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CNN Live Event/Special

Istanbul To Ring In New Year Smashing Pomegranates; Mombasa To Greet 2023 With Fireworks Over Waterfront; Athens To Ring In New Year With Fireworks Over Acropolis; Turkey Prepares To Greet 2023; Looking Back On A History-Making World Cup; Larry And Ali The Camel Prepare To Welcome 2023. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired December 31, 2022 - 14:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: And your aspirations for the New Year. Send me yours on Twitter at BeckyCNN. I'll share mine a little later in the show. Right, with me here in Dubai to help us see in the New Year, the man, the legend, it is Dutch footballing superstar, Clarence Seedorf, in the house, AKA Il Professore. Welcome. How are you?


ANDERSON: I'm very, very well. You live in Dubai, so for the benefit of our viewers, you've never been here. What's the vibe?

SEEDORF: The vibe is amazing. Here, the vibe is always ongoing, right?

ANDERSON: It's certainly going to be a big night here. I mean, you've been here for New Year's Eve before, haven't you? So you know what to expect.

SEEDORF: I have. Absolutely. Well, actually, every time it's a big surprise. They seem to surprise us every year with new stuff, so looking forward tonight as well.

ANDERSON: I said to the viewers, it's going to be a laser show, apparently, the likes of which we've never seen. And they are hoping it will beat the Guinness World Records. For, I think, the longest or furthest laser ever shot is that what you do with lasers?

SEEDORF: Well, I believe so.

ANDERSON: I guess so. Listen, the last time you and I saw each other was in Qatar, which is just a short hop away from here for the World Cup. And what a World Cup that was in region for the first time, for this region. Just how good was it?

SEEDORF: It was absolutely stunning. I mean, all aspects of the World Cup was brought to a different level. For the first time, actually, I've been able to be a spectator, a fan, and I loved it from outside the stadiums, inside the stadium. The hospitality was amazing. It was the best World Cup that I've witnessed. ANDERSON: What were your special moments?

SEEDORF: Well, one was our match that we had. Didn't end so well, but it was my first paddle match.

ANDERSON: OK, let me explain for the viewers. So Clarence and I had a game of paddle while were there. It's very big in this region, by the way, so if you don't know what it is, it's a mix of tennis and I guess squash, right?

SEEDORF: Yes, yes.

ANDERSON: And none of us have really played very much support. He was with Alessandro Del Piero and I was playing with the PSG chairman. And I have to say we smashed you.

SEEDORF: Yes, it was pretty bad. I didn't want to go also in the details, but I really enjoyed it. That was also an aspect of it. We had the possibility to see all of each other. Normally, the World Cup is very spread out and all the fans were in the same place, all the friends were in the same place. So it was really, really special.

ANDERSON: Argentina, I mean, you couldn't have made up what was that last match? I mean Messi, Mbappe, Argentina, his last tournament, I mean.

SEEDORF: What a final. I mean, it was the best way this tournament could end the high expectations for Mbappe from Messi they just delivered. And then Argentina, I believe, really had something special in this World Cup.

ANDERSON: Listen, you're with me for the next couple of hours. It's great to have you on board. Obviously, I want to talk to you about Pele. We've been honoring the late, great Brazilian footballer, Pele, this week. Cristiano Ronaldo is moving to Saudi Arabia. I want to get your thoughts on that. I also want to talk to you about not just what you achieved on the pitch, but what you're doing off the pitch, because your work in diversity and inclusion with your foundation is absolutely unbelievable. And so I want to talk about that as we move through this. So stick with me.

SEEDORF: I will.

ANDERSON: I'm going to get us around the world as we kick this thing off. Clarence Seedorf for you with me, ladies and gentlemen. Right now, let's get you around the globe to see how the world is ringing in the New Year. We got you, Istanbul in Turkey with Scott McLean. I got you, Larry Madowo, who is in the Kenyan party port city of Mombasa. And Elinda Labropoulou is gearing up for the celebrations in the Greek capital of Athens. Come in, Istanbul. Scott, what's the mood like there?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Becky. Well, this is one of the few places on planet Earth where you can celebrate New Year's on two continents. So I am literally standing at the edge of Europe right now. We're at the Galata Port Mall, where if I took three more steps, I would literally be in the Bosphorus. If you look on the other side over there, that is Asia, that is Asian Istanbul. And then you can see if you look, there's a lot of people out hoping to see the fireworks later on tonight.

