UAE | Tourism

Why fireworks on the Palm in Dubai started late

Emirate sets new world record with 100,000 fireworks in 60 seconds

  • By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 January 1, 2014
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • Fireworks explode over the Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah as part of the world’s largest fireworks display in Dubai.
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Dubai: More than 100,000 fireworks were let off in the first minute as Dubai set a new world record for the largest fireworks display.

The show was spread across 94 kilometres of Dubai’s shoreline, with 500,000 fireworks let off in a dazzling display.

Dubai broke the record, previously held by Kuwait with 77,282 fireworks let off in 2012, within 60 seconds of the show starting.

The Palm Jumeirah and World Island display began at 12.20am following the fireworks at the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab.

“We couldn’t start on time due to security reasons, as we didn’t get the clearance required in time, so we decided to put safety first,” said Phil Grucci, who designed the show.

Guinness Record officials were on hand to audit the fireworks.

“Guinness Record officials did the initial audit during the show and confirmed that Dubai had broken the record. A final audit is currently going on that will confirm the number of shots we fired,” added Grucci.

Security reasons were also cited for not carrying out the promised elements such as a ‘flying falcon’ and a huge ‘UAE flag’.

“We didn’t get security clearance for the areas where we were planning the special effects to create the flying falcon and the flag, but we are happy that we could break the world record,” said Grucci.

Thousands of people gathered around the beaches of Dubai and secured every possible vantage point.

As many as 200 technicians worked on the project for nine months to create a firework spectacular that gave Dubai the edge over other New Year celebrations in the world.

Cables were spread across 94 kilometres and connected to a network of 100 computers in Palm Jumeirah and The World islands.

Comments (35)

  1. Added 17:37 January 2, 2014

    In reply to :Shanti, Dubai, United Arab Emirates We 3 families left SHJ @ 6pm & reached the open beach/Umm Suqeim Park near Burj Al Arab @ 8pm. Hunting parking space took another 45 mnts. The park & the beach was FULL of FAMILIES. I've heard from people who came all the way from AD & RAK that they were there since 6.30 pm for this event. You should have left early to reach there which I learned on National Day celebration. Only the toilet problem was there even after 2 more of the staff's lavatories were opened for ladies & kids. There should've been arrangement for couple of pay-toilets with portable loos. Once the inner & on going roads were brimmming vith vehicles, police started diverting to the left towards SZR from the beach road. All the inner roads on both side of beach road became temporary parking. There was even a small fire accident in a restaurant on the beach road at around 10pm which was fantastically brought under control in time and 2/3 lanes of traffic was open within an hour towards Burj Al Arab. I can vouch for the fantastic job done by Dubai Police bringing the Civil Defence vehicles meticulously to the spot in that chockablock situation to the near side and 1 on the opp side. There were vehicles parked all around that nearby & inner roads. Apart from the loss of that property and no loss of life or adjacent properties got damaged. HATS OFF TO YOU to DUBAI POLICE & CIVIL DEFENCE!!!

    KJM Ibrahim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 17:19 January 2, 2014

    Watch the London fireworks on BBC for the difference between quality and quantity. They didn't have to break any records to produce something amazing. That ridiculous billboard on SZR is right: winning isn't everything, beauty and good taste count too.

    Angus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 16:55 January 2, 2014

    All I can say is "YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYBODY". Dubai help the less fortunate in a silent way,as it is more sincere to extend your right hand without your left hand know it did. Dubai strive on how and what they have became now, I don't think anyone has a right to question what Dubai wanted for their own land. Everyone has it's own story to tell, who knows, that show could possibly lifted some audiences spirit? We cannot really judge nor questions anyone's philanthropy. I agree that yet Dubai still has to learn crowd management- for which a separate matter than previous.

    Ian, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 16:54 January 2, 2014

    Great fireworks show at Burj Khalifa. really appreciate the efforts of the RTA and Dubai police in managing the traffic at the Dubai mall and trade center.

    mirza ali, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:23 January 2, 2014

    Thanks Dubai for providing such great evening under the surveillance of well behaved security and volunteers. The “fireworks” was awesome which can’t be compared... once again thanks.

