At New Year’s Eve in Dubai really, as usual, diversity is king. It is really a question of taste and personal attitude, what you are finally going to be choosing. You can be a devout Muslim and I guarantee you there is a multitude of parties where neither alcohol will be served – nor will there be naked women (as party attendees, nota bene) dancing on the beach.
That said, you may not be a devout Muslim, but rather a devout partyer. In fact the kind of party as described above is not your only option. A lack of booze, and of naked dancing women, for that matter, is in no way a necessity. In other words, yeah, let me just repeat it anyway: Parties where you can drink yourself to death and where spontaneous nudity is tolerated, ARE an option.
For example: The Palm Island New Year’s Party last year had people running around wild on beaches, drinking champagne, and real booze, from bottles. Some women opted for toplessness – some others decided to take it one level further. Well, so far, so good. But what really matters: There was no scandal afterwards, none whatsoever.
The reason for this lack of indignation is pure pragmatism. The Emirati know perfectly well that they have the chance to become the party capital of the world (unless they already HAVE). And there is no way they would want to blow this.
And for members of the international Arab and Muslim community it also seems to be some kind of relief, knowing that there is one place in the world which is THEIRS, but an authentic party metropolis nevertheless.
I won’t deny that there is also criticism against this from conservative forces, though they seem to be becoming weaker and weaker. Right now it clearly seems that the progressive side either will win or HAS already won. The final result, however, is yet to be seen. Let us not forget that Dubai is also a social experiment of gargantuan proportions, so no-one can be sure as to the outcome.
What am I going to wear on New Year’s Eve? Well, I haven’t decided. If no good idea hits me soon, there will always be the possibly of choosing invisible clothes…;-)