to catch some of the NYE festivities but don’t fancy the crowds packing the streets and metros on December 31? Then check out the free show at The Beach opposite JBR – there’ll be fireworks putting on a display every weekend that the Dubai Shopping Festival is running.

The Beach opposite JBR, 8pm, free. More info on website

Treat yourself to a pre-NYE dinner


One restaurant in DIFC we can definitely vouch for is The Artisan – we’ve enjoyed the pasta stuffed with a silky pumpkin puree many a time. And the eatery (which is the little sister of a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Florence) has just opened its outdoor terrace, so now’s the time to gorge on some fine-dining Italian before the summer sun comes back around.

The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri, Level P5, Burj Daman Building, DIFC, Dubai, Mon to Thurs 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm, Fri to Sun 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3388133.

Saturday 31

For 10 ideas of places to see in midnight, check out our list here (or for what to wear, try here). But if you’re less of a party person, we recommend…

Filling up at the food trucks


If you want to forgo the kind of parties you need to get really dolled-up for, this low-key foodie experience should fit the bill. TruckersDXB is hosting a New Year’s Eve event at Emirates Golf Club, where 20 food trucks plus some live performers will congregate for a chilled-out afternoon leading into a laid-back evening. There’s also a kids’ area, so this is a rather family-friendly NYE option.

Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, 3pm to 3am, entry is Dhs295 per person (including four drinks and accessories). More info on Facebook. 

Watching a movie alfresco

lala land

Emma Stone + Ryan Gosling = cinematic match made in heaven, as they proved in Crazy, Stupid, Love. And now the duo have reunited for La La Land, a musical that’s already generating a lot of awards buzz. Catch it VOX’s outdoor theatre, where you’ll get luxury seating, plenty of greenery, and snacks to boot.

Galleria Mall, Al Wasl Road, Al Safa, Dubai, 8.25pm, Dhs150 per person.

Sunday 1

Start the New Year on a good note

136.1 yoga

Whatever you got up to last night (whether it was crawling in at 4am from dancing or curling up with Netflix and asleep by 10pm), get 2017 off to a healthful start with a 90-minute dose of meditation and chanting. 136.1 Yoga Studio’s free workshop promises to help you “let go of the year that was”, and you also get snacks and herbal tea once it’s finished.

136.1 Yoga Studio, Trident Bayside, Dubai Marina, 11am to 12.30pm, free. Tel: (04) 441 6287. More info on website.

Try a Latin-inspired brunch

blue marlin

If Mediterranean dishes served up along with a side order of authentic flamenco music by Gipsy Moreno sounds like your kind of day, then you’ll like this. Blue Marlin are hosting a “Spanish Brunch” with live cooking stations, tasty BBQs, and DJ performances as the night takes hold.

Golden Tulip Al Jazira Island Hotel, Ghantoot, Dubai, Dhs275 per person with restaurant seating at either 1pm to 3pm, or 3.30pm to 5.30pm. The terrace and beach brunch is Dhs295 per person from 2pm to 4pm. Tel: (056) 113 3400. More info on Facebook.

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Images: Supplied