Dubai: As impressive fireworks lit up the midnight skies to ring in the New Year, residents and tourists in Dubai also uttered their wishes to welcome 2022. Good health, an end to the pandemic, stable jobs and financial security are just some of their aspirations, but they also want to experience more adventure, have better relationships and spend more time with family and friends.
Being in Dubai, on New Year’s Eve (NYE) was actually already a wish-come-true for some of them. Indian couple Amar Mane, 41, and Abhilasha Mane, 38, who just arrived from Mumbai on December 30, said they had their best experience ringing in the New Year at the foot of the world’s tallest tower. “This is our first time seeing up-close the fireworks display at Burj Khalifa and we were totally impressed,” the couple told Gulf News. “We’re very happy to spend the New Year in Dubai — a place that we’ve visited only for the second time. But we’ve always found it trendy, futuristic, safe, peaceful and always welcoming,” added Amar, whose wish for 2022 is to get a good job in Dubai and settle here with his family.
Amar and Abhilasha, who work as directors for engineering and law colleges in India, also shared their plans for New Year’s Day. “In the morning, we are going to have a helicopter ride, then dinner at Burj Al Arab. A visit to Atlantis, The Palm, will be on the agenda for the following day,” the couple said.
NYE at Expo 2020
Spanish visitor Jose Maria Perez Melber, 50, spent New Year’s Eve with his family and friends at Expo 2020 Dubai. He said they were having a great time in Dubai. As for his wish in 2022, Melber said he was looking for a fun-filled new year, marked by peace, happiness and good health. He added: “If anything, the pandemic has taught me to take life as it comes. That’s why we made a holiday trip to Dubai. The Expo is absolutely beautiful and we cannot be in a better place than here.”
More adventure and friends
For German tourist, Chris Mueller, 45, his desire is to have more adventure and meet more friends in 2022. He said: “I enjoy my leisure time in Dubai. I come to the Expo every day and meet people from different walks of lives, belonging to different nationalities. Dubai is a melting pot and Expo is testament to that. I want to make more friends and enjoy more adventures this new year.”
Nasreen Sajan, 45, an American national of Pakistani origin, meanwhile, is engaging in a new business venture. She said: “I am starting my own business in life insurance and I am looking forward to new beginnings in 2022.” Sajan came with her cousin, Nazia Kashif, 41, from Karachi and they spent NYE, watching the concerts and firework shows at the Expo.
Russian hostess Christina Mokrova, 33, who works at the Expo 2020 Dubai site said her goal for 2022 was to find a more stable job in Dubai. “I came here to work at the Expo, but this is just temporary. I love Dubai and its people. I want to find a suitable job here once the Expo ends,” said Mokrova, adding: “Dubai has such a great mix of nationalities — it’s incredible. I love the fact that I have met people from different nationalities and made so many friends here. I would like to stay here for a long time.”
‘No better way to spend NYE’
Indian aerospace engineer, Rohan Sahoo, 38, has come from Abu Dhabi to Expo 2020 Dubai with his family and friend Abhishek Khare, 38, who is also an aerospace engineer working in Abu Dhabi. “We could not think of a better way of spending our New Year’s Eve. It has to be at the Expo,” Sahoo said. He added: “I am not worried about the COVID-19 spike because we are all taking due precautions,” he added. To that, Khare said: “We are excited to see the live performances and the fireworks at Dubai Expo. It’s a family destination and we are happy to be here for NYE.”
Meanwhile, two Jordanian sisters are ready for some “me time” at the Expo. Laila Al Saadi, 27, is visiting Dubai from Amman. Her sister Manar Al Saadi, 30, suggested the NYE celebrations at the Expo. “We are super excited. I have heard a lot about the expo and this is the best way I can spend some quality time with my sister,” Manar said.
‘A great venue’
Spanish brothers Sergio Moure, 18, and Lamely Polla, 15, were seen having loads of fun at Expo 2020 Dubai. “We are visiting from Spain with our parents. We have been seeing many pavilions. NYE will be here at the Expo. It’s a great venue. Dubai is a popular destination to visit. So my family decided to come down here,” the brothers said.