The Burj Khalifa celebrations will even be projected at New York's Times Square. The world's tallest building at 828 metres will have to wear 357,000 LED nodes, an ode to the UAE.

But for those of us neither invited to house parties, nor are hosting them, Khaleej Times picks out a few locations.

For the obvious hot spots, see the accompanying box. But in case slightly off the beaten track is your thing, here are some other hidden gems - good venues with no cover charge and no dress code, just a good view of the theatrics in the sky. And let's hope, with minimal traffic.

1. In front of Latifa Hospital, Dubai

This spot near Al Wasl Football Club is a lesser-known gem. You get a panoramic view of the city, and are spared the rush of being in the Downtown area where some coffee shops such as Starbucks, Tim Horton's and Kino's Café at The Dubai Mall are asking for Dh300 to Dh600 per person for the night.

2. Nad Al Sheba, Dubai

A photographer's secret delight, this one is away from the masses - even though on New Year's Eve no spot is entirely devoid of masses. You get a great clean view, and maximum exposure to the skyline. Take your cars and head out to this spot with a picnic basket full of midnight treats.

3. High-rises in Mankhool, Dubai

We're all for collective public experiences of watching the fireworks on the streets, but if you get some altitude under you, you're set for the midnight theatrics. Certain tall buildings in Mankhool and Bur Dubai have an unobstructed view of the Burj. Time to crash a house party there, maybe?

4. Near Box Park, Al Wasl Road

In these times when burger joints are peddling space - a 'gold seat' with the best views of the Burj Khalifa for Dh1,200 and Dh1,000 for a silver seat - it makes sense to hang on to that cash, and drive to the stretch on Al Wasl road with lots of roadside parking. Park your car, mill around near Box Park. You get the view, and you get some exercise, at no extra cost.

5. The Corniche, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi

If you can be around Khalidiya Palace, and near the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, wonderful - that's a good residential area to watch the skyline all lit up. Also Al Maqta, but the hustle bustle will all be at the Abu Dhabi Cornice. It's long enough, there's enough parking, and a good view is guaranteed.


Sharjah residents will line up to watch the fireworks behind the wheel - Eye of Emirates - that you can see from Al Qasbah. Several residential towers in the area afford a spectacular front-row view. The other spot is Al Majaz waterfront where there will be a musical fountain show, plus the fireworks at the stroke of 12.

Or you could sit home and watch it on TV, or stream it live from