And one interesting thing that I've noticed since I've been here, Becky, is if you look at the decorations over here, they still got Christmas decorations up. And that's not because they haven't had a chance sense to take them down, but it's because in Turkey, Christmas is pretty well synonymous with New Year's Eve, not so much the birth of Jesus Christ. And so people have little trees in their houses, but they don't call them Christmas trees, they call them New Year's trees.


And a lot of people tonight, if they're not out watching the fireworks, they'll be at home watching the celebrations on T.V. and having perhaps what we would consider a -- what I would consider a Christmas dinner, a turkey dinner with all the fixing.

ANDERSON: What's this I hear about the smashing of pomegranates, sir?

MCLEAN: Yes, that's right. You know what, I actually have one here. So I didn't have my props already here, Becky, but that's right. So this is another one of the traditions that I learned about since I've been here. And I have to couch this, Becky, but to say that it's maybe not the most common of Turkish traditions, but a lot of people do it maybe more popular with the older generation. But people take the fruit, and right at midnight, they smash it on the ground as hard as they can.

And the more seeds that come out, the better. The more shrapnel there is from the pomegranate, the better the luckier that you'll be in the year 2023. That's the myth. That's the superstition legend. So what I'm going to be doing just before midnight is smashing one of these pomegranates. And I know that's not exactly the rules, but the reason I'm going to do it before is because I need all the luck that I can get, because one of the other popular things that they do here in Turkey is they buy lottery tickets.

This is the regular old Turkish lottery. But it is particularly popular on New Year's Eve because the jackpot is absolutely massive. So I've got these tickets to win potentially 200 million lira, which I think works out to about 13, 12, or I think maybe 11 or $12 million. So cross your fingers for me, smash all the pomegranates that you can for me, Becky.

ANDERSON: It's a lot of money. Good on you. Good on you, 11, 12. Either of those would be good on New Year's Eve. Thank you, sir. Stay with us. Kenya's second largest city loves a party. Larry Madowo is down in Mombasa. What's a vibe like there, sir?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Mombasa is known as Mombasa Raha. Raha means pleasure in Swahili, because when Kenya, when East Africa wants to party, they come down here to the coast. We're on the Indian Ocean. We're still two hours away from midnight, but there's already a party behind me. People have brought families and kids. We have a couple of kids actually on top of cars here, waiting to have vantage points so they can catch the fireworks over the Indian Ocean in about two hours when we hit 12, one hour and 50 something minutes when we hit that midnight hour. And East Africa gets to celebrate New Year's Day in 2023.

Back on the stage there, I see a cultural celebration. Mombasa has been having a food festival all day today celebrating Swahili culture. And some of it is because of the connections between the Arab world, the Indian world, and the East African coast. This is Chapati. We had biryani. We had lots of other foods that are native to this region, the Swahili culture along the East African coast. But I think it's going to be a very big party when we start midnight here. Becky?

ANDERSON: I tell you what, I love that part of the world. I spent a lot of time down in that part of the world. I've never done New Year's Eve down there. Is this a regular haunt for you on New Year's Eve?

MADOWO: There is a lot of interesting things that people do around New Year's Eve. One of the big Kenyan tradition is to get friends and family together and some food, lots of food. So depending on where you are in the part of the country, you will be celebrating and eating some food from that part of the country. But also, people like to make wishes, right? And I think this is a good time for me to hear from one person who's already making some New Year kind of resolutions and also looking forward. Bridget is here with me. Bridget, how are you doing?


MADOWO: You're excited for 2023?


MADOWO: Why? You have a special reason why you're excited for 2023?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm very excited about 2023. First, I thank God, because it was not a mass. Second, on 2023, I'm going to start a new course, orthopedic, only to deal with bones. I'm very excited. I hope I'll graduate. I'll not only graduate, I'll overgraduate.

MADOWO: What do you mean you'll overgraduate?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By what I mean by overgraduating. I'll put on more gowns in 2023, like, for months, I just feel like putting on a gown, a gown, a gown, a gown.

