How we rock a Middle East New Year! (Trump can keep Times Square!)

Published December 30th, 2015 - 05:54 GMT

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New York's Times Square may be synonymous with New Year's Eve, but that's a mostly Western construct. Muslim countries emphasize instead the arrival of the Hijri New Year based on a lunar calendar, marking each new Islamic year. But all the world loves a party, and increasingly, the Middle East has been ringing in the first day of the Gregorian calendar more spectacularly than Europe or North America with posh parties or private events in pristine nature.

Let's leave Times Square to Donald Trump. Come countdown MENA-style. And Happy New Year to us all! Continue reading below »

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Dubai is the world's top New Year's destination, say the travel pros at KAYAK after analyzing a billion online queries for flights. In 2014, the Burj Khalifa dazzled crowds with the world’s largest LED light display, using Star Wars-like laser beam effects to ring in 2015. At the same time, the Palm Jumeirah shot off 400,000 fireworks!
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Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8Dubai is the world's top New Year's destination, say the travel pros at KAYAK after analyzing a billion online queries for flights. In 2014, the Burj Khalifa dazzled crowds with the world’s largest LED light display, using Star Wars-like laser beam effects to ring in 2015. At the same time, the Palm Jumeirah shot off 400,000 fireworks!

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Join the mob of Istanbul's partiers as they convene in Taksim Square or trendy Istaklal Street, or tuck into one of Nevizade's fabulous open-air fish restaurants. Most locals steer clear of the masses, opting for home parties, but a nighttime Bosphorous cruise will give you a front row seat to fireworks flashing above the iconic minarets.
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Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8Join the mob of Istanbul's partiers as they convene in Taksim Square or trendy Istaklal Street, or tuck into one of Nevizade's fabulous open-air fish restaurants. Most locals steer clear of the masses, opting for home parties, but a nighttime Bosphorous cruise will give you a front row seat to fireworks flashing above the iconic minarets.

Enlarge
Jordan's top hotels rock in 2016 with big name entertainers, for top ticket prices. Alternatively, the new mixed-use development 'The Boulevard' hosts the capital's second-ever outdoor new year countdown with a lively music-filled atmosphere, lights, confetti, and animated 'fire fountains'.  Reasonably priced tickets include food vouchers too.
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Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8Jordan's top hotels rock in 2016 with big name entertainers, for top ticket prices. Alternatively, the new mixed-use development "The Boulevard" hosts the capital's second-ever outdoor new year countdown with a lively music-filled atmosphere, lights, confetti, and animated "fire fountains". Reasonably priced tickets include food vouchers too.

Enlarge
Abu Dhabi and Dubai battle for touristic supremacy at New Year's, both throwing enormous city-wide festivals with extravagant fireworks. So you haven't been invited to a lavish private party? A bit too skint to go to a giant show? Take advantage of the temperate UAE winter weather and say hello to 2016 from a sunny Abu Dhabi beach.
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Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8Abu Dhabi and Dubai battle for touristic supremacy at New Year's, both throwing enormous city-wide festivals with extravagant fireworks. So you haven't been invited to a lavish private party? A bit too skint to go to a giant show? Take advantage of the temperate UAE winter weather and say hello to 2016 from a sunny Abu Dhabi beach.

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Picking one thing to do in Beirut on any night is a daunting task, but amp it up to New Year's Eve and you may need some assistance. Take a peek at Lebtivity.com to see dozens of parties on offer. Or keep your cash in your pocket and take in the fireworks in downtown Nejmeh Square. Free and open to all!
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Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8Picking one thing to do in Beirut on any night is a daunting task, but amp it up to New Year's Eve and you may need some assistance. Take a peek at Lebtivity.com to see dozens of parties on offer. Or keep your cash in your pocket and take in the fireworks in downtown Nejmeh Square. Free and open to all!

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In Morocco? Look at what everyone else is doing, and decide to do something completely different! Steer clear of the cities and book a trip to celebrate the changing of the years under the stars in the middle of the Sahara. Professional drivers can lead you on 4×4 desert tours which start in Marrakech and Fes.
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8In Morocco? Look at what everyone else is doing, and decide to do something completely different! Steer clear of the cities and book a trip to celebrate the changing of the years under the stars in the middle of the Sahara. Professional drivers can lead you on 4×4 desert tours which start in Marrakech and Fes.

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Stuck in Tel Aviv and can't get home for the holiday? Check out Bar Kayma in Yafo where they'll be celebrating New Year's Eve 'International Style' – ringing in the new year with every hour, with free toasts to the arrival of 2016 in another country!  Vegan and hipster, located in the Florentine neighborhood.
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Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8Stuck in Tel Aviv and can't get home for the holiday? Check out Bar Kayma in Yafo where they'll be celebrating New Year's Eve "International Style" – ringing in the new year with every hour, with free toasts to the arrival of 2016 in another country! Vegan and hipster, located in the Florentine neighborhood.

