The Eat & Drink Restaurant Image Credit: ATIQ-UR-REHMAN/XPRESS

DUBAI It may not be the best place to watch the Burj Khalifa fireworks on New Year’s Eve, but on Thursday night this desolate car park on the little known Al Albaany Street (road 58A) off Shaikh Zayed Road will turn into one big viewing deck.

With restaurants in Downtown Dubai charging a premium for an ‘unobstructed view’ of the Burj and more than a million and a half thronging the district, many are expected to gather here, like every year, for a free view of the world’s most spectacular fireworks.

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“There’s little rush. I have been coming here for the last two years and it’s the best spot to watch the fireworks without spending much and breaking into a sweat,” says Filipino designer Jay Rodriguez.

“It makes sense. For a table anywhere inside Dubai Mall or the neighbouring districts, the cheapest deal I found is Dh600 at a coffee shop. For that kind of money our family of seven can have a decent dinner while enjoying the fireworks,” says Palestinian Ramee who plans to grab a meal at Eat & Drink restaurant, the only eatery in the vicinity.

“Every December 31 evening, this place becomes one big carnival with rows of cars parked with hazard lights on and people sitting in groups on mats and carpets, waiting for the fireworks,” says Laxman, a staff at Eat & Drink restaurant near the Business Bay Metro station. The branch has remained the most profitable on the night for the chain that runs 19 other restaurants across Dubai and Sharjah. “No doubt it’s our busiest day. If we wanted we could have inflated our prices, like other restaurants, but we haven’t,” said another staff of the restaurant where a ‘family pack’ of special mixed grill served with hummus and bread, their most expensive item, costs just Dh130.