New Year 2021: Hope, euphoria sweep UAE as skies dazzle

Photo bu Shihab/Khaleej Times
Photo bu Shihab/Khaleej Times

Dubai - Fear and fatigue from a raging Covid-19 virus seemed forgotten as residents thronged hotspots to take part in the New Year’s Eve revelry.



By Team KT

Published: Fri 1 Jan 2021, 12:51 AM

It was with a heady mixture of hope, euphoria and relief that the UAE joined the world and ushered in 2021. A stunning display of fireworks lit up the skyline across various locations in the country signalling the end of 2020 — a year that brought unprecedented challenges.

Fear and fatigue from a raging Covid-19 virus seemed forgotten as residents thronged hotspots to take part in the New Year’s Eve revelry.

The arrival of vaccine in the country has instilled a new confidence as many spilled out to the streets to celebrate the arrival of a new year. That did not mean caution was thrown to the wind. Precautionary measures like wearing masks and social distancing norms were uncompromisingly followed to prevent a surge in infections. Thousands of policemen and volunteers were stationed to ensure the safety of people.

The world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa dazzled with fireworks and a laser show to the deafening roar from a jubilant crowd.

“We all want a better and brighter New Year. Had enough of 2020. Welcome 2021,” said Obaid Taha, a long-time Dubai resident who was in Downtown Dubai for the New Year’s Eve gala.

Another Dubai resident, Elisa Cruz, said she was loaded with optimism for a better year in 2021. “I was among the lucky ones not to lose my job or a family member to Covid. I came out to celebrate the New Year with my friends to show my gratitude.”

Thousands had braved the nerve-racking traffic jams to take part in the celebrations. Revellers were spoilt for choice as a total of 33 firework shows, concerts and other events were held at various locations.

The Atlantis the Palm rang in the New Year with a special goodbye 2020 show by the music band Kiss that “rocked the heavens, shook the earth and blazed the way out of 2020”.

Global Village, the most sought-after family destination, transformed into a merryland with live shows and family entertainment.

In Sharjah’s Al Buhairah corniche and Al Majaz Waterfront, the festivities were in full swing as early as 7.30pm. Many people ditched their cars and walked miles to reach the festive venues.

Ras Al Khaimah dazzled the world with a 10-minute fireworks show that beamed the UAE’s message of peace, hope and achievements. Some 8,500kg of fireworks lit up the Arabian Sea over a length of 4km and width of 3.9km, as residents and tourists watched from the safety of hotels in Al Marjan Island and Al Hamra Village.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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