From Vibrant Backdrops To Star-Studded Lineups: How The Middle East Welcomed 2023

Welcoming the new year with a bang, all across the region, the sky was glittered with kaleidoscopic fireworks and jam-packed performances to cap off 2022. Families, friends, and loved ones gathered together to celebrate a year of firsts for the Arab world; from the first-ever World Cup hosted on Arab soil to COP making a landing in the Middle East. To mark the momentous day, we’ve brought you the best of all the celebrations as the entire region lit up in hopes that 2023 will bring more success, prosperity, and joy.


As always, New Year’s has to be celebrated at Egypt’s ultimate hotspots which is why to welcome 2023, celebrations were brought to the literal beating heart of Cairo, its Nile river. Cairenes and visitors alike came from all across the city and region to watch Egypt’s 187m Cairo tower lit up, reflecting the stunning red and orange speckled sky across the rippling surface of the Nile river. Revelers on feluccas and boats got up close and personal with the fireworks display while further back, people enjoyed the brightly neon-lit skyline of towering hotels and buildings.

Across from the capital, a full-fledged party led by the German DJ, Adam Port took over El Gouna’s Cubix. House and techno music boomed across the club as everyone danced the night away. Bringing that same energy was Ahmed Saad’s intimate concert that left fans hyped as he sang some of his top hits including Wasaa Wasaa.

Saudi Arabia

At Saudi’s capital, Riyadh season has been making waves as the ultimate festival held in the Kingdom. Continuing its eventful streak, the event brought in some of the best-known stars across the region to perform on the pinnacle day of the year. Staged at the Mohammed Abdo Arena in Boulevard Riyadh city, everyone enjoyed the ultimate star-studded concert dubbed Trio Arabic Night. The special round-up of Arab performers included the Lebanese stars Elissa, Nancy Ajram, Najwa Karam, Nawal El Zoghby as well as Tunisian star Latifa and Egyptian singers Angham and Bahaa Sultan.

Celebrations continued at the Kingdom’s latest hottest new destinations including the ancient city of AlUla which was buzzing with festivities. Visitors got to hit up the Kingdom’s first-ever roller rink dubbed “AlUla on Wheels,” a neon-lit rink with dance music blasting from the sidelines curated by Swizz Beats. Art lovers got to enjoy the Interactive Desert X artworks by artists like Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim and Manal Al Dowayan. With that, Saudi Arabia is proving to be one of the top destinations to hit up for biggest events marking last year’s and this year’s calendar.


Known to be home to the most unrivaled fireworks display in the world, the UAE stepped up its game and broke four new Guinness World Records on the strike of midnight during Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Festival. Before the sky lit up with fireworks, the Emirates showcased its innovative prowess by flying out 3000 drones at Al Wathba as well as Dubai’s JBR to create a spectacular visual experience of bejeweled specks of light depicting everything from robots to the words “Happy New Year” splayed along the night sky.

Beyond that, a star-studded lineup of concerts hit up some of the biggest venues across the UAE. At Dubai’s The Atlantis, Kylie Minogue, the Australian pop star known for her disco-fueled numbers graced the stage and belted out her biggest hits to a roaring crowd of fans. Enrique Iglesias also dropped the Emirate a visit during the new year and performed at Jumeirah’s Nammos.


A festive gathering of hope was on full display along Beirut’s streets with a large Christmas tree at the center of the festivities. Kids sat atop the shoulders of their parents while swaying balloons above their heads in celebration while others marveled at the cityscape surrounding the square. The city also saw Arab stars coming to Beirut to perform their biggest hits. Bringing his angelic voice coupled with his rich and poetic songs, beloved Iraqi singer and composer Kadim El Sahar showered his fans with a night of tunes following his concert at the Dubai Opera.

All across the region, New Year’s eve was given its well-deserved attention as each city stepped up its game to deliver an unforgettable night. Some tapped into their tech and innovation to create new dynamic forms of celebration while others focused on the simpler aspects of the highly anticipated day. What can be said is that 2023 got the ultimate kick-off so here’s hoping to a new year of joy and prosperity for the region and the world at large.

WE SAID THIS: Don’t Miss… Sheikh Zayed Festival Celebrates New Year’s Eve With Fireworks & Drone Show