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UAE residents poised for New Year celebrations

People from diverse backgrounds share what they feel about celebrating New Year in UAE

Falak Kassab, Special to Gulf News
18:00 December 30, 2017
Fireworks

Dubai: How will you ring in 2018? Residents of the UAE, home to people from all over the world, told Gulf News about their plans to mark the beginning of a new year.

They also shared their views and hopes, with many saying keeping close to family is important to them, apart from all the revelry.

Dana Rabbat, a 20-year-old American interior design student, has a “completely different experience” with New Year’s Eve in Dubai than what she had in America.

“Back in America, New Year’s Eve is more spontaneous since I don’t have my entire family with me. However, in Dubai, I am surrounded by my aunt and grandmother, which makes the celebrations more special,” she said.

“For next year, I hope to graduate with a satisfying GPA, live a happier life, and stay around with my family.”

Ayman Al Toum, a 19-year-old Sudanese university student, stressed on the importance of “family gatherings” to mark the beginning of a new year. But the young resident has a concern.

“I would rate new year’s eves in Dubai 8 out of 10 due to the traffic that disturbs the joyful vibes of the night,” Al Toum said.

Bassel Shmeit, a Lebanese computer teacher, highlighted the family rituals of preparing “turkey” and gathering around the dining table with his brother and nieces. “I hope for a peaceful, happy, and a fruitful year with my family and friends,” Shmeit said.

For Taema Mobayed, an 18-year-old Syrian-Canadian student, watching Burj Khalifa’s New Year’s displays is an “essential” matter.

“I live in Spain, but I come to Dubai to celebrate the New Year with my family. It seems that people in Spain are much more excited about welcoming the New Year,” said Mobayed.

For others, like Hind Al Bastaki, a 19-year-old Emirati student, watching the fireworks from her aunt’s neighbourhood with her cousins is what makes every year’s beginning a special one.

“Dubai is trying its best to make New Year’s Eves luxurious and presentable, and I think it is working,” she said.

Mo’en Askoul, a Palestinian university student, is missing his extended family. “It is sad that I don’t really feel the New Year’s enthusiasm because my extended family is not in Dubai, so it doesn’t feel like home in such celebrations.”

As for Farah Hatem, 19, an Egyptian media student, New year’s Eve in Egypt has a different feeling since she gets the chance to do her “own fireworks” with her siblings and cousins.

“Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Dubai would be really fun if it was not very expensive. In order to celebrate in a fancy place, it is very costly,” she said.

— Falak Kassab is an intern at Gulf News