MADOWO: So you're excited because you're starting a new course. You're graduating from what you're doing right now. What's your biggest anticipation for the New Year?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My biggest anticipation for the New Year, I really expect that I'll be the best student in the class. Then something else, I just expect happiness with the family and friends.

MADOWO: That's a good thing, right? Happiness with family and friends. We can all aspire to that. We all need some happiness after the kind of year we've had. And certainly the people here, we have a couple of thousand. We're on the edge of the crowd here, so we can broadcast without getting knocked off the air with all the people on their phone. But it's shaping up to be quite a party and we're still more than an hour and a half away from it, Becky.


ANDERSON: I can't wait to get back to you, sir. It looks as if it's going to be a really good night. Thank you. We are also counting down in the historic city of Athens in Greece. Elinda, as I understand it, pomegranates get a big billing as Greeks usher in the New Year as well. Am I right in saying that?

ELINDA LABROPOULOU, JOURNALIST: Yes, absolutely. Athens is preparing for a huge party this evening. Basically, we're in the heart of Athens right now. There's a large stage behind me, and people are starting to gather for this big concert that's going to start in just over an hour from now. And then when we get to midnight, there's going to be a big fireworks display. And after that, lots of street parties all over the city.

And I have to tell you, Becky, what's really fun today is that you can see that the people really want to be here. They've come from all over the world. Athens is increasingly becoming a much more year round destination. This is what people have been telling us. They choose this place to come for New Year's. And you can really see why, because I think when you're about to go into something new, make that transition, just being under the shadow of the Acropolis, seeing this landmark site that has survived so many millennia, you know, it's gone through so many historic moments and shown so much resistance and resilience, really gives you a sense of place. And I think that's one of the things that has brought people to Athens this year, Becky.

ANDERSON: And Elinda, just talk to us about some of the traditions for New Year's Eve where you are.

LABROPOULOU: Well, actually, this pomegranate tradition that you were discussing just before about Turkey, it's something that we do still have in Greece, and it's not surprising because these are two neighboring countries. So it's very likely that a lot of people tonight will go home after their celebrations and smash a pomegranate at the front door just for good fortune. It brings luck. Along with that, people will be playing cards. That's not so large amounts of money or anything like that. But again, just for luck, for the New Year. This is something we see a lot across Greece. And we have a special cake. We call it a basil cake. This is a cake that has a coin baked in it. We cut it in families after midnight or the following day, and whoever gets that coin is the lucky person for the year ahead. This is something that children in particular look forward to.

And one thing that's very different about Greece so compared to a lot of other parts of the world is that actually we do give a presence on New Year's Day. So children here have been waiting for a lot longer than many other places, but finally, you know, the time has almost come.

ANDERSON: How painful for those kids but they're nearly there. All right, well, it is 9:12 with you, there's a couple of hours, nearly three hours to go. We are just somewhat 46, 47 minutes away before we give for New Year's a real kick off here in Dubai. Thank you to all of you. And we will be back with you as we move through the hour.

Now, as we still fizz with the excitement of this year's World Cup, I thought I'd give you a little treat. One of my favorite interviews of the year was with English soccer great Wayne Rooney. He was taking a well owned break here from his day job these days as manager of Washington FC in the States. And I met up with him at the Palm Jumeirah. It's an iconic Dubai landmark just down the road from here. We talked football, of course we did. But I also thought I'd challenge him to a bit of sushi rolling. And this is how that went.


ANDERSON: OK, when was the last time you put on a pin?


ANDERSON: There we go. There's lady's twin here. Oh, it's such young man, suit you. He didn't sign up for this.

I was thinking if you nailed this, now that you're living with your coach in Washington, you could be making sushi together. I've got a feeling --

ROONEY: That's why I'm not doing this. I'm doing it badly.

ANDERSON: Badly. So nobody relies on you.

I think the Washington takeouts are going to remain that Washington takeout.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like this. Maybe still live in the lobster.

ANDERSON: At least it's still on there.

ROONEY: What are we doing next?

ANDERSON: It's the Ronney roll. You are an expert. I'm not. Impressed by your own culinary expertise.

ROONEY: I'll buy them.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, so thank you very much.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much indeed.

ROONEY: Thank you. ANDERSON: Chef Moon.


