Fireworks lighten up the Burj Khalifa to celebrate the coming New Year. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan, Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News

Dubai: Thousands of people around Burj Khalifa were awe-struck as a spectacular firework display erupted from the world's tallest tower at the stroke of midnight.

A fabulous sound and light show choreographed by the Dubai fountain set the stage for the firework display.

Everyone let out an involuntary gasp as the jaw-dropping fireworks ushered in the New Year 2011.

An estimated two billion people watched the fireworks around the globe as major TV channels relayed the event live.

Residents from the various emirates braved the crawling traffic to get to the party of the year at the Burj.

All Metro trains and buses were jampacked with commuters after Emaar put in full-page adverts inviting everyone to the party.

Shaikh Zayed Road leading to Burj Khalifa from Sharjah was jampacked. "I can see all cars at a standstill," said one motorist as he headed home on Al Ittihad Road.

Even as the fireworks went off there was a blinding flash from the spectators as hundreds of people tried to capture the moment with their cameras and mobiles.

Earlier, a German tourist who had set up his camera near The Adress Downtown to get a clear shot of the Burj said he expected "something amazing".

Security had closed off the bridge connecting Dubai Mall and Souq Al Bahar fearing it would collapse under the weight of the crowd.

As the fireworks ended, the excited crowd slowly dispersed into the New Year.