The Top Middle Eastern Cities To Hit Up For The Ultimate New Year’s Experience

2023 is almost upon us with less than two months before the big day when everyone would countdown the minutes to the New Year. During this special time of the year, everyone will want to celebrate and create memories to mark the beginning of 2023. As many people choose to travel as a way to bring the year to a close, instead of picking a faraway destination, why not make the trip close to home by hitting up some of the best Middle Eastern cities out there? Let’s take a look at some of our favorite picks for the ultimate 2023 New Year celebration.

Beirut

Known as the charming capital of Lebanon, Beirut is a city that has it all; from snowcapped mountains to old ancient Roman ruins and churches as well as a bustling nightlife and mouthwatering cuisine. With the month of December, this city is also known on occasion to see some snowfall leaving the entire city covered in that white spectacle.

Via YouTube

With Beirut, there is one place you have to hit up for the ultimate NYE’s party, the infamous Martyrs Square, an iconic landmark that was set up to tribute to the martyrs that were executed by Ottoman Rule. Beyond its historic significance, the open space has become the go-to destination where thousands would gather, dance, and celebrate under a firework-lit sky. Standing there at midnight, you will also be dazzled by the brightly lit Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque that was built back in 2008.

A more intimate and relaxing way to celebrate the New Year is by tapping into some luxury by checking in at a prestigious hotel with rooftop access to get a full view of the surrounding fireworks. A great option would be the Albergo Hotel, a 1930s building nestled in a quaint neighborhood. It exudes old charm with its classic style rooms and decor including old photos of Beirut lining its walls. When it comes to the roof, you’ll get access to unobstructed scenic views of the entire city as well as the fireworks while dining at their fancy restaurant.

To check out prices for each room, you can call the hotel at this number: +972 52-375-8049

Port El Kantaoui

For the ultimate chic waterfront destination sprawled with white lavish boats along glistening waters, Tunisia’s Port El Kantaoui is the place to go. Built back in 1979, this picturesque port is home to everything from boutiques, and beaches to unique restaurants. Its marina is constantly buzzing with activity and even beyond the port, tourists get to enjoy an authentic feel of Tunisia by walking along its cobble-stoned winding pathways lined with Moorish-Andalusian architecture. Its entire vibe is perfect for New Year especially when the fireworks hit the skies at the port, it’s a real spectacle.

For a budget-friendly New Year’s Eve stay at this special destination, you can check out El Mouradi Hotel, a 4-star all-inclusive beachfront resort set in the heart of Port El Kantaoui that offers the ultimate party scene with its very own nightclub, a great place to hit up for a dance-fueled New Years Eve party. Its prices are quite reasonable, starting from 3700 EGP for a one-week stay from Dec. 26 until Dec. 31.

Marrakech 

Marrakech, the Moroccan city home to colorful souks, quiet courtyards, and snaking alleyways is a great winter destination if you are craving a culture-packed trip. The city also knows how to celebrate and throw a party every New Year. For 2023, we picked out a special hotspot to hit up for an unforgettable night of music, dancing, and celebration.

If you are looking for a fancy spot to tick off the New Year, we recommend heading to Azar Marrakech. This dimly lit restaurant decorated with gold and red embellishments gives you a taste of Moroccan luxury as well as a menu of authentic delicacies from couscous to lamb shoulder. At the restaurant, you’ll enjoy live oriental music, a belly dancers show as well as a fun countdown capped off with a blast of confetti. It’s a great place to bring 2022 to a climactic end.

If you are the type who prefers to have a relaxing night and push the celebrations to the following day, you can stay at the Palais Aziza, a five-star elegant spa hotel; dine at their restaurant in the evening and end the day by getting a good night sleep at one of their specials rooms. The next day, you can continue the celebration by trying out the hotel’s exquisite New Year’s Eve brunch that includes vegetarian dishes.

For hotel room prices, you can call the hotel on this number:  +212 5243-29988.