ANDERSON: A true champ if ever there was one, Mr. Seedorf, sitting next to me here is a couple of Japanese restaurants, apparently, which he says are better than that one. I'm not sure, but you and I can have that discussion afterwards. Listen, coming up, we are counting down to New Year, 44 minutes away and 11 seconds. 10, nine, eight, there you go. New Year's countdown for you here in Dubai, we will be back after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. Well, Mahsa Jina Amini her name will be permanently etched into the collective memory of 2022. The young Kurdish Iranian woman's life was brutally cut short in September. She died while in the custody of Iran's notorious morality police after being accused of violating the dress code for women. Her death ignited a massive movement inside Iran, the fight for women, for life, and for freedom, Jin Jiyan Azadi.

For more than 100 days, we've brought you scenes of outrage, defiance and bravery from so many inside Iran. The crackdown by regime forces has been brutal and bloody, but resistance has been fierce, and supporters both inside and outside the country have found increasingly creative ways to share their message with the world. Iranians have a tradition of using protest songs to make their voices heard. In 2022 was no different. Several songs captured the essence of its struggle, but Shervin Hajipour really hit home. Our Nada Bashir reports on what was a powerful piece and other artistic acts of defiance.



NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For my sister for your sister for our sisters, lyrics inspired by a series of tweets highlighting the many reasons as to why the people of Iran are protesting. Baraye, which means four was created by Iranian singer songwriter Shervin Hajipour. He was arrested shortly after the song's release on charges, including spreading propaganda against the regime.

But the piece has since been described as the unofficial anthem of Iran's ongoing protest movement and has inspired artistic displays of defiance across the globe.

PARMIDA BAREZ, AUTHOR, SPEAKER, SONGWRITER AND ACTIVIST: It's one of the most powerful shared languages we have that can create unity and stir strong emotions and engage audiences and inspire people to take action. And that sort of power is threatening to a tyrannical authoritorian regime.

BASHIR (voice-over): It's this desire to show solidarity and inspire action which drove Parmida Barez to create a now viral spoken word piece. BAREZ: The death of all the martyrs we have lost won't be in vein.

If I were in Iran under the Islamic Republic's murderous regime, I'd either there be kidnapped, raped, jailed, handed a death sentence, maybe even killed for writing and reciting that poem. I have more freedom to create living outside the country, so it's my duty.

BASHIR (voice-over): More than three months have passed since protests first began in Iran. The movement has since grown to become a national uprising, calling for regime change. But the fight for women's rights remains at its heart. And despite a brutal and deadly crackdown by the regime, women continue to protest, removing their mandatory hijabs and dancing in the streets, acts long forbidden, now symbols of freedom.

Their defiance has inspired acts of protest from many Iranian creatives and displays of solidarity across the globe.


BASHIR (voice-over): From art installations in New York, the word Baraye displayed here featuring the names of those believed to have lost their lives at the hands of the regime and musical renditions of Hajipour's globally celebrated protest song. To this rousing performance in Buenos Aires, Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani joining British band Coldplay together singing the now unforgettable chant of women, life, freedom.

Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Although he defiance didn't just play out in arts and music, but crucially, in the sports world as well. You'll remember this man, Iran's record international gold star Ali Daei. He was in the news recently for refusing to attend the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to stand in solidarity with Iranian protesters. And he posted a long message about his decision on Instagram at the time.

Clarence Seedorf who is with me, is a good friend of Ali and commented this on his post, saying, and I quote, you are a real spiritual leader for your people, my friend. I admire your courage, kindness and leadership. Peace is what I wish can be reached ASAP. Much love to you and your family and all the brothers and sisters in Iran. Clarence, I really wanted to just give you a moment just to sort of reflect on what we've seen in Iran and what we've seen in Iran and from Iranians around the world.

SEEDORF: It's a very sad, sad thing. I mean, my wife is from Iran. I have many Iranian friends that rail around the world. We want peace. We always want peace. And the people are telling what they want, what they would like to have, would be great to see that peace coming very soon. Humanity needs to always be at the first place when we as leaders in the world make decisions and act upon certain things, right, so.


And Ali Daei, he's an amazing, amazing person. Such courage as well, but also this great heart. I believe that what he's always been asking for is really just listen to your people and let's come together. So he's looking for peace as well. And that's what I really hope for. That can be coming soon, and not only in Iran, there's so many other places in the world where the troubling things happening and, yes, we just can pray that peace will come soon.

