Dubai: Whether or not fireworks will light up the world’s tallest tower on New Year’s Eve, revellers are assured that they’re in for another dazzling show to ring in 2018.
Organisers of the annual festivities have taken to social media to appease netizens, following speculations that there will be less funfair in Burj Khalifa this time around.
Gulf News also contacted a spokesperson for Emaar but the developer would not confirm nor deny that the pyrotechnics display has been cancelled.
“We have several surprises in store this year. We’re lighting up the sky and celebrating the New Year with an innovative performance that will dazzle the world and put the global spotlight on the UAE and Dubai,” a post by Downtown Dubai reads.
Reports that a light show will replace the fireworks display at Burj Khalifa to ring in the New Year have sparked mixed reactions from UAE residents.
There have been speculations that there will be no fireworks display at the world’s tallest tower to welcome the New Year. Instead, residents and visitors will be treated to a light show, something that Emaar described as a “never-before-seen spectacle.”
While some people welcome the news, citing that it will reduce traffic woes, others have expressed concern that pulling the plug on the tradition could impact Dubai’s tourism sector. This is considering the fact that thousands of visitors travel to Dubai just to witness the fireworks at Burj Khalifa.
“Wrong decision not to have fireworks on Burj Khalifa this New Year,” said Joevy Lanuza. “You don’t know how many hotels, airlines, travel agents, shopping malls will be affected by this decision. Thousands of tourists from around the world are eager to come to Dubai just to witness the fireworks.”
Each year, hundreds of thousands of spectators descend on Downtown Dubai, home of the world’s tallest tower and largest shopping mall, to enjoy the festivities. Back in 2013, nearly two million people converged to watch the show.
Other residents said the decision to cancel the fireworks is something to be happy about because it will not only ease traffic congestion, it will be a cleaner and greener way to usher in the New Year.
“That means the skies this year will not be choked, and so do we,” said Farhaan Mohammed.
“Great news. [That] means no huge traffic on New Year’s Eve,” said Habibty Yumi.
Premjit Bangara, general manager for travel at Sharaf Travel Services, said the cancellation of fireworks will not impact the local tourism industry because the UAE has a lot to offer - more than just a pyrotechnics display.
“This will certainly not deter tourists from coming in to Dubai as, primarily, they have booked their travel and hotels well in advance and Dubai offers the whole package with events, resorts and shopping festivities happening during this period,” Bangara told Gulf News.
“While the fireworks display is a top draw for residents and tourists too, we believe that this has not impacted our inbound arrivals as Dubai has a whole lot of events and activities planned during this winter and that will certainly be a positive factor in maintaining the feel good factor with our tourists.”
In a statement issued last week, Emaar said it will be welcoming the New Year with an all-new theme, “Light Up 2018,” with festivities spanning Burj Khalifa and water-music performances at the Dubai Fountain. The façade of Downtown Dubai’s iconic buildings will serve as a canvas for a “spectacular show” that will be coordinated and produced by a team of world-class experts.
Contacted by Gulf News, a spokesperson for Emaar declined to confirm that that Burj Khalifa fireworks has indeed been cancelled. But the developer’s social media posts have hinted that the celebrations will be taking on a different tune.
“Say goodbye to the old and hello to the new as we #LightUp2018 in Downtown Dubai this #MayDubaiNewYear,” Emaar’s social media post reads.