Fireworks at Al Qasba to welcome new year 2012. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: It’s no secret that Dubai is a pricey place to spend New Year’s Eve.

So pricey, in fact, that the city has been ranked the most expensive place in the world to ring in the New Year.

A fully-loaded celebration in Dubai will cost Dh2,240 per person — Dh340 more than in New York, the second-most expensive city ranked by global exchange firm Travelex.

At the Dubai Mall — where the annual grand fireworks display by the fountain makes it the centre of the city’s New Year’s festivities — high prices make eyeballs pop like champagne corks.

Watching the fireworks from Tim Horton’s at Dubai Mall will set you back Dh1,500 for an outdoor table, and Dh750 inside.

The prices include a four-course meal, gift hamper, and unlimited drinks and pastries.

Last year, a similar package at the humble Canadian cafe chain — where a cappuccino normally costs just Dh12 — cost Dh1,000 or Dh600, respectively.

At the International House of Pancakes, better known as IHOP, the cost per person stands at Dh1,950 for a set menu. However, drinks are not included in the price, which has risen by Dh150 since last year.

Opposite Tim Hortons, American burger joint Five Guys is selling its best outdoor tables for Dh1,200, and all the burgers, fries and shakes you can eat. This price is unchanged from last year.

For fans of US-style Chinese food, PF Chang’s is offering an outdoor table for Dh7,000, that sits up to four people. The price includes starters, mains, desserts, and unlimited drinks.

Last year, the chain charged Dh1,500 per person — Dh250 less than this year.

At Café Paul, prices on the balcony stand at Dh749 per person for an outdoor table, with starter, salads, mains and a drink included — but you only get one of each.

If you just want to bring your own food and drinks to the mall and stand by the water’s edge, you may be out of luck.

Last year, around six hours before the fireworks began, mall security cordoned off all the routes leading to the fountains due to the size of the crowds.

This meant that only people who had a booking at one of the restaurants and cafes with the fountain-side view of the fireworks could enter.

Police had also closed off the boulevard that runs alongside Dubai Mall by 4pm — so the mall’s staff advise people to come early.