Free fireworks shows in Dubai daily: How the city lights up every night during the shopping festival

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes each time the pyrotechnic spectacles colour the sky? We have the answers



by

Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 18 Jan 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 18 Jan 2023, 2:49 PM

Dubai’s fireworks are legendary. And during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), the emirate’s skies light up with breathtaking colours every single night. That’s 46 nights of lights, fire and action — from December 15, 2022, to January 29, 2023.

We asked the Al Zarooni Group how it puts up the pyrotechnic spectacles every evening throughout the festival, and Nisreen Boustani, PR and corporate communication manager, Mercato and Town Centre Jumeirah, gave us the lowdown. Al Zarooni Group is the parent company of the two shopping malls.

Where you can catch the daily shows for free

The best part about the DSF fireworks is that they are free to attend. On day one of the DSF, (December 15), Dubai had had six shows firing simultaneously at six different destinations across the city: Bluewaters and The Beach, JBR; Burj Al Arab; Al Seef; Dubai Creek; Dubai Festival City and Dubai Frame. Check out the photos below:

You can catch the remaining shows at these venues:

  • January 16 to 23: Dubai Festival City
  • January 24 to 29: The Pointe

Equipment that fires the show

The fireworks are launched through fibre mortar tubes, which are supported by metal stands. According to Boustani, the displays are designed and synchronised using computers that are connected to “highly sophisticated state-of-the-art electronic firing systems, which can create anything from a small-scale show to a world class display.”

The computers operate a standalone software that is fed with the design programme of each show. This ensures that everything can be fired at the click of a button.

“For some of our shows, the fireworks are synchronised with music and light shows to provide the full experience for the crowds who flock to our displays throughout DSF,” she added.

How the team ensures safety

The team checks on the weather constantly before the launch of the show. Crew members are equipped with the necessary kits to protect them from any immediate hazard.

“We always ensure that the firing points are positioned well out of reach [of] the public and buildings. The Civil Defence and maritime authorities are always present to protect and enable the safe zone on the site. Civil aviation authorities are informed every time we use fireworks, approximately 15 minutes before the display, to ensure the no-flying zone,” said Boustani.

Nisreen Boustani
Nisreen Boustani

Once the venue is confirmed, the team conducts site inspections to ensure there is enough space to conduct the shows with the highest safety standards. “We use Google Earth to help in the planning phases and then design the shows accordingly. We also are in close contact with all relevant authorities, and ensure we have all paperwork and permissions in place. The final stage is the allocation of materials and equipment, as well as the team members and vehicles that will be needed and utilised during the entire season of DSF.”

Behind the shows is a team of trained and experienced professionals. “They are licensed by the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) as explosive technicians. Two supervisors, three senior technicians and three technicians are involved in DSF shows as full-time staff,” said Boustani.

Months-long planning process

Al Zarooni Group has been lighting up the DSF with fireworks since its inception. “We have worked on each of the 28 editions,” Boustani added.

Planning for the next season starts about five months after the DSF ends. “So, by June we will already be planning the fireworks for the 29th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival.”

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