ANDERSON: It's been a tough year in 2022 in so many places. Let's really, as you say, let's hope that there is some better news and some peace in 2023. We are going to see the New Year in together here tonight in Dubai. First, we're going to be right back as we go around the world bringing in that year of 2023.


ANDERSON: All right, welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson. We are at the Antico Lounge at the W here in Dubai, and we are just about half an hour away from ringing in the New Year here on CNN's New Year's Eve live broadcast.

I'm joined here in Dubai by Dutch football legend, Clarence Seedorf. I could go on, I mean, they talk about you as having innate ability on the pitch, an intelligence that is almost unmatched. I will also say that the work that you do off the pitch I think is equally as impressive, if not more than the, what, 22 years you spent in football? I mean it was --

SEEDORF: Yes, 24 years.


ANDERSON: Yes, unbelievable, unbelievable stuff. Listen, we have been, I guess for the last, what, two, three, four years we've been talking about who's the greatest of them all. Who's the greatest? Who's to go? Who's to go? Messi, Ronaldo, Ronaldo, Messi. Messi ends up this year winning the World Cup with Argentina.

And what a result and what a match that was. Christian Ronaldo today announces that he's moving to Saudi Arabia for what is the biggest contract in footballing history. Can I just take you through some statistic?


ANDERSON: This contract is 200 million a year, 16.5 million a month, 3.8 million a week, 500 grand a day, 23 grand an hour, 386 euros, let's -- dollars it's around about the same, a minute, and that's 6.5 a second. That is unbelievable. What do you think?

SEEDORF: I mean, Cristiano we need to respect Cristiano for what he has built in his career, the player that he is, that he has been over the last 15 years with Messi, you know, performing on an incredible level. This, of course, is a particular choice that he made. It came after some turbulent times, I would have to say. I wish him all the best. It's not going to be an easy thing, because it's going to be a different level of players around him.

The money, we don't have to discuss the money. I believe that listening to his words, in one of his last interviews, he was talking about how he sees football more and more as a business. So this is a business choice, obviously, a contract that is hard to refuse, especially at this stage of his career, and especially with, I think, the lack of interest, maybe, to have Cristiano still in Europe. But it's an amazing contract. It's an amazing act by Saudi as well, right?

ANDERSON: Absolutely. I mean, to give him his due, he said he wants to, you know, impart what he knows about probably the experience that he's got in a country and a part of the world, which is, you know, I mean we saw it through the World Cup. Saudi's got, you know, offence they play a half piece of game.

SEEDORF: It's real from their country.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. And it's a real football country. They've been a five World Cup. And getting that kind of national domestic league, which is full of Saudi players, getting that domestic league going, I think, is, you know, really competing at the highest level would be amazing.

SEEDORF: I mean it's full stadiums every week, 50,000, 30,000, 80,000 some occasions. So, I mean, Cristiano will bring more than the football part, right? I think I think Saudi is really building up the country, trying to show the country, like Qatar as well.

ANDERSON: When you look back in your own career, A.C. Milan, Real Madrid, you won Champions League with four clubs, right? I mean that was --

SEEDORF: Three clubs. Four championships.

ANDERSON: Four championship leagues with three clubs. When you look back, just very briefly, what was the key moment in your career when you went, you know what, I've achieved what I want to achieve. This is my kind of, this is my moment.

SEEDORF: Well, I've never really lifted by moments, Becky. For me, it was all about the journey, really, and also being aware that with that position, we could also be a role model. We also could make an impact positively for society, you know, all the trophies and all the amazing moments I've had with my colleagues and my friends and the clubs that I've been only had value when I could really go back and see the reactions of the people and see the happiness of the people when you would celebrate with them, the trophies. I mean, when I saw Argentina, they were like, wow, you know, that is how much football means for the people.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I think my hair stand up in my arms when I think about it. Stay with me.

It's already 2023 in Australia and East Asia from Sydney to Taipei and Hong Kong. Fireworks lit up the night sky and music filled the air as revelers welcomed in the New Year. Here's a look back at some of the best moments of the day so far.


