DUBAI: From exquisitely themed gala dinners to fun and relaxed beach parties on offer, UAE hotels are ready to start 2013 with a bang.
Hotel dinners are selling fast in Dubai and are popular among revellers. Many hotels are offering dinner packages with access to live entertainment and fireworks to welcome the New Year.
It’s not too late to plan your big night out now — but many have been making room and dinner reservations as early as November.
“Dubai is top in the region in terms of hotel occupancy,” said Rashid Aboobacker, senior consultant at TRI Hospitality Consulting. “In December, Dubai has one of the highest occupancy rates regionally.”
That’s why few hotels are offering discounted room rates and are enjoying high occupancy rates.
The Atlantic on The Palm in Dubai has sold out in room and dinner packages two months ago. — but it’s not too tate to organise dinner and entertainment at some of the restaurants there.
Seafire-Steakhouse and Bar, Rostang, Nobu, and oriental restaurant Leavantine are offering special New Year’s menus, priced between Dh2,100 and Dh2,500.
For Dh2,100 at Seafire, you can ring in the New Year dining on pan-fried sea bass, salted cod and lobster brandade, croquettes, and caviar — finished off with a plum and white chocolate parfait. If you’re vegetatian, don’t worry. Leavantine is offering a vegetarian menu at the same price featuring cold and hot mezzeh, roasted vegetables with green wheat, and topped off with Arabic sweets.
And there’s a stunning fireworks display as the clock strikes 12.
Across the water at the Burj Al Arab, there are still dinner options on the table tonight. If you have a health appetite and a healthy bank balance, try dinner at Al Iwan restaurant for Dh7,450 per person. And more fireworks.
Officials in Dubai are expecting close to a million people around the Burj Khalifa tonight and the Metro will be running around the clock to bring revellers home. Parking is limited and illegally-parked cars may be impounded for a month.
Since it opened three years agto, the Burj Khalifa has become on the world’s iconic locations to ring in the cfhange in calendars. That’s why December is a bonanza month for hoteliers.
Hotels in Dubai achieve the highest food and beverage revenue in December, reflecting the revenue potential from promotions on food and beverages, according to HotStats. Additionally, in 2011, December food and beverage revenue accounted for 10.95 per cent of the total food and beverage revenue for the same year.
By the end of November, total hotel occupancy rates in Dubai were up 1.5 per cent to 81 per cent, from a little under 80 per cent in 2011, Aboobacker told Gulf News.
In Abu Dhabi, it’s a similar story. At the InterContinental Hotel Abu Dhabi, where rooms start at Dh1,400, there’s almost no availability.
“We are at 48 per cent occupancy,” Marwan Mseikeh, manager of Grand Millennium Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi, said. He said the hotel has a special promotion on at present for Dh399 for single and double occupancy.
Last evening, there was one roomj left for tonight — priced at Dh2,400 with a Burj Khalifa fountain view — at the Address downtown Dubai.
Sarah Algethami is a trainee at Gulf News