New Year 2018

Ras Al Khaimah begins New Year with a world record

Staff Reporter /Ras Al Khaimah
Filed on January 1, 2018 | Last updated on January 1, 2018 at 05.31 pm
Ras Al Khaimah New Year’s Eve fireworks’ by Al Marjan Island sets Guinness World Records title for ‘Largest Aerial Firework Shell’.- Supplied photo
Ras Al Khaimah New Year's Eve fireworks' by Al Marjan Island sets Guinness World Records title for 'Largest Aerial Firework Shell'.- Supplied photo

Over 390 'comet stars' splashed the night in the UAE's national colours as the extravaganza propelled RAK into the record books.

Almost 1,100kg of fireworks created a 1km-long canopy of colour, making Ras Al Khaimah's Al Marjan Island one of the brightest spots on earth on New Year's Eve (NYE). Over 390 'comet stars' splashed the night in the UAE's national colours as the extravaganza propelled RAK into the record books.

Al Marjan Island bagged the Guinness World Record for the largest aerial firework shell, as hundreds of thousands of revellers were given a night to remember.

The record trumps the 2014 title set by the Kounosu fireworks festival in Sitama, Japan, on October 11, 2014. Compared to the 464.826kg firecrackers launched then, RAK deployed over twice the amount.

The shell in RAK reached a whopping 1,100 metres from the ground to the top-end of the display; 650 metres from the ground to the centre, and measured 1km in diameter when it was launched. On a comparative note, the Kounosu record had the firecracker reaching a height of 907 metres to the top-end, 533 metres to the centre, and 748 metres in diameter.

In a fitting tribute to the UAE, the dazzling display of the 10-minute fireworks was set to action from 120 sites. The aerial shell had a diameter of 145cm. It packed 390 comet stars that flowered into white, red and green, to recreate the colours of the national flag. It took 15 seconds to reach the apex with the glittering comets changing to brilliant red tips with the centre of the flower displaying in a green shimmer.

The show was choreographed to seven chapters, and set to global music by 14 renowned composers.

The certificate was presented to Abdullah Al Abdooli, managing director of Al Marjan Island, and Phil Grucci, CEO and creative director of fireworks by Grucci.

Al Abdooli said: "The fireworks was a spectacular success that welcomed visitors from around the world and cemented the reputation of the emirate as a must-visit destination for NYE galas. Adding to the pride of RAK and our nation, the event is a true testament to the joint efforts of various governmental entities, which ensured a safe and seamless celebration.

"The records title for the largest aerial firework shell, a part of the celebration, brings added joy as it highlights our commitment to offer a real extravaganza for our visitors."

Al Marjan Island worked with government entities to create several public viewing areas across the waterfront development. More than 5,000 additional public car parking spaces were provided this year to welcome the guests.

Grucci said: "Our brief was to deliver a 'Beyond a Journey' design and to fabricate and display this amazing marvel in fireworks. With the event, a performance art, we wanted to highlight the feeling of harmony and peace and the excitement and celebration of what Al Marjan Island is and is set to become."

Relive the show

>Chapter 1: Starting with a 10-second pyrotechnical countdown to welcome the new year, the first experience was that of a canopy of glittering chrysanthemums greeting visitors. This was followed by the four islands of the Al Marjan Islands being individually highlighted in a monochromatic colour.

>Chapter 2: What followed was a majestic transition into the colours of the UAE national flag with glittering comets in white, red and green splashing through the night sky. A voluminous burst of golden willows concluded the session before the visual imagery of a green vine sprawling the 9Km linear length of Al Marjan Island and giant fans of comets showering the sky in addition to aerial shells shaped as swimming fish.

>Chapter 3: A 'Gold Horse Tails' effect gave way to the fourth chapter

>Chapter 4: Aerial shells in the shape of butterflies came to life from all four islands as well as gold glitter chrysanthemums and low-level swimming comets and fish. This was symbolic of the connection of the islands with nature.

>Chapter 5: It displayed a series of rainbow coloured arches racing from island to island even as fireworks patterns took on various hues - from red, orange, yellow, green, blue to purple, symbolising the peace, harmony, serenity and community spirit that RAK and Al Marjan Islands represent.

>Chapter 6: Next up was a scintillating white strobe scene illuminating the entire length and breadth of Al Marjan Island with matching strobe lights appearing on the roofline of the Waldorf Astoria hotel before culminating in a dazzling display of golden willows with green centres.

>The grand finale: It started with a rousing canopy of silver and gold, setting the prelude to the Guinness World Record title. The record-setting feat, marking the launch of the 1,500mm aerial shell, saturated the night sky in brilliant hues. Reaching its apex in 15 seconds, the shell burst into a glorious flower with the effect being a canopy of silver descending comets with the colour changing to ruby red tips.

How the show was conceived

Preparations for the celebration started in early 2017 with the expansive area of Al Marjan Islands serving as a perfect template for a spectacular show.

>600 hours taken to design the show

>70,000 man-hours went into transitioning the design

>40 experts, including programmers, producers, pyrotechnicians and documentarians, worked on the project


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