CROWD: Three, two, one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to 2023, Sydney, Australia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The dynamic light displayed their multi world tower in Seoul, South Korea. Everyone there in between the peninsula ushering in a brand new year, Happy New Year.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An incredible sight here in Hong Kong. This is the first time I've seen fireworks over the Hong Kong harbor in almost three years. Wow, this really feels like a new beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language). Happy New Year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taiwan is reopening to the world after three years of pandemic, this is an island. This is a democracy that is ready to showcase a positive message of peace on earth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are able to fee excited about what await sight in the future. Happy New Year. Welcome to 2023.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bangkok has just ushered in a brand new year, it's 2023 there as well.


ANDERSON: It's amazing, isn't it? You just can't get enough of those fireworks. I mean, it doesn't matter how old you are, they just get better and better. All right, we are bringing you the action happening all around the world tonight, I promise you that. You just see what's happening there in East Asia and West Asia here. And so and we'll be at the top of the air in 23 minutes. Let's check back in with CNN's Larry Madowo, who was born in Kenya and got his star in television there. And he's home for us on this New Year, reporting on the festivities in Mombasa. Sir, and I know you are going to get a real kick out of tonight. Just, sir, just tell us what's the atmosphere like there as you gear up for New Year.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Listen, Becky, I wanted to introduce you to one of my new friends. This is Ali. And Ali is one of the ways to get around the festivities here. I'm kind of towering everyone on my little camel friend here as this place is filling up since we've been here, I think the crowd has doubled at the Mombasa Waterfront. We're still about an hour, maybe 20 something minutes away from midnight when we're going to have a big firework celebration. But right now, I'm sort of like one of the kids here enjoying a ride on a camel, getting some ice cream, some little bitings of Swahili food, as they all anticipate that moment at midnight when East Africa, Mombasa, and this region celebrates 2023, the beginning of a New Year. But right now, I wonder if my friend can do a little move for us. Move, Ali. OK.

ANDERSON: Listen, he looks utterly forward.

MADOWO: All right, this is happening. What could possibly go wrong? Becky, it's on live television.

ANDERSON: He's off. Good for you.

MADOWO: He's off the shot. Ali does not take my instructions.

ANDERSON: Live T.V. views, they say, never work with children and animals.

Are you all right up there, Larry? Can you still hear me?

MADOWO I'm fine. You just can't see me. You can hear me. I can hear you. And I promise you, I'm fine. Ali and I are just chilling out here.

ANDERSON: All right, you just chill out. I'm going to come back to you. You just chill out. You stay out there. You stay safe. Isn't that lovely? Let's get you to Istanbul. Scott McLean is there, and I think, as I understand it, you've got some guests with you, sir. Are they on camels?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Sadly, no. But they've come to from come to us from a place that has a heck of a lot of camels and a lot of desert to ride them in. And I've run into the Abu Hassan family. They've come here from Jordan. They've been on vacation for the last two weeks in Turkey. And I just wonder how you've been enjoying New Year's Eve so far.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been pretty good so far.

MCLEAN: And how has your vacation been so far?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been pretty good. Like, awesome.

MCLEAN: And I just wonder, 2022 has been a hard year for a lot of people. What are you most excited for in 2023? Are you optimistic?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm very optimistic for that. I'm looking forward for it because we are going to visit a lot of places in 2023, and I hope it's going to be a great year for all of us.

MCLEAN: And you guys have come here from Jordan. I wonder, just as we let you go here, what would you normally be doing in New Year's Eve in Jordan if you were back home in Aman?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will be spending the New Year's Eve with the family members, like, all the family members, and with neighborhood if they came and having fireworks and having food together.


MCLEAN: You feel right at home except for maybe the weather which is colder. It's lovely to meet you guys. Chadhana, Happy New Year everybody.

CROWD: Happy New Year.



MCLEAN: And so Becky, I have to tell you, you know, we've met a lot of people but we have met a heck of a lot of tourists. We seem to be in the tourist hotspot of Istanbul here. It seems like a lot of Turks are still at home having their tricky dinner, but everyone else here is gathering around to watch the fireworks right on the edge of the Bosphorus.

ANDERSON: We'll look, listen, you're in air in 20 minutes out so I'm sure you'll find more people. And, you know what, Istanbul is always a great night out, whatever night of the year it is. But New Year's Eve is going to be an absolute cracker for you. Thank you, Scott. Larry still on his camel, we'll get back to him as well. We're going to take a very short break. But first, back after this.


