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New year’s Eve in Dubai

Choosing the right plans on New Year’s Eve feels like a make-or-break situation, so we’re taking the anxiety out of the planning process by selecting six great venues in which to ring in 2017. Whether you’re hoping for an upscale Mediterranean feast reminiscent of a candlelight dinner in Monte Carlo or a poolside lounge from which to watch the incredible fireworks display, we’ve got you covered. Discover Savoir Flair’s selection, here.

La Cantine du Faubourg

End the year with Chef Gilles Bosquet’s mouthwatering New Year’s Eve menu of blue-lobster cannelloni, confit eggplant, and caviar de Sologne among other culinary masterpieces that will be available at La Cantine du Faubourg. There will also be a live French band for guests to enjoy a little added Parisian panache with their year-end celebration.

Prices begin at AED 1,200/SAR 1,219 per person
Jumeirah Emirates Towers
(+971) 4 352 7105


At Aqua, a laid-back outdoor venue at JW Marriott Marquis, you’ll find Dutch duo Lucas & Steve and French superstar DJ Norman Doray headlining its New Year’s Eve party with their popular house music. Before hitting the dance floor, be sure to enjoy dinner on Aqua’s terrace, which is perfectly situated to offer breathtaking views of the city’s spectacular fireworks.

Prices begin at AED 1,600/SAR 1,626 per couple
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai
(+971) 4 414 3000

Catch Dubai

Chef Bobby Griffing at Catch Dubai has created a specialty menu of miso sea bass, duck four ways, short-rib tacos, and chocolate fondant, to name a few of the options available on his New Year’s Eve roster. Throw in the restaurant’s band Cubache, which will be playing an authentic mix of Cuban sounds and a fusion of Latin and Afro rhythms, and you can’t go wrong.

Prices begin at AED 550/SAR 559
Fairmont Dubai
(+971) 4 357 1755

Sass Café

If you can’t make it to Monte Carlo this New Year’s Eve, don’t fret. Sass Café, which hails from the notoriously glitzy city, will provide all its frivolity and allure alongside a delicious, Mediterranean-inspired menu.

Prices begin at AED 1,499/SAR 1,530 per person
Al Fattan Currency House
(+971) 4 352 7722

Vida Downtown Dubai

Hoping to do something a little different this year? How about ringing in 2017 in a private pool cabana? Vida Downtown Dubai is offering cabanas for up to four people that guarantee (very comfortable) front-row seats to the fireworks in Downtown Dubai for a cool AED 5,000.

Prices begin at AED 5,000/SAR 5,082
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
(+971) 4 428 6888

Blind Dragon

If fancy dinners and pool cabanas aren’t your idea of a good time, there’s really only one option left: a night packed with sing-your-heart-out karaoke. Cue New Year’s Eve at Blind Dragon. Not only will you enjoy a massive selection of the world’s most popular songs, you’ll also be able to enjoy an evening of unlimited food and drinks. It’s a win-win if you ask us.

Prices start at AED 599/SAR 611
The Atrium at Al Habtoor City
(+971) 4 437 0033


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The Biggest Shopping Festival in Dubai You cant Missed!

Shopaholics Unite as Dubai Sale Festival has kicked off earlier than usual. It started yesterday, December 26, 2016 and will run up to January 28, 2017. Exploit the sale! This year the shopping extravaganza is going to be bigger as it is is jam-packed with offers, activities, discounts and prizes throughout many of the city’s shopping destinations.

Starting January 1, 2017 at 12:00pm, Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me’aisem City Centre Al Barsha and City Centre Al Shindagha, will host a special 12-hour New Year Shopping Experience. All participating outlets in these malls will offer sales with up to 90 per cent (yes, that is 90 per cent!) off.

From December 26 to January 28, all participating malls of Dubai will run promotions with Dh1 million in prizes at stake. Every Dh200 spent at a participating mall, customers are entitled to one raffle coupon to win Dh100,000 every week for four weeks. Plus a grand raffle will be held on the last day of DSF where three winners get to take home great prizes worth Dh100,000. Scratch-and-win promotions will offer the customer the chance to win prizes including gift sets, luxury watches and perfumes.
At Dubai Festival City, shoppers spending Dh250 at any outlet will have the chance to win a night’s stay for four people at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. There will also be a chance to win a grand prize — a 2017 Lexus LX570.

