Front-row seats to the notoriously flashy New Year’s fireworks show in Dubai are so coveted that even fast-food joints are turning their tables into swanky box seats.
Each Dec. 31 the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world, is set alight with a flashy fireworks display next door to the largest mall in the world, The Dubai Mall.
Hotels at the mall and surrounding the fountain are planning their own blingy shindigs, with all-night dancing and gourmet buffets. Fortnum & Mason, a department store with a great view of the tower, is setting up parties on each terrace of its three floors.
But according to Gulf News, even the mall’s IHOP is getting into the party package game.
A table at the mall’s International House of Pancakes will run $530.92 U.S. on New Year’s Eve, which includes food but not drinks.
Canadian coffee and nosh joint Tim Hortons is charging $408.40 U.S. for securing an outdoor table, while a table inside will set you back half that amount.
That includes a four-course meal, unlimited pastries and java, and a “gift hamper.” That’s also a price hike from last year.
If all-you-can-eat Five Guys is a more filling way to ring in the New Year, the burger chain is offering outdoor tables for $326.72 U.S., including unlimited burgers, fries and shakes. The Dubai menu is identical to the American menu except it excludes bacon.
For a party of four, P.F. Changs’ is offering outdoor tables for $1,905.85 U.S. including appetizers, main course, dessert and unlimited drinks.
Gulf News notes that if people want to just bring their own drinks and snacks to the Burj Khalifa area, they’ll have to get there several hours early before security cordons off the area.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2017 the “year of giving” in the Emirates because “when people spend their lives accumulating material assets and wealth, they quickly learn that there is no meaning in life unless they share their wealth in the service of others,” according to vice president, prime minister and Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“‘Giving’ is easy and abundant… it is feeding a bird, smiling at your neighbors, or going above and beyond at your job. If you are a person with power and responsibility, ‘giving’ is making your people happy, and being kind to them when you implement laws,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on his LinkedIn page. “Volunteerism is another way to give: volunteer an hour, a day or a week of your time; volunteer your skills, your knowledge and your energy. Volunteer and make a difference in your society.”