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But wherever you find yourself as the clock nears midnight, be smart, be safe, and be clear on the point of this annual worldwide party - which is to bring in a new year full of all good things.
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Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8But wherever you find yourself as the clock nears midnight, be smart, be safe, and be clear on the point of this annual worldwide party - which is to bring in a new year full of all good things.

Enlarge

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Dubai is the world's top New Year's destination, say the travel pros at KAYAK after analyzing a billion online queries for flights. In 2014, the Burj Khalifa dazzled crowds with the world’s largest LED light display, using Star Wars-like laser beam effects to ring in 2015. At the same time, the Palm Jumeirah shot off 400,000 fireworks!

Image 1 of 8Dubai is the world's top New Year's destination, say the travel pros at KAYAK after analyzing a billion online queries for flights. In 2014, the Burj Khalifa dazzled crowds with the world’s largest LED light display, using Star Wars-like laser beam effects to ring in 2015. At the same time, the Palm Jumeirah shot off 400,000 fireworks!

2

Join the mob of Istanbul's partiers as they convene in Taksim Square or trendy Istaklal Street, or tuck into one of Nevizade's fabulous open-air fish restaurants. Most locals steer clear of the masses, opting for home parties, but a nighttime Bosphorous cruise will give you a front row seat to fireworks flashing above the iconic minarets.

Image 2 of 8Join the mob of Istanbul's partiers as they convene in Taksim Square or trendy Istaklal Street, or tuck into one of Nevizade's fabulous open-air fish restaurants. Most locals steer clear of the masses, opting for home parties, but a nighttime Bosphorous cruise will give you a front row seat to fireworks flashing above the iconic minarets.

3

Jordan's top hotels rock in 2016 with big name entertainers, for top ticket prices. Alternatively, the new mixed-use development 'The Boulevard' hosts the capital's second-ever outdoor new year countdown with a lively music-filled atmosphere, lights, confetti, and animated 'fire fountains'.  Reasonably priced tickets include food vouchers too.

Image 3 of 8Jordan's top hotels rock in 2016 with big name entertainers, for top ticket prices. Alternatively, the new mixed-use development "The Boulevard" hosts the capital's second-ever outdoor new year countdown with a lively music-filled atmosphere, lights, confetti, and animated "fire fountains". Reasonably priced tickets include food vouchers too.

4

Abu Dhabi and Dubai battle for touristic supremacy at New Year's, both throwing enormous city-wide festivals with extravagant fireworks. So you haven't been invited to a lavish private party? A bit too skint to go to a giant show? Take advantage of the temperate UAE winter weather and say hello to 2016 from a sunny Abu Dhabi beach.

Image 4 of 8Abu Dhabi and Dubai battle for touristic supremacy at New Year's, both throwing enormous city-wide festivals with extravagant fireworks. So you haven't been invited to a lavish private party? A bit too skint to go to a giant show? Take advantage of the temperate UAE winter weather and say hello to 2016 from a sunny Abu Dhabi beach.

5

Picking one thing to do in Beirut on any night is a daunting task, but amp it up to New Year's Eve and you may need some assistance. Take a peek at Lebtivity.com to see dozens of parties on offer. Or keep your cash in your pocket and take in the fireworks in downtown Nejmeh Square. Free and open to all!

Image 5 of 8Picking one thing to do in Beirut on any night is a daunting task, but amp it up to New Year's Eve and you may need some assistance. Take a peek at Lebtivity.com to see dozens of parties on offer. Or keep your cash in your pocket and take in the fireworks in downtown Nejmeh Square. Free and open to all!

6

In Morocco? Look at what everyone else is doing, and decide to do something completely different! Steer clear of the cities and book a trip to celebrate the changing of the years under the stars in the middle of the Sahara. Professional drivers can lead you on 4×4 desert tours which start in Marrakech and Fes.

Image 6 of 8In Morocco? Look at what everyone else is doing, and decide to do something completely different! Steer clear of the cities and book a trip to celebrate the changing of the years under the stars in the middle of the Sahara. Professional drivers can lead you on 4×4 desert tours which start in Marrakech and Fes.

7

Stuck in Tel Aviv and can't get home for the holiday? Check out Bar Kayma in Yafo where they'll be celebrating New Year's Eve 'International Style' – ringing in the new year with every hour, with free toasts to the arrival of 2016 in another country!  Vegan and hipster, located in the Florentine neighborhood.

Image 7 of 8Stuck in Tel Aviv and can't get home for the holiday? Check out Bar Kayma in Yafo where they'll be celebrating New Year's Eve "International Style" – ringing in the new year with every hour, with free toasts to the arrival of 2016 in another country! Vegan and hipster, located in the Florentine neighborhood.

8

But wherever you find yourself as the clock nears midnight, be smart, be safe, and be clear on the point of this annual worldwide party - which is to bring in a new year full of all good things.

Image 8 of 8But wherever you find yourself as the clock nears midnight, be smart, be safe, and be clear on the point of this annual worldwide party - which is to bring in a new year full of all good things.

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