New Year’s Eve in Abu Dhabi is traditionally a time of excitement, fireworks, parties and music.
But for those of us who fancy a change this year, there are plenty of ways to escape the hustle and bustle as we welcome 2019.
From reconnecting with history to luxurious staycations, we’re never short of options to spend a memorable few days in the capital.
Here’s a few of our top tips for an alternative New Year’s Eve this year.
Check out the newly refurbished Qasr Al Hosn
This capital landmark has only just reopened after a decade of restorations, but it has already established itself as a must-visit once more.
One of Abu Dhabi’s most treasured heritage sites, parts of it dates back to the late 1700s and provides us with a vital link to the city’s past.
Now it has opened again, visitors can enjoy a range of events and performances each day.
The bumper list includes greetings from Al Hosn Police Force, the guards’ march and an Al-Ayyala dance, with lots more to add.
It should provide the perfect opportunity to reconnect with Abu Dhabi’s history for those looking to spend New Year’s Eve a little differently this year.
Dhs30 (general admission), Dhs15 (children). Sun-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-11pm. Qasr Al Hosn, Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street. www.qasralhosn.ae
Have a round of golf on a world-class course
Abu Dhabi has no shortage of state-of-the-art sporting facilities, with everything from football and tennis to camel racing catered for.
And perhaps golf is a good way for you to swing a memorable and relaxing day out on New Year’s Eve.
Yas Links is just the place to do it, with its gorgeous greens and internationally renowned course, ranked in the world’s top 50.
Leave your troubles behind as you embark on 18 holes on New Year’s Day, with the weather sure to be perfect for a round of golf.
We can’t guarantee you’ll win, but it’s certainly one way to end 2018 in style.
From Dhs325 (non members). Tee times from 7am to 5pm daily. Yas Island. www.yaslinks.com
Book a luxurious staycation on Zaya Nurai Island
There can be few more luxurious ways to see in the new year than with a staycation at this ultra-plush private island.
The tropical haven is a unique, boutique private island resort with 32 beach villas and a handful of food and beverage outlets.
It boasts white, sandy beaches and dazzling blue waters that would make a holiday postcard jealous.
And it’s not too far away, either, just a ten-minute boat ride from Saadiyat Island and accessible from all major travel ports in the UAE.
If you want this New Year’s Eve to stick in the memory for a very long time, then this is for you.
From Dhs4,900. Zaya Nurai Island (02 506 6212). www.zayanuraiisland.com
Go wild on Sir Bani Yas Island
A trip to this safari hotspot will provide you with the perfect getaway from the concrete buildings and buzzing commotion of city life.
One of the UAE’s largest wildlife reserves, Sir Bani Yas Island is home to more than 10,000 free-roaming animals including Arabian Oryx, gazelles and giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs.
Guests can explore the terrain on a 4x4 tour of the park, with expert guides on hand to teach you all you need to know.
There’s a string of luxury villas and a 5-star boutique hotel to sleep in and lots of historical sites to make your way around too.
Prices vary. Sir Bani Yas Island.
Kayak your way around the Eastern Mangroves
It’s hard to believe a city as busy and thriving as Abu Dhabi can have a mega national park right in the middle.
But the Eastern Mangroves is proof you can have it all in the capital, you just need to know where to look.
Book a night kayaking tour with Sea Hawk on December 31 for a beautiful way to see a more serene and peaceful side to the city.
You might even spot a flamingo or heron on your way around.
From Dhs90. 5.30pm-8pm daily. Eastern Mangroves, Al Salam Street. www.sea-hawk.ae