Updated Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015 at 9pm – details at the bottom.
With 2016 just around the corner, many are wondering how to mark the New Year in Qatar. The country itself isn’t big on end-of-the-year celebrations, though luckily Jan. 1 is a Friday and a non-working day for most.
In any case, there are some fun and exciting ways for residents to welcome 2016. Here are some of the events going on around town:
Parties and Music
Though the circus event at the Sheraton has been canceled, another circus-themed event will be held at the Grand Hyatt on New Year’s Eve, with international DJ Smokin Jo taking to the stage for a night of revelry at the Al Silia Ballroom.
The evening includes a blend of dramatic acrobatics and aerial and circus acts, interspersed with live singing performances, fire dance routines and visuals projected onto huge screens.
The event costs QR895 per person, and include access to the two-hour choreographed show, a dinner buffet and an open bar.
Performances include numbers by songstress Dani Milano, fast-moving aerialist and hula-hoop artist Teresa Callan, and former British national artist Michael Standen.
For more information, visit the event organizers’ Facebook page here.
The Hilton Doha is hosting a latin-themed New Year’s Eve dinner and party at the Polynesian-themed restaurant Trader Vic’s, complete with live entertainment by the Kings of Gipsy band.
The group will perform latin music all night long, accompanied by a set five-course menu for QR550 (without cocktails) or QR750 (with unlimited cocktails and bubbly) per person. Those who wish to partake in the fun without a heavy meal can enter the party for QR250 per person.
A new addition to the Doha party scene, Society Lounge at the Hilton Doha is hosting a Masquerade Ball this New Year’s Eve, from 9:30pm onwards. The night will see resident DJ Laura Love take to the stage.
There are no tickets to the event, but access is restricted to residents 21 years old and over. For more information, visit the venue’s Facebook page here.
Red Apple events is hosting an ABBA-themed evening with performances by an award-winning UK tribute band playing music by the famed Swedish pop group all night.
The event includes a sing-along segment, audience participation activities and an interactive show featuring choreographed routines and costume changes.
The night costs QR575 for a four-course dinner with unlimited wine and beer or QR750 for VIP access, which includes a dinner, front-row seating and sparkling wine. To reserve, call 5510 2523 or 5578 1141.
Relax and Rewind
Take a break from a night of festivities and wind down with a Sundowner Session of live music and conversation at the Al Dana Terrace at the Al Sharq Village and Spa.
Entry is free and open to residents over 21 years of age. Tables are available in the Shisha Garden behind the terrace DJ Booth. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page here.
The Lounge at the Kempinski Doha in West Bay is hosting a Gatsby-themed Countdown party from 8:30pm onwards on Dec. 31 for QR950 per person, QR1,800 per couple, or QR3,500 for a group of four.
The price includes welcome canapés, open bar consumption from the special NYE menu, midnight snacks and premium bubbles at the countdown. The dress code is formal, preferably in keeping with the theme of 1920’s, Gatsby-like decadence.
Those looking to skip the light bites and just head to the party can attend for QR450 per person from 10:30pm onwards, inclusive of a selected open bar and bubbly at the countdown.
Watch your meal prepared live with a theatrical performance by the culinary team at Aroma at the Kempinski Doha for QR1,900 per person, or QR3,500 per couple.
Chefs will prepare a six-course surprise menu at the dining table, from 8 to 11:30pm, after which guests can head over to the Gatsby Party at the Lounge and avail of the select open bar, midnight snack and premium bubbly. The meal package also includes paired wine, soft beverages, and bubbly during the main meal.
NYE Up Top
The Torch Doha, a non-alcoholic hotel, is hosting special New Year’s eve dinners in all three restaurants. The set menu dinner package at the Three Sixty revolving restaurant atop the hotel costs QR365 per person.
Meanwhile, Flying Carpet is hosting a New Year’s eve buffet from QR260 per person, including selected beverages. Kids ages six to 12 years old cost QR125/person.
The hotel’s high-rise lounges Panorama and Sky are also hosting a New Year’s eve buffet, which includes salads, appetizers, a sushi corner, a dessert bar and a cold seafood corner, for QR260 per person. The meal is inclusive of one main course dish from their a la carte menu.
Meanwhile, across town, the Sky View at La Cigale is also hosting a New Year’s Eve party with panoramic views of the city atop their revolving rooftop lounge. The night, which includes entertainment by two DJs and a percussionist, costs QR350 per person, inclusive of canapés, desserts and a glass of Prosecco.
Greek restaurant Mykonos at the Intercontinental Doha will continue its yearly four-course set menu Greek dinner for QR450 per person, inclusive of a glass of Kir Royale, a french cocktail, from 7pm onwards.
The meal will be accompanied by music from a Greek Bouzouki band, and will include the traditional Greek plate smashing at midnight.
The practice is common during festivities and celebrations, and according to legend started when a rich family invited a much poorer family to dinner, and to make them feel better, invited them to break their plates.
One attendee will take home a traditional Vasilopita cake, a New Year’s Day cake that contains a hidden coin or trinket to bring good luck to the receiver. Prices for kids cost QR225.
New Years’ brunch
Several hotels around the country are hosting special New Year’s Day brunches on Jan. 1 at their restaurants. The Lagoon at the Ritz-Carlton is hosting a New Year’s day buffet from 12:30pm onwards, for QR350 per person, inclusive of soft beverages, and QR550 per person for the full beverage package.
Kids under the age of four years old can dine for free while those aged 4-12 years old can dine at half price. The meal will be accompanied by a band.
Meanwhile, The W is also hosting two different brunches at their signature restaurants.
The Market by Jean-Georges will hold a New Year’s Day brunch featuring entertainment by Doha Jazz, from noon to 4pm. Entry costs QR295 per person including selected soft beverages, or QR410 per person including selected speciality beverages.
Upstairs, The Spice Market is hosting a New Year’s Day brunch with entertainment by Doha Jazz, for the same prices.
Crowne Plaza is also hosting a New Year’s Day brunch brunch at the Aramde restaurant with fun activities for toddlers and tots. Brunch costs QR255 per person including soft drinks, and the afternoon will be accompanied by live-streaming DJs.
Celebrity-famous Nobu at the Four-Seasons is hosting a Japanese-fusion dinner on Dec. 31, featuring an omakase-style menu which includes slow-cooked sea bass with red jalapeño dressing and caviar, lobster spinach salad with shaved Alba truffle, as well as the umami marinated Chilean sea bass and wagyu beef and foie Gras with karashi su miso.
Dinner costs QR700 per person for a seven-course menu, or QR750 per person inclusive of a glass of Louis Roederer champagne.
The W Doha is also hosting a seafood-featured night dubbed the “Sushi Studio” at The Market by Jean-Georges. The night includes a specially tailored 10-course sushi menu curated by Chef Didi and live entertainment, for QR999 per person.
New York New Year
Celebrate New Year’s Eve New York style with a 14-piece entertainment band from Atlanta a the W Hotel’s Great Room from 8pm onwards. The night costs QR995 per person, and includes a four-course menu and selected unlimited beverages. Guests are encouraged to dress up in the way of “New York City Glam.”
What are your plans for the New Year? Thoughts?
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected. It previously referred to an “All White” party at Sealine Beach Resort. That event occurred a year ago, and no similar event is planned this year.