With the UAE Government spelling out guidelines for New Year celebrations and setting limits on the number of people gathering, residents have pledged to stick to social distancing measures and celebrate safely.

Sharjah resident Mustafa Subhani will not to go to Al Majaz WaterFront to watch the New Year’s fireworks — a ritual he usually does with family. “We walk from our home to the corniche to watch the fireworks every year. However, this year we are going to be stay at home and watching the celebrations on TV with lots midnight snacks. It is important to take the social distancing measures seriously, especially since New Year is a time when people gather together in very packed settings. Also, I want to be sure that nothing puts my parents at risk of infection.”

However, Subhani revealed that he might have plans to spend the next day with his friends at a quiet location. “It is the weekend, so I will probably go out with a small group of friends to a restaurant or café. Of course, we will see what restrictions are in place and make sure to follow them. Here is hoping 2021 will be a happier and safer year for all of us.”

Aysha Arif, another Sharjah resident, said: “NYE celebrations will be a lot different this year. I want to make sure myself and my family are safe and deal with the current situation responsibly and with caution, especially since my father is diabetic. That being said, we will definitely be spending indoors watching the fireworks on TV, playing fun games, having a nice dinner, and video chatting with family and friends.”

Even for those who are making celebration plans, safety will remain a top priority, said Dubai resident Yusuf Stapic. “A lot of people are excited about closing the 2020 chapter, but they are going to be careful about how they plan to celebrate. For me, I will avoid going out to any areas that are going to be crowded with people and stick to celebrating at home with very close friends and family.”

While it is nice to get caught up in the excitement of being in places with lots of people all happy and celebrating a new beginning and watching the fireworks, Stapic said it is best to avoid anything that will draw large crowds. “A lot of people seem to have their guard down with restrictions being lifted, but we have to remember that this is still a pandemic. Celebrate safely!”

Khalil Dagher, another Dubai resident, added: “Obviously, 2020 has been a crazy year, and one that I very much look forward to putting behind me. As such, the New Year’s Eve celebrations will be toned down unlike previous years. For that, I look forward to just being at home, surrounded by my loved ones, ordering a pizza, and watching the fireworks on the TV. Hopefully, 2021 will be one to remember.” More