Dubai: Burj Khalifa lights up to welcome 2023

People travel to Dubai from all over the world to witness the colourful display of fireworks at the world’s tallest tower


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 1 Jan 2023, 1:37 AM

In true Dubai fashion, the New Year celebrations at the Burj Khalifa paid a spectacular homage to the various facets of the UAE and its brave fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cheers and applause filled the air when 10 minutes before midnight, the lights all around the Dubai Mall avenue were switched off to put the spotlight on the Burj Khalifa. In a preview to the main New Year’s show, a laser display celebrated the lifting of Covid restrictions. Writing in both Arabic and English, the laser displayed the words “We are together again, Masks off, smiles on, hugging again, closer than ever” before calling on people to get ready to welcome the New Year.

After displaying photos of the UAE flag, the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the laser display began the countdown. The thousands gathered around at various spots in the Dubai Mall joined in counting down the seconds to the new year.

As the fireworks began, there was a collective gasp of sheer happiness as various colours shot out of the world’s tallest tower. After spelling out the alphabets D-U-B-A-I, the laser display celebrated the city’s sustainability, diversity and togetherness as the world welcomed the new year.

It was a mesmerising show of pyro technique, laser and displays that brought 2023 to a colourful start.

Some guests arrived at the Dubai Mall as early as 10am to beat the rush. British tourist couple Sabia Begum and Mohammed Miah said their hotel staff advised them to arrive early. “When we came at 10am, the staff was getting all the barricades ready,” said Mohammed. “They asked us for reservations, but we had no clue we had to reserve.”

The couple then shopped around at a few restaurants to secure seats. “I was a bit shocked about the prices,” admitted Sabia. However, her husband had come to Dubai with the intention to watch the fireworks and he was willing to pay the price. “I may not come back for the New Year’s another time,” said Mohammed. “So, I decided to go for it.”

The New Year show at the Burj Khalifa, a keenly awaited spectacle around the world, takes months of planning and is put together by teams from around the world. It involves over 150,000 kilograms of fireworks, more than 10,000 firing orders, 1235 firing directions and over 250 light fixtures. The highest elevation for rigged equipment is also used to bring alive the magical show that uses over 60 laser projectors.


Indian expat Aalok was born and raised in the UAE but has never watched the Burj Khalifa fireworks up front and close. So, this year he decided to splurge Dh1,600 for a single seat at Starbucks. “I felt like I wanted to experience this at least once in my lifetime, so I decided to spend the money and come here on my own,” he said.

The Dubai resident arrived at 3pm and parked inside the mall parking. “I came mentally prepared for the fact that I probably won’t leave the mall till 3am,” he said. “The weather is beautiful, and I am ok to just relax and wait.”

People had travelled to Dubai from all over the world to witness the colourful display of fireworks at the world’s tallest tower. Alberto and Lisa Srour along with their daughter Stephanie first came to Dubai at the beginning of this month, intending to return after a short vacation. However, the Mexican family of Lebanese origin fell in love with the city so decided to stay for three months. “I love Dubai,” said Stephanie. “It is so cultured, so clean and everything is so organised.” “It is a city with a vision,” her father chipped in.

The family who had been staying at the Address Hotel watched the fireworks from their room which had a direct view of the Burj Khalifa. “It is the first time we are celebrating New Year’s Eve in Dubai,” said Lisa.

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