ANDERSON: Well, they are playing some cracking tunes here at the Attiko Rooftop party at the W in Dubai, as we await the fireworks at the top of the hour. Now, 2022 was a huge year of sport, culminating in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and quite possibly what was the best final ever. Lionel Messi, fulfilling what Argentinians would describe as his destiny. Captaining his country to victory, he and his teammates gained immortality. The scenes that followed in Buenos Aires were surreal. But of course, it wasn't the only huge event on the calendar from the retirements of tennis legends to Formula One drama, 2022 really lived up to the high. Well, joining me now to talk about the year, specifically the year in football, two top commentators, Amy Gillingham and Pedro Correia. Welcome both of you, our UAE residents. Amy, you live in Masacramos (ph), I understand it. Just up the road from Dubai. Fabulous place. And Pedro, you're here?


ANDERSON: Tell me, how on earth did you two get into the game of football commentators? Amy?


AMY GILLINGHAM, UAE'S FIRST FEMALE FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR: Well, very bizarre story, really, but it was at the beginning of this year, so 2022 has certainly been my year, becoming the first female football commentator in the UAE. I mean, you know, it's such a brilliant thing for females in sport and inspiring the younger generation as well out here. But very bizarre story, it's a small world, the football industry out here and meeting people the likes of Pedro, getting into the game.

ANDERSON: You know each other.


ANDERSON: You clearly know each other. Because it's a small world when it comes to the world of football commentary. You have been associated with a club called Al Wasl, as I understand it now for some time. Just tell me your story.

CORREIA: Yes, I came to Dubai, actually almost 10 years ago, to work at Al Wasl Club, one of the biggest and historical clubs here in the UAE from Dubai to start as a marketing and then club licensing officer. And then a few years later, I started doing English commentary for the local sports T.V.s here. And ever since, I'm doing that, also now on the three.

ANDERSON: And for anybody watching this who doesn't think that football is a big game here, you say what?

GILLINGHAM: Well, it certainly developed in the last few years, that's for sure. And especially with the World Cup, it's just opened a can of worms, really. You know, yesterday we had the news of Ronaldo coming out to the Middle East and Saudi Arabia with Al-Nasr Club. I mean, to me, just in the year of being in this, obviously the Middle Eastern football and the UAE pro league, we've seen the likes of Pjanic, Yarmolenko, huge names in the football world come out here and sign for clubs. It's just developing year on year.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about Ronaldo, because, of course, you're Portuguese. Thank you for bringing it up. I've just been talking to Clarence about it, the biggest footballing contract ever in the history of football. What do you make of it?

CORREIA: Another record for Ronaldo, another one. And what a good one it is. Of course, Becky, I'm not going to lie to you. Being Portuguese, I'm very proud of him. Of all he has achieved in his career, my personal opinion is the greatest of all time. And I think this is a major deal for him, of course, but also for Al-Nasr Club, the Saudi League and I would say even the Middle East. This is a groundbreaking deal we have here, and we can all benefit from this, having such a figure here in the Middle East, even in terms of then international competition in the Asian Champions League, et cetera.

ANDERSON: You must have been disappointed that the team didn't make it to the final. It was an amazing final. Let's agree. Argentina-France, what a match that was. Reflections on the World Cup, very briefly, both of you.

CORREIA: Well, of course, Portugal did not perform as were expecting. Maybe further to the semis eventually, but were knocked out by the surprise of the good surprise of the competition, Morocco. And congratulations to them. It's also a good deal, some good news for the Arab world in terms of football. Not only Morocco going through so long until almost until the end of the World Cup, but also the attack famous Saudi win against Argentina, so such a great year for Middle East in terms of football.

ANDERSON: Remind me the way the tournament began, unbelievable.

GILLINGHAM: Yes, absolutely. And I think especially for the Middle East, there's been so many history making moments in such an exceptional tournament. Obviously, Morocco, the, you know, the Lions making this amazing, amazing, amazing performance, getting to this semifinal, the first Middle East and African nations make it to the semifinal.

I mean and I feel that so many people came out the woodwork who don't normally follow football. I felt that the Arab world really got behind Morocco and people were watching football that you don't really expect and haven't really had an interest before, which is an amazing experience to have, and also to have a new audience. You know, the World Cup being where it was. Obviously the different rules that were implemented, much more family orientated, the audience that attracted was just amazing.