    SS, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 16:15 January 2, 2014

    Sultan? Where did you count 2 billion people from? Do you believe that 30% of the world population had nothing to do on the New Year Eve just to sit in front of to TV and watch the firework record somewhere in Dubai??? People have their own traditions to celebrate New Year and their own activities and entertaining to enjoy. Yes, they have shown worldwide on TV news on the next day few second report about celebrations in different parts of the world and mentioned about Dubai record showing as usually only or mainly Burj Khalifa display:). Anyway, not many people watch news on this day after the whole night celebration:). Do you think many people enjoyed the firework even here, in the UAE? Thousand were trapped in the road and spent the Eve in the cars till the morning because they have blocked the roads. This is included those unfortunate with their tickets cost 450-600 DH on their hands for the Sandance Atlantis event who were not allowed to attend the concert and spent the festivity in buses or in the streets walking all the way through the Palm and being stopped before the tunnels. There were people who came from abroad to enjoy the event. Do you believe they will leave with the impression Dubai has targeted after their all financial and moral loss and suffers? They have closed the way to Dubai Down Town by 8pm while there were plenty of parking spaces available in Dubai Mall. I saw security blocked the door to the Marina Metro station at around 3am and didn't let people in while there was empty inside. They created more problem instead of solving some. Besides, because of the almost 30 minutes of delay, many people who get their positions to watch the fireworks, left 10-15 minutes after the midnight disappointed. Due to all these reasons, not so many people finally enjoyed the display. Then it seems they cared more about record on the paper than about people. If the purpose of the firework was the marketing, then what is the target audience of the marketing event? Not people???? Then it was money thrown to the air. By the way, I have already changed my plans for the New Year Eve 2015. Instead of inviting my parents here as I planned before, I will go out of Dubai. I don't feel safely to spend here New Year and I don't want to be jammed somewhere by cars or by crowd, or I don't want my plans to be ruined due to improper organization.

    Lalita, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 16:08 January 2, 2014

    it was a good show from Burj Khalifa to Burj Al Arab and then the Palm...but people live in Dubai knows this could have spend in more generous way... Yes we Dubaians break the record...whats next...did we get anything...just a paper...what happen if that money given to all the employees as a gift that would make a better world record...atleast to people who worked to build the palm...anyway this is my point of view but I enjoyed watching it and talk about it with my friends and family around the world.

    Eshan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 15:46 January 2, 2014

    I Totally agree with sultan and partially agree with Amina also, 17000 people paid 450-600 aed for watching this event and atleast those money would have gone for some charity.

    sac, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 15:42 January 2, 2014

    We left home at 8PM from Bur Dubai to catch the best of view. Alas, every vantage point POLICE jeep worked as barricades near Buj al Arab and stopped the oncoming traffic. We had to exit to the opposite direction again to go thru the entire stretch and seeing the traffic again exited and took the inner lane behind MOE and went towards Abu Dhabi and exited near Marina and waited near KV. The fireworks started only after 10 minutes when we thought flopped due to tech.glitch. Then the extravaganza started. But to our dismay and displeasure some of the fire works are not visible for enthusiastic public who waited for hours with small kids and elderly parents. Most of the works are at ground level... They are NOT as HIGH as expected but horizontal. If they really want people to watch and enjoy then allow people the access instead of blocking every possible entry......!!!! After the extravaganza was over it took 3-1/2 hours from KV to reach Bur Dubai thru SZR where all the 5 lanes were jam packed and traffic crawling neck and neck. 100's and 1000's of people stranded on the road for transport, stopping all vehicles, asking lifts. Metro stations were full with not even a pin can be dropped in...... Mind you this is at 2AM...... everywhere people, young and old with children, babies and elders. God knows when and how these reached home...... I wonder WHY this chaos every time in Dubai when there is an event and WHY Dubai Police closes the access to public. Then let the celebrations be marked for private invitees only.......

    Shanti, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 15:24 January 2, 2014

    It was amazing and a great marketing event. Its not a waste of money but I am only worried on the environment impact from the smoke. Anyway a great way to start 2014

    vinod, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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