I had made my New Years plans months ago. It was one of the few things I had researched about Dubai before coming.
I was going to be at the Burj Khalifa.
Watching the fireworks.
New Years Eve started out a little rough. Our class had been scheduled to take our UAE ID card pictures that afternoon – right after school, which meant our 3:30 ending time was being pushed to 6pm.
So it wasnt the best timing. But at least we had that evening free – and had the next day off as well !
It took Renee and I two hours to travel to the metro, take the metro, arrive at Dubai Mall, and find our spot. The extra hour that was added to the normal 1 hour trip was due to the massive crowds.
I felt like I was in a herd of cattle, there was nothing you could do but go with the flow.
We met up with my new friend Joy and her friend Marice. Luckily for us, they had come at 6 and gotten an awesome grass view, right in front of the Burj, giant screen, and fountains. We snacked and talked, stopping to watch and take pictures of the fountain shows they had playing throughout the night. I loved it.
Then, midnight came and the fireworks started.
You couldn’t turn your head fast enough to see all the different fireworks going off. It was overwhelming & amazing.
Afterwards, getting home was an experience I will never forget.
At first we couldn’t get out. There was a massive crowd trying to get over the bridge (the way out) and no one was allowed over. So we waited, for a good 10 minutes, until they slowly let people across. I felt like a sardine.
All four of us were holding hands: Marice (in front), Joy, Myself, and then Renee. A couple times I couldn’t squeeze through to follow Joy and we were separated. But then out of no where, Joy’s hand comes flying through peoples shoulders – she finds my hand, and PULLS. And whether Renee and I could squeeze through or not, we were going.
Once we made it out of the park, we had space. Our walk was nice and relaxed- buying water and enjoying all the looks the two joker hats brought.
Little did we know we were coming upon another problem: the Metro Station.
The police were only letting women and children through.
And once we had passed that marker did we find out that that station had been closed – they had already reached the maximum amount of people.
So we followed the crowds to the other station that was pretty close by.
The next station was a nightmare.
There was a HUGE crowd.
And there were police there, using the megaphone, asking for women, children, families ONLY.
But the men were trying to squeeze through their barricade.
It was intense.
The joker hat girls had managed to get us pretty close to the front of the crowd- when all of a sudden some men tried to physically get through the women/children check point and the police forced them backwards. Which created a ripple effect, everyone was being pushed back.
But when you are in the middle of a crowd, with people pressed up on all sides of you, and you are suddenly pushed back – there is no where to go!
It was kind of scary.
We somehow made it to the front, where police men yell at us to “go quickly, run! quickly! go!”
We make it inside the station, and its the same thing – police lining the hall, telling us to go “quickly! run! QUICKLY!”
It was 3 am when we made it on the Metro.
It was definitely an experience.
2013 should be an interesting year.