The Infiniti Mega Raffle is back at the DSF with one lucky shopper winning an Infiniti QX70 plus Dh150,000 in cash every day. Raffle tickets are priced at Dh200 and available from EPPCO and ENOC petrol stations; Al Ghurair Centre; Global Village; Al Fahidi Street; Al Rigga Street; Al Seef Street; Baniyas Road; and the Gold Souk. The daily raffle draw takes place every night at 10pm live on SAMA Dubai TV from December 26 to February 4.
The Nissan Grand Raffle will award one of eight Nissan cars — Micra, Sunny, Sentra, Tiida Hatchback, X-Trail, Juke, Pathfinder, and Patrol — to a lucky winner every day from December 26 to January 28. Earn one raffle ticket upon purchase of non-fuel products worth Dh20 at all EPPCO and ENOC petrol stations, as well as Zoom shops in Dubai. The draw will take place with a live broadcast at 10pm on SAMA Dubai TV.

The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group (DGJG) will run a promotion for shoppers spending a minimum Dh500 at participating gold and jewellery outlets. Each day, one lucky winner will receive one-half kilo of gold, while two others will each win one-quarter kilo of gold. On the final day of DSF 2017, one shopper stands to win one kilo of gold. In all, there will be 100 winners over the 34 days of DSF, receiving a total of 34 kilos of gold. The DGJG offers will run from December 26 to January 28.

DSF fireworks will go off around the city on different days. They are scheduled for December 29-31, January 5-7; January 12-14; January 19-21; January 26-28 at 8pm.

Market Outside the Box, focusing on emerging and local designers, is back and will be held at Burj Park, at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, from January 19 to 28. Showcases will include jewellery design and accessories, home decor and fashion from more than 100 designers. There will also be live shows and music concerts as well as food trucks and food from favourite local eateries.
Carpet and Art Oasis from December 28 to January 15 at the Shaikh Saeed Halls 1 and 2 at Dubai World Trade Centre. is one of the longest-running events of DSF. The event is an exhibition and sale of some of the rarest, largest, and most unique handmade carpets and rugs from around the world including items from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China Iran and Turkey.

For the entire duration of DSF, roaming artists and musicians will spread the festive cheer in malls across the city, including Gypsy Bigs — a troupe of professional jazz musicians, Car Stilt Walkers, Brimborians, three gliding bubbles, Crybtonia — a musical group with glowing LED costumes, Sparks Fire Dance circus acts, Wood & Wood featuring mime performances, Nutkins and the walkabout squirrels.

A Beauty District will be built at the Fashion Catwalk area of The Dubai Mall from January 6 to 14. Retailers will offer promotions and launch products while also conducting tutorials, featuring the region’s top beauty experts.

Fashiontainment at Mall of the Emirates from January 12 to 14 will fuse fashion and entertainment to create a fashion show featuring performances by an international artist.
Then Fashion Express will bring a ‘pop up’ style presentation to different malls including Ibn Battuta Mall (January 12 to 14), Dubai Festival City (January 19-21) and City Centre Deira (January 26-28).
There’s also Street Runways, a series of fashion shows to be held outside four key locations around the city. They will be at the 3D Office of the Dubai Future Foundation (December 29); The Beach (January 5); Gold Souq (January 17) and City Walk Dubai (January 25).

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2017 UAE Public Holiday Calendar

2017 UAE Public Holiday Calendar

The end of the 20016 is fast approaching, with 2017 soon to rear its head.

The list of UAE holidays for 2017 has been released, so go ahead and plan that well-deserved vacation and holidays. Maximize your leaves next year as you can surely take a long weekend as majority of the holiday falls on working days.

So they called its 2017 as year of long weekends. Plans are nothing. Planning is everything. So, for the UAE Residents, this calendar will help you reach your travel goals.

The proclamations declaring holidays for the observances shall be issued after their approximate dates have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar.


Sunday January 1 – New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, public sectors will be getting a three-day weekend.

Monday April 24 (dependent on moon sighting) – Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj

The holiday marks the night that the Prophet Muhammad travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem and then ascended to heaven.

Thursday May 25 (dependent on moon sighting) – Ramadan is expected to begin

UAE labour law stipulates that all workers are entitled to work two hours less each day throughout Ramadan, and still be paid for a full day.

Sunday June 25 (dependent on moon sighting) – Eid Al Fitr

The holiday that signifies the end of Ramadan is marked though this date might change due to the sightings of the moon.

