Being a cosplayer, Halloween is my second most favorite holiday of the year, with Christmas being my first favorite. However, since moving to Dubai, I have had to work every Halloween and haven’t been able to enjoy it until this year when a great friend paid me a favor and swapped my flight on the 1st for a day off. But even as I was so eager to celebrate Halloween this year, I decided to re-wear an old costume I made several years back, instead of make a new one (or wear one of the ones I bought on sale after previous Halloweens) as I usually do. Halloween, being primarily a western culture holiday, is actually pretty big in Dubai, probably because of all the western expats that live here. But even other nationalities not usually familiar with Halloween join in the fun and it was really great to see all sorts of people dressed up in anything and everything.
My friend Natalie was on her reserve month, so we had to wait until 6pm to find out if she could party or not. In the afternoon we headed out to Dubai’s main costume shop, Mr. Ben’s Costume Closet in Satwa, to find some pieces for her last minute fallen angel costume. The place was jampacked, but was still well-stocked and managed. We picked up some wings and glitter and were on our way.
We decided to hit up Dubai’s biggest Halloween party, Nasimi Beach at the Atlantis on the Palm. Alan had been two years ago just after he arrived in Dubai. It was my friend Leslie’s birthday, so we headed to her apartment (we live in the same building) for a few pre-drinks (read: lots of) and a cake, and then set out for the Nasimi adventure.
As with every big event at Nasimi (Nasimi is a beach venue that acts as a club at night and hosts many music acts, and presents a music festival with many artists about once a month) the traffic getting onto the Palm was horrendous, and once we arrived, the line was miles long, but moved pretty quickly. We had planned to predrink more at home and pay the 100AED (27USD) entrance fee that was instilled at 9pm to save money from buying drinks at the bar. I was surprised how short the lines were inside for the toilets and the bar – every time we went to get a drink, we walked right up and was served quickly. After reconnecting with our friends, we found a spot on the sand to dance and socialize with the other costumed revelers. I even managed to convince Alan to dress somewhat appropriately.. I threw him in my bloodied dress shirt I wore when I cosplayed as Louis from Left 4 Dead, and slapped on some fake blood and a scary mask,
The beach must have been filled with thousands of people, about 99.9% of them in some sort of costume, meaning exiting the venue was going to be a nightmare! Unfortunately we got a bit stuck and couldn’t leave as early as we wanted, so we hopped on a bus (the venue provides busses off the Palm to various locations) filled with drunken costumers and headed out to the Marina, where we caught a cab home.
All in all, it was a great first Halloween in Dubai since landing here 3 years ago, and look forward to another one next year, just at a new venue!