Behind the scenes: How 500 drones tell the story of Dubai at this DSF

The show at The Beach, JBR, and Bluewaters Island at 7pm and 10pm gives viewers glimpses of Dubai at present and what it would be in 2040


A Staff Reporter

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Tue 27 Dec 2022, 6:00 AM

A dazzling drone show featuring 500 aerial vehicles soaring hundreds of metres above the ground to light up the night sky is once again a highlight of the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). Running until January 29, 2023, two drone shows are performed every day from The Beach, JBR and Bluewaters Island at 7pm and 10pm.

Countless hours have been put into the programming and preparations for the spectacular show, pushing the boundaries of creativity whilst also telling a captivating story in the sky, which is enjoyed by tens of thousands of shoppers in Dubai at one of the most popular times of the year.

This year, both shows are united by an overarching concept to explore conceptual ideas surrounding technology, robotics and the future; with an intricate network of light from the aerial drones to develop the theme and illustrate the story of Dubai.

Each show was sketched out to last around five minutes, with the first of the two daily shows inspired by a day-in-the-life of a tourist, taking the audience on a journey through Dubai Shopping Festival.

The first show is inspired by the daily life of a tourist in Dubai.
The first show is inspired by the daily life of a tourist in Dubai.

The show begins by depicting a traveller flying into the UAE and landing at Dubai International Airport, before experiencing a journey through the famous iconic sites of the Dubai Shopping Festival, including its iconic fireworks and the Festival of Light.

The drone spectacular concludes with the traveller soaring off into the sunset after a magical day exploring the emirate.

The second show – based in a futuristic metaverse – gives residents an immersive glimpse into Dubai two decades from now. Set in 2040, the forward-looking experience gives onlookers a glimpse of what Dubai might look like as the city propels into a trailblazing tomorrow.

With the help of cutting-edge technology and AR headsets, the audience will be catapulted into the heart of the story and become at one within the 3D light show.

The second show gives spectators an immersive glimpse into Dubai two decades from now.
The second show gives spectators an immersive glimpse into Dubai two decades from now.

How does the drone show actually work?

The vast flight space above the sites’ location – Bluewaters and The Beach, JBR – have allowed the creatives behind the show to use 500 drones; all operated by a specialist team in a purpose-built landing area built near the take-off site.

With hundreds of illuminated drones executing intricately choreographed patterns using 3D animation tools, only two pilots are needed each night to conduct the show.

The pilots are in control of operating the entire fleet through a state-of-the-art control system. Each drone works as an individual entity, and will stay on its own flight path, carefully mapped to the computer-led animation.

Don’t miss out on the dazzling drone show and head to The Beach, JBR and Bluewaters. The shows will be on daily at 7pm and 10pm.


More news from UAE