Dubai cancels New Year celebrations

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The Independent Online

Tourist hot spot Dubai has had all New Year celebrations cancelled by ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum over the attacks in Gaza.

Hotels were today trying to rearrange their plans amid confusion over the extent of the order.



It calls for Dubai to mark the New Year "with a sombre tone as a token of solidarity" with the Palestinian people and with the Gaza Strip in particular.



The manager of the four-star Arabian Courtyard said there would be no music or dancing to ring in the New Year, although the hotel's restaurants and bars will stay open.



It was unclear if other hotels would follow suit. Most say they cannot yet comment on whether the ban will affect the city's champagne dinners and raucous bar bashes.



Organisers also said they did not know if a concert by pop star Shakira in Abu Dhabi will go ahead.



Some celebrations have also been cancelled in Jordan and Egypt in solidarity with Gaza.

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