Thursday August 31 (dependent on moon sighting) – Arafat Day

This marks the second day of the annual pilgrimage of Haj.

Friday September 1 (dependent on moon sighting) – Eid Al Adha 

This holiday marks Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail.

Thursday September 21 (dependent on moon sighting) – Al Hijri, Islamic New Year

Islamic New Year in 2017 will mark the year 1438.

Thursday November 30 – Commemoration Day

A holiday to honour the Emiratis who died while protecting the UAE.

Thursday November 30 (dependent on moon sighting) – Milad Un Nabi

This day marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and is announced by the moon-sighting committee, so this may still be subject to change.

Saturday December 2 – UAE National Day

This day will mark the 46th UAE National Day, celebrating the unification of the seven emirates and the founding of the country in 1971.

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Enter or exit the UAE in just 10-15 seconds by using your Emirates ID at Smart Gates at Dubai Airport


Residents can use Emirates ID to skip passport control lines

Dubai: You can now, technically, enter or exit the UAE in just 10 to 15 seconds — by using your Emirates ID at the Smart Gates at Dubai International (DXB) Airport.

The automated immigration gates at passport control do away with lines, saving time and effort for UAE residents leaving or arriving at DXB.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “With a transaction time that averages 10 to 15 seconds, this is clearly a smarter way to travel. It speeds up the immigration process significantly and shortens queues. Our focus going forward is to get more residents using it.”

Many residents — more than 234,000 — have already used it since its phased roll out began earlier this year.

Amna, a Sharjah-based Pakistani university student who is currently studying abroad, said: “I used my Emirates ID twice at the Smart Gates, while entering and leaving, and it was a breeze. It saved me the hassle of standing in line at passport control.”

Completely free of charge and requiring no preregistration, the new service makes passing through immigration Smart Gates fast and convenient for all UAE residents. The first of its kind in the region, it is the result of the joint efforts of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), the Emirates Identity Authority and Dubai Airports.

The new service is available on all 127 Smart Gates across all three terminals at DXB. It has been enabled by creating a secure and efficient link between various operational systems and databases managed by Emirates Identity Authority, GDRFA and Dubai Airports.

Upon inserting the Emirates ID Card into the Smart Gate, the system can quickly, accurately and efficiently confirm the identity, travel plans and eligibility of UAE residents to enter and depart the country.

All UAE residents holding a valid Emirates ID card and who are older than 18 years can take advantage of the new system by using the card at any of the self-service gates at arrivals and departures across all three terminals at DXB. Families travelling with children below the age of 18 can approach the manned counter adjacent to the smart gates to complete the immigration process.

“I think what would be even better is more awareness or guidance about the service, because some people still don’t know about it or are hesitant to use it. I once had an issue using it, so an official processed my case at a nearby counter instead. There was no explanation why my Emirates ID didn’t work at the Smart Gate,” said an Asian traveller.

DXB was the first airport in the region and among the first globally to introduce automated immigration gates — the e-Gates — in 2002.

In April, Gulf News reported about Eyen Gate, a proposed new smart immigration gate at Dubai Airport terminals that, if implemented, will allow registered passengers through by just scanning their eyes, with no need to scan or check passports or e-Gate cards.

Box: Unlimited Wi-Fi at Dubai Airports

Passengers can now enjoy unlimited free high-speed Wi-Fi at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central after the operator Dubai Airports officially rolled out the upgraded service across both airports on Sunday.

The unlimited free Wi-Fi takes only one click to connect, thanks to a much-simplified landing page, and offers speeds that set a new benchmark in airports globally.

To ensure the speed and reliability of the new service, Dubai Airports is currently investing in over 6,000 new Wi-Fi access points to upgrade the entire wireless network infrastructure across both airports, and enhanced the internet links to over 5Gbps to provide the required bandwidth capacity — sufficient to power a small city.

New web applications have also been specially developed for each terminal and concourse to improve information for passengers.

“As the world’s largest international hub we are the heart of many journeys across the world today. When our passengers arrive in Dubai after a long journey they now expect to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world. To enable this, Dubai Airports has invested heavily in developing a state of the art infrastructure to deliver industry leading Wi-Fi capability. It is just one of many initiatives we have undertaken to serve and delight the 83 million passengers that will pass through our airports this year,” said Michael Ibbitson, executive vice-president of Business Technology at Dubai Airports.