Dubai: About 40,000 fireworks will go off in a span of five minutes stretching six kilometres, the longest fireworks display in the history of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), to usher in the 17th edition of the event, the pyrotechnics expert behind the display told Gulf News.
Flash Art, the Germany-based pyrotechnics company producing the show, was given only 10 days to plan, design and set up for it, Markus Katterle, managing director and artistic director of the group, said.
"The first problem for everyone involved was that we only had ten days' notice," he said. "We had to plan the music to synchronise with the fireworks, get client approval, and the designer, Jakub Skalski, conceptualised it in two days and two nights."
The musical fireworks display will start at the Dubai Creek and go to Business Bay and all the way to Shindagha — a feat that took 38 people working for five days to set up, Katterle said.
Across the Creek, 10 barges carrying the fireworks will be controlled by a digital firing control system emitting 5,000 individual cues to set off the fireworks, he said. A two-level back-up system will be in place to prevent any interruptions.
Beyond the technical effects, the company is aiming for an emotionally appealing display using the DSF anthem song "Dubai Danat ul Dunia" (Dubai the Pearl of the World).
"The music emotionally syncs with the fireworks. It's not just about cueing [each effect], it's about the dramatic effect and emotion in the music, bringing them together as a visual picture in the sky," he said.
The show is designed to reflect the spirit of Dubai, Katterle added.
Flash Art has produced firework shows for DSF openings earlier, but this year the pressure is on to produce a show that matches expectations after the New Year fireworks displays across Dubai.
Comparison with events
"We had the idea to play along the whole Creek. It's a different picture than when you focus on one place. Burj Khalifa was impressive, but you can't compare the two," he said.
The musical fireworks display will start today at 8.30pm at the Dubai Creek.
Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) refused to reveal how much it spent on the fireworks or the opening night.