Image description: A header illustration of a person with shoulder-length hair walking through a floral archway down a red carpet in a dazzling pink gown. Strings of lights cross overhead, and the left corner features a bush of various flowers.
Image description: A header illustration of a person with shoulder-length hair walking through a floral archway down a red carpet in a dazzling pink gown. Strings of lights cross overhead, and the left corner features a bush of various flowers.

Illustration by Dulce Pop-Bonini

End of Year Gala ‘Orinique’ - The Night of Nights

The End of Year Gala has returned for all current classes at NYUAD. Here are the reasons why you should attend - including sneak peeks at the way the event was planned, what to expect, and what makes it the biggest event of the year.

May 8, 2023

Coming up in less than a week is the much-anticipated, and expertly advertised, End of Year Gala ‘Onirique’ by the Events Board. Happening from 6:00-9:30 pm on May 13 at the Rosewood Hotel Ballroom, the event requires a co-pay of 80 dirhams, and includes free transportation to the venue. We interviewed members of the Events Board to get you a sneak-peek of what we can expect at the event!
“The gala in essence is all about celebrating the year we’ve had… it will be a night of music, fun, and memories, hopefully,” said Liyan Mustafa, Class of 2026.
With an enchanted garden theme, the gala’s decorations, its venue, and the event programme are definitely things to look forward to according to all the events board members we interviewed. Clara Hyewon Juong, Class of 2026, shared - “What I’m most excited for… is honestly the decorations and the DJ, because I feel like DJs really hype the mood up and we have a special DJ that we are banking on.” Juong continued: “The venue itself is already gorgeous but I saw a sneak peak of a few… photos of how the hotel will decorate the venue and it looks absolutely amazing, like jaw-dropping amazing… you just have to see it in person that day.”
Another member, Ema Higaki, Class of 2026, shared: “I would say [the most attractive aspect of the event is] that it is happening off campus! There are so many events happening every day but we can say for sure that the gala is the one and only party happening off campus with this amount of attendees. You’ll get to feel a different vibe and enjoy the moment with your friends just before the finals and the end of the semester. Why don’t you invite your friends and join us?”
When asked for what we can expect, Inshirah Meer, Class of 2026, divulged: “Let’s just say you can expect dancing, good music, good food, some laughter and overall great vibes.”
“People from all classes are coming, and alums are also welcome to attend! So unlike the other events on campus that are most of the time catered to a specific demographic, the End of the Year Gala is the night of nights and the mixer of mixers,” shared another member of the Events Board.
Together, the Events Board members make a very promising list of reasons we should absolutely not miss out on the gala!
Regarding the co-pay, Juong shared: “Honestly 80 dirhams might seem like a lot but it’s honestly so cheap because everything that we’re doing - transportation, DJ, food,amazing venue - everything is going to be covered in that, so i think it’s a really really good deal and a factor that is often overlooked.”
The events board has been working together towards making ‘Onirique’ happen for months. “This team is really cooperative and really encouraging so we've all been just taking more work [than we were assigned]. That has been really awesome and helpful and I think that made the whole logistics go very smoothly,” Juong shared. Inshirah echoed a similar spirit of teamwork and highlighted the group effort put into the behind-the-scenes of the event, “We’re all pretty diverse in what we can do because our chair Katie wanted us to have the whole range of skills required to put on successful events. I think that’s the best way to do it too.”
“The gala hasn’t happened for a while due to COVID which makes it all the more special for seniors who finally get to experience a traditional college life just before graduation, as well as underclassmen who now have this space and opportunity to bond,” said Mustafa, “We are really trying to make this as memorable as possible for everyone.”
The off-campus venue too was chosen in this effort to make it memorable. “We designed it so people can take a break and get away (literally) from the stress of finals week and campus. We are holding it in a beautiful ballroom at Rosewood Hotel, so you wouldn’t feel like you’re just in another event on campus. Plus… the event is fully catered, so students can take a break from D2 food,” shared an anonymous member of the events board.
In the same spirit, members shared how they intentionally left a lot of free time for attendees to relax and have fun in their own time in a venue specially arranged for them to have a photo booth, fun songs, and good food.
And special it will be. For all attendees regardless of their year. “[For] seniors it’s going to be a parting event, like one of the last events of the year, and they're going to feel bittersweet and also happy that they had a chance to experience the gala before they graduate,” said Juong. Another member continued, “For juniors and sophomores, it would be some sort of ‘Marhaba’ since they missed that, and for first-year students, it could be like prom since they couldn’t experience it due to COVID. However… It's everyone’s first time attending the End of the Year Gala since it hasn’t been held since 2019.”
The End of Year Gala is going to be a one of a kind, magical ‘night of nights’ true to its french name ‘Onirique’ - dreamy, fantastic, and surreal.
Tiesta Dangwal is Deputy Features Editor. Email them at
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