Continuing the magic of the festive season, Expo 2020 Dubai is celebrating New Year with a 13-hour party that starts at 1500 GST and continues until 0400 GST, with hourly countdowns taking place at the countries celebrating across global time zones.
The highlight of proceedings will be the ball drop in Al Wasl Plaza at midnight, accompanied by two stunning fireworks displays at 0000-0300 GST.
Dining offerings will be available from more than 70 restaurants and 120 food concepts, including food trucks, food halls, restaurants, bars and kiosks, and exclusive never-been-seen concepts by international chefs. All food concepts will be open late to cater to visitors.
Celebrate the end of 2021 and the start of 2022 with a variety of events taking place at Country Pavilions across the Expo 2020 site:
One of the first to welcome the New Year, the Australia Pavilion will celebrate alongside Sydney by live-streaming fireworks from Sydney Harbour. The world-famous display will be live on the pavilion forecourt screen at 1700 GST (midnight in Australia). Justin McGowan, the pavilion’s Commissioner General, will lead visitors in an official countdown as the Expo site gets a jump start on the celebrations. The entertainment will then continue in the forecourt with live music and acrobatic displays by a team of Australian aerialists. The Local Aussie Grill and Local Aussie Bar will be open until 3am serving food and beverages.
Belgians are known for being true “bon vivants” and this is brought to life in the country’s New Year’s Eve offering. BeHappy is a family-friendly restaurant, where young and old can come to spend time together and make memories that will last a lifetime. Packages are now available to encourage guests to explore any dish they choose, such as seafood platter, famous Belgian beef stew with fries, or sweet chocolate mousse. The experience will be highlighted by an amazing firework show. The restaurant will be open from 1000-0100 GST. Reservations can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 04 521 5900.
Czech Republic Pavilion
Join the Czech Pavilion for an exclusive celebration from 2100 GST. The AED 399 package includes unlimited wine, beer and bubbles, as well canapes at each table. The pavilion will close at 2200 GST, but the restaurant will remain open until 0100 GST. Reservations can be made via email@example.com or on 058 534 2673.
Rooftop bar Graffiti Cocktails and restaurant De2Have will host a New Year’s Eve celebration including Danish traditions, such as seasonal hats, playing the Danish Queen’s speech, Kransekage (Danish marzipan ring cake) and guests leaping off chairs at midnight to ‘jump’ into the New Year. There are two packages available: AED 895 for a six-course meal, cocktails, beer and a glass of bubbly at midnight, from 1900 GST; and AED 495 for cocktails, beer and a glass of bubbly at midnight, from 2200 GST. Reservations can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org. The dress code is smart.
Unleash your inner popstar at the Germany Pavilion’s karaoke night, which runs from 1930-2100 GST. All visitors are welcome.
Welcome the New Year with La Notte Della Taranta (The Night of the Tarantula), the biggest music festival in Italy. It takes place in Salento and is dedicated to the rediscovery and enhancement of the traditional music of Salento known as “la pizzica” and to its fusion with other musical expressions, ranging from the world music to rock, jazz and orchestral music. The celebrations take place from 1545-1700 GST at Al Wasl Plaza and 2100-2300 GST at the Italy Pavilion.
DJ Alessio Bertallot will also entertain guests ready to celebrate the New Year at the Italy Pavilion from 2300-0300 GST – as well as on 1 January from 1900-2200 GST.
Tiaki Restaurant is offering a free glass of bubbles with any main course ordered throughout the day. The pavilion will also give away a “I AM New Zealand” tote bag to the first 22 people through the pavilion experience from 1500 GST, when New Zealand will celebrate the New Year.
Guests are invited to join a gala dinner on the Portugal Pavilion’s balcony, with a decadent seafood offering and free-flowing house beverages and soft drinks for AED 1,900. Alternatively, the pavilion is offering two packages: for AED 99, visitors can tuck into a selection of finger food; and the AED 499 package provides guests free-flowing house beverages, sangria and cocktails. The party runs from 2230-0400 GST and bookings can be made on 050 905 4877.
Saudi Arabia Pavilion
The Saudi Arabia Pavilion will be celebrate New Year with Saudi band Sharqiya playing at the pavilion’s open square from 2200-0030 GST. At 2359 GST, the pavilion will host a countdown on the open square screen, in addition to confetti and celebratory music.
An Emirati band and drummers will visit the pavilion just before 0200 GST to usher in the New Year in Zimbabwe.
Text, photos and videos: Dubai Expo 2020.