New Year in Dubai: For UAE nationals, expats, Burj Khalifa is a beacon of hope
A total of 177,958kg of fireworks were used in coordination with 10,400 firing orders and 1,235 firing directions
People awaiting the New Year's Eve fireworks show below Burj Khalifa in Dubai on December 31, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
For UAE nationals and residents, the Burj Khalifa is not just 'the world's tallest building' that embellishes Dubai's magnificent skyline. It is a global beacon of progress, of hope, and perhaps that is why hundreds and thousands of people find their way to the iconic destination year after year to usher in the New Year.
After spending months of planning to present the 'most magical show', organisers Emaar said on Friday that 177,958kg of fireworks were used in coordination with 10,400 firing orders and 1,235 firing directions. As many as 274 light fixtures were used for the show and 60 laser projectors.
After experiencing a pleasant downpour Friday evening, New Year's Eve revellers found their way towards Dubai Mall at 3pm.
Though the mall witnessed a multitude of crowds after 3.30pm, crowd control volunteers and mall security placed barricades on all but one elevator going towards the Dubai Mall fountain area.
The long wait began once revellers made their way to Burj Park and Dubai Fountain - the optimum location to view the fireworks and light show at Burj Khalifa.
Natasha D'mello, an Indian tourist, said, "This is one of the most spectacular things I've ever seen, and I've spent New Year's Eve in cities like London and New York. However, nothing compares to the excitement that is on display here in Dubai."
Despite Covid-19 fears, Dubai demonstrated to the world how to welcome 2022 without compromising on safety.
Khaleej Times caught up with a volunteer-run frontline group that ensures the event is safe for all attendees. Husain Al Balooshi, the programme manager of Sanid and Takatof, a volunteer-led organisation under the Emirates Foundation, said 850 volunteers were deployed at Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai on Friday.
The organisation collaborates with Emaar and government entities to ensure all safety protocols are followed.
"We are 100 per cent volunteer-driven. We began working on this event two to three months back. On 31st morning, we've been on-site since 9 am," said Balooshi. "We oversee crowd management, logistics, and lost and found. We work with Dubai Police, Civil Defence, and other entities to ensure this event is delivered successfully," he added.