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Januari 03, 2012

Revelers gear up for New Year’s Eve

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Whether having a Rp 5 million (about US$550) dinner for two at a posh hotel or staying at home with friends, Jakartans are looking forward to having a great New Year’s Eve this weekend.

The Ritz Carlton Jakarta in Mega Kuningan, Central Jakarta, reported on Tuesday that 70 percent of the almost 400 seats in the hotel’s restaurant had already been booked for New Year’s dinner.

“Many of our guests reserve the seats for their families or friends. For the most part the reservations are not for quiet dinners but for sittings of 5 to 30 people,” said Ritz Carlton Jakarta spokeswoman Hanny Gunawan.

The dinner’s price tag was Rp 688,000 per guest, Hanny said. “Should the guests want a more private nuance for their New Year’s celebration, they can choose other events, including private dinners for couples,” she said. The private dinner, which is only available for five couples, is priced at Rp 5 million. “So far, we have had two reservations,” she said.

Shanti Setyaningrum, assistant director of communications and public relations at Hotel Kempinski Indonesia, Jakarta, said that the hotel had prepared up to 250 seats for New Year’s Eve dinner. “So far, 200 guests have booked,” she said. Each seat is priced at Rp 648,000.

Shanty also said that the hotel received many orders for cakes and delights for New Year’s Eve celebrations. The hotel’s Kempi Deli offers sweet delights, including Minced Fruit Pies, Gingerbread Houses, Vanilla Kipferl, Cinnamon Stars, Almond Stollen, Buches de Noel, Macaroon Trees, Marzipan Lebkuchen and Chocolate Santas.

“Some of our customers choose to order the delights and enjoy them with their families at home or in other places,” she said.

While many Jakartans opt for special dinners in luxurious hotels, many others prefer more modest celebrations.

Annisa Karina Dewi, a resident of Rawamangun in East Jakarta, said that she had invited her girl friends to stay over in her home. “We plan to have a little party and spend the night watching DVDs,” she said.

She said spending New Year’s Eve at home was the best choice. “Not only is it cheaper, it is also safer. My parents don’t allow me to party outside during New Year’s Eve,” the 19-year old college student said. She added that an enjoyable party at home could be as much fun as watching a fireworks display.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Baharuddin Djafar said that the police had granted permission for four fireworks displays during New Year’s Eve. “The four displays will be held at Kelapa Gading [in East Jakarta], Ancol Dreamland [in North Jakarta], the National Monument Park [in Central Jakarta] and Bumi Serpong Damai [in Tangerang],” he told reporters.

According to him, all fireworks displays during the festivities would be monitored by police explosives experts to avoid any accidents.

“These guys are professionals; they know the scale of explosion a certain amount of explosives can create. They are needed at fireworks displays as these shows involve a huge amount of explosive material,” he said.

Baharuddin also reaffirmed the police’s stance in dealing with traffic violations during New Year’s Eve. “Do not ride on pickups or trucks. Do not overcrowd Metrominis [public minibuses] or ride on their rooftops,” he said, adding that any violations would result in vehicles being detained at the nearest police station for 10 days.

The police will not take the vehicles’ registrations or the drivers’ licenses. “We’ll just hold the vehicles as evidence of traffic violations,” Baharuddin said.

Revelers should be prepared for a wet New Year’s Eve as data from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency website shows that there is a chance of light rain in all regions in Greater Jakarta on Dec. 31. (lfr/mim)

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