Dubai

When it comes to New Year’s Eve, Dubai has to be included as a destination not only for its infamous Burj Khalifa kaleidoscopic fireworks show but also for its various lively parties, events, and festivals. With so much that can be done in this modern luxurious city, we tried our best to narrow down a selection of activities to make the most out of what Dubai has to offer.

Knowing that the city will have a huge turnout during the New Year’s celebration, preparations are already underway for several massive NYE parties set to take place on Dec. 31. To get you excited for the trip, we picked out the ultimate party to get you ready for 2023. Taking place at the popular beach club dubbed Zero gravity is an all-out beach festival headlined by major stars including Jonas Blue and Sigala. From 8 pm to 2 am, you will get access to unlimited food and drink as you party the night away. To book a place, check out this link and get your hands on an early bird ticket.

For a more budget-friendly experience, there are several places in Dubai where you can enjoy a spectacular fireworks display to mark the arrival of 2023. To watch the sky light up at Burj Al Arab, there are a few beaches that will give you a direct view of the spectacle including Kite Beach and Souk Madinat Jumeirah. If it’s the Burj Khalifa you are after, you can watch the show from the Dubai Water Canal or Souk El Bahar.

To plan a stay at the Emirate, we recommend hitting up some of the city’s best hotels including W Dubai – Mina Seyahi at Marina or the Address at Downtown Dubai.

El Gouna

The modern resort town of Egypt’s El Gouna is known as the ultimate vacation hotspot for relaxation and opulence; home to cosmopolitan dining, a booming nightlife, boutique shopping as well as massive international events including El Gouna Film Festival, it’s constantly teeming with life and excitement. Visitors can hit up its pristine beaches for a leisurely swim or for some adrenaline fueled water sports. For a taste of luxury, they can also head to its world-class marina to attend the biggest parties or splurge on some fine dining.

Party at El Gouna’s Ancient Sands Via El Gouna

Such an eclectic spot is also home to breathtaking New Year’s celebrations including many annual parties like the one held at The Smokery’s SIA packed with live performances, a fire dancer as well as aerial dancers spinning above the vibrant dance floor. With 2023, we definitely recommend heading to SIA for an unforgettable night among the many other parties that will be scheduled for the New Year.

To mark the end of the year at El Gouna, you can check in at any of its prominent hotels starting from the pricey Movenpick Resort Spa & Town costing an average of 4500 EGP a night to the very pricy, La Maison Bleue that averages on 10,600 EGP a night.

Riyadh

Since 2016, Saudi Arabia has been on a transformative journey to branch out from being an oil economy and diversify its potential. With that, the Kingdom has been inching closer to reaching its Saudi 2030 vision of becoming the ultimate entertainment and tourism hub in the region. From concerts by International as well as prominent Arab singers to operas and massive festivals, Saudi has been making its mark as the place to go for a jam packed vacation.

With Riyadh being Saudi’s capital, it has become the prime spot for most of the Kingdom’s major events and the upcoming New Year celebration will be no exception. Last year, massive fireworks lit up Riyadh’s skies for the very first time at the Riyadh City Boulevard, an entertainment spot that saw a huge lineup of Arab performances from the likes of Ahlam, Mohammed Abdo and Asala. With last year’s success we expect an equally exciting line up of stars and events to take place at the Boulevard for the 2023 celebration. The festivities can also be enjoyed at several restaurants including ROKA Riyadh and Milwan at Le Meridien.

To bring your celebration to Riyadh, you can tap into its luxurious side by staying at their esteemed Ritz Carlton for an average of 25,000 EGP a night or keep it simple and go for their modern and minimalist Sheraton hotel averaging at 7000 EGP a night.

With that, we hope that our guide will give you inspiration for a unique celebration of the New Year. To make the most of the guide, we recommend planning your trip early as prices tend to rise the closer we get to the end of the year.

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