New Year's Eve in UAE: Abu Dhabi dazzles with 40-minute fireworks spectacle

The show at Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba features 2,022 drones

New Year fireworks in Al Wathba. — Photos by Ashwani Kumar
New Year fireworks in Al Wathba. — Photos by Ashwani Kumar

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 1 Jan 2022, 12:23 AM

Last updated: Sat 1 Jan 2022, 12:29 AM

In Abu Dhabi, all roads led to the Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba on New Year’s Eve. Thousands of people were left in awe of the mesmerising show that featured 2,022 drones. A record-breaking 40-minute firework display burst over the desert landscape, which for the night was turned into a glamping destination. Hundreds of people camped in the vast open areas of Al Wathba to watch the dazzling fireworks.

“This has been a great way to start the year. We couldn’t have asked for anything more than this. We just hope that things get better amid Covid-19 and everything else will fall into place,” said Mohammed Al Junaibi, who was at the festival with his family and friends.

“I had the best of time. This is an amazing night. There have been spectacular celebrations,” said Badr Nahari, an Arab resident.


“It has given us new hope and confidence while we are in 2022,” he said, as some 15,000 balloons were released into the air ahead of the drone show and fireworks.

There were cultural events, dance performances and activities for all ages. Pavilions of different countries spiced up the night with distinctive shows.

Among the highlights of the festival was the concert of Emirati singer Eida Al Menhali, who entertained visitors with his popular numbers.

“It has been spectacular. It was a colourful day and I enjoyed it with my siblings,” said youngster Saeed Al Baloushi.

Apart from the Sheikh Zayed Festival, firework displays were scheduled at popular spots like the Corniche, Al Maryah Island, Saadiyat Island, Yas Island, Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, and Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra.

Other concerts were lined up, with Balqees, Elissa and Hussein Al Jasmi entertaining the crowd at Al Maryah Island’s South Plaza; Atif Aslam at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena; and DJ David Guetta’s virtual performance on a custom-made water stage at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

All the events in Abu Dhabi had a mandatory 48-hour PCR requirement, thus ensuring a safe and secure environment.

More news from