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Global Village: Fireworks in the sky, caution on the ground

While Dubai Police transport the shells to launch site, Civil Aviation Authority must give the go-ahead

  • Fireworks technician Chetan Singh putting explosive shells into launch tubesImage Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/XPRESS
  • Fireworks technician Chetan Singh putting explosive shells into launch tubesImage Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/XPRESS
  • Usman Ashraf, entertainment supervisor at Global VillageImage Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/XPRESS
XPRESS

DUBAI: Every weekend at 9pm a massive display of fireworks enthralls visitors at the Global Village. While the spectacle has become a regular feature, what many are not aware of is the degree of caution taken not just by the Global Village management but also by Dubai Police and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that every display is safely conducted.

The site from where the fireworks are launched is a good 300 metres from the Global Village and is located in the desert area of Dubailand.


“There are seven launch spots, each within 100 metres of the other. We have at least two people working nearly eight hours to put everything in place for one display,” said Usman Ashraf, entertainment supervisor at the Global Village, as the XPRESS team visited the site recently.

Mandatory approvals

Ashraf said the Village management has to get approvals from Dubailand authorities for every fireworks display. In addition, the Village must also get a go-ahead from Dubai Police and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority before every show.

“All explosives are placed at sites approved by Dubai Police. They [the police] transport the explosive shells to the site on the day of the show. Also as the site is close to the Royal Airbase, we have to get an approval from the Dubai Civil Aviation before we go ahead with the show,” said Ashraf.

As we toured the site, fireworks technician Chetan Singh was busy putting explosive shells into fibreglass tubes from which they will be launched. “About 350 kilos of explosives in 750 shells are fired into the sky for the three-minute display,” said Singh. Pointing to the bundled brightly-coloured fibreglass launch tubes Singh said: “These are placed in a particular manner to create a desired pattern in the sky. The shells differ in size with the smallest being 2.5 inches in diameter with a capacity to travel a distance of 65 metres, while the biggest is eight inches in diameter and can go as high as 200 metres.”

Ashraf said the shells come from China mostly. “This year, for the first time in the history of the Village, synchronised music runs along with the fireworks display,” he added.

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