ANDERSON: We've got the Women's World Cup coming up next year and what a tournament that will be as well. I'm going to have to leave it there for the time being. But thank you very much indeed for coming and spending some of your time with us tonight on New Year's Eve here in Dubai. We are just minutes away from the big moments here. We are counting down at the Attiko Rooftop Lounge, getting ready to welcome 2023.


ANDERSON: All right, let me bring back Larry Madowo is in Mombasa, and so is Ali, the camel. Oh, you rest the camel. What happened? What happened?

MADOWO: Alienating a little break, Becky. And I will get right back on because the crowd is really starting to fill up here. We're getting up to about an hour before midnight here, and I can see why people want to be out here to celebrate the New Year, because one poll out today, Becky, said about 50 percent of Kenya's think 2022 has been a terrible year.

And I think many people around the world would agree that we've had a lot of grim stories even here on CNN to cover. But the same poll also said 82 percent are optimistic that 2023 is going to be a great year. So being out here in Mombasa symbolically marks the end of 2022, at the beginning of this optimistic New Year that they're hoping for, which I think Ali, too, is looking forward to as, OK, we are doing something here. There -- as lot of -- there's a lot of families here, a lot of kids, right, coming up to 11:00 p.m. but I'm seeing a lot of kids all around who are here with the families and their parents.

Look at all these kids back here who come to celebrate the New Year. And the parents have brought them out. I guess they get to stay out late because it's not a school night. It's one day that they can celebrate people from all over the world. Hey, you take a video of me? Come, I can put you on T.V. You want to be on T.V.? You're live on CNN right now. He says he doesn't speak English, speaking to me in English.

Anyway, so that's the kind of mood here. People from all over the world come and celebrate. The reason is because Mombasa is a really popular tourist destination in Kenya, in East Africa. It's some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And so, around the New Year, hotels sell out months in advance and getting a hotel, getting flights into the city is so difficult. That's why you have this diverse crowd from all over the world come in to celebrate the New Year and ring in the New Year with a huge celebration of fireworks, who have been promised in just over an hour. Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes. You know that you and Ali are going to become a meme, don't you? There is no doubt about it. It's just chewing away while you --

MADOWO: I'm absolutely certain.

ANDERSON: -- broadcast to the world. This is fabulous. Listen, mate, we're going to get back to you. You're watching CNN's, Special News Eve live broadcast. I'm Becky Anderson, live from the Attiko Rooftop Lounge at the W in Dubai. It is almost midnight here and there are thousands on the streets and parties around this city anticipating some spectacular displays, 30, I am told, but the most anticipated location is, of course, the Burj Khalifa. And we are going to get you there in just over five minutes time.

Well, before I take a break, I just want to share with you the well wishes of Dubai's ruler, his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. 2022, he said, has been a remarkable year for the UAE, stepping further to the future through breakthrough initiatives. We will embrace 2023 with a relentless spirit to achieve no less than the best. We wish our people and all nations in the world a happy, safe and prosperous New Year.


I'm going to take a really short break. Do not go anywhere. We will be right back.


ANDERSON: All right, welcome back, folks. I'm Becky Anderson here in Dubai. For our New Year's Eve special, I'm coming to you live from the Attiko Rooftop Lounge here at the W in Dubai, where we have dancing disco balls, let me tell you. We are counting down the seconds here about to bring in 2023 across the United Arab Emirates especially that iconic shot of the Burj Khalifa.

Now, let me just tell you, we're a minute 30 away. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world. With over 160 floors and certainly one of the most famed, it's always ready to ring in the New Year. Every year, the lights illuminating around this structure are watched around the country and indeed around the world. A lot of work goes into those preparations, let me tell you, 828 meters of fireworks, 2,500 firing directions, 287 firing positions, 22,000 gallons of water in the air, 344 underwater robots, 145,000 watts of light power, 4,000 watts of lasers.

Yet you never thought this was going to happen, did you? Back with me to welcome 2023 is footballing legend Clarence Seedorf. I promised you a good night.

SEEDORF: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: Right. Good.


And we are about to all welcome in the New Year. Amy is still with us here as well. All this is good. And we have correspondents of course around the globe.