Video: What it's like to be a Burj Khalifa resident during New Year's Eve celebrations

Watching the preparations unfold outside the living room window reminded Dr Mina Jethu of a 'Mission Impossible' sequence


Waad Barakat

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Sun 7 Jan 2024, 2:43 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Jan 2024, 10:44 PM

Every New Year's Eve, thousands of revellers near Downtown Dubai and millions online watch in awe as spectacular fireworks and laser shows light up the Burj Khalifa. But have you ever wondered what living inside the world's tallest tower would be like when it rings in the new year?

Dr Mina Jethu, a Burj Khalifa resident, offered Khaleej Times a firsthand perspective on the anticipation, excitement, and aftermath of the unforgettable celebrations.

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The dentist, originally from Amsterdam, was captivated by the Burj Khalifa's architectural splendour, drawing her to Dubai to work and reside in this awe-inspiring location. The luxurious atmosphere, marked by high-end finishes and exquisite design, leaves her with surrealism every time she returns home. "For me, living in Burj Khalifa is an unbelievable experience," said Dr Mina.

For five years, Dr Jethu has celebrated New Year's Eve in the Burj Khalifa. The fireworks display, accompanied by an impressive laser and light show, is a spectacle. As a resident, she and her fellow Burj Khalifa and Armani residents have a designated area reserved for them in Burj Park, where they can witness the breathtaking pyrotechnics up close.


In the weeks leading up to New Year's Eve, Dr Jethu would notice the meticulous preparations. She observes experