By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Hundreds of thousands of people ushered in the New Year at Downtown Dubai as the colours of the UAE national flag lit the night sky and brilliantly draped the Burj Khalifa in an eight-minute fireworks display yesterday.
Standing 828 metres above the ground, the world’s tallest building was illuminated in white, red, and green hues from top to bottom for the first time. The spectacular fireworks display was themed as a salute to the UAE for its 40 years of nationhood.
“The New Year’s Celebrations 2012 is our tribute to the cosmopolitan spirit of Dubai. The spectacle has reiterated this global city’s position as one of the most sought after destinations for New Year’s celebrations,” Ahmad Al Matroushi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said.
Residents and tourists alike revelled in the sea of light, with many saying last night’s show was the best they had seen so far.
“This is the best fireworks show I will ever see in my lifetime. This is incomparable, this is the best. The magnitude was amazing and it was well-executed.” Todd Sheerin, 22, who was visiting the UAE with his family from the US, told Gulf News. He added that his family had seen fireworks displays during previous New Year celebrations around the world, but the details of last night’s show stood out.
“The colours and the different kinds of fireworks coming from the water, all the way to the top and all the way down, and seeing the reflections in the windows, it was amazing,” he said.
“The show was superb. I have not seen anything like this before. I will come back again next year,” Vasant Parmar, 30, an Indian draftsman who got stuck in traffic last year and failed to see the first fireworks show at the Burj, told Gulf News.
The much-anticipated fireworks display, which marked the second anniversary of the grand inauguration of Burj Khalifa, was telecast live to an estimated two billion homes across the world.
A sea of people filled the special viewing spots set up at the Burj Park, the Waterfront Promenade lining the adjacent Dubai Mall, Burj Plaza, the 3.5km Emaar Boulevard, The Pavilion, and other areas, in addition to a drive-in designated location in Meydan.
Huge crowds began pouring into Downtown Dubai as early as 4pm, mainly on board the Dubai Metro. Two K-9 units were also deployed at Dubai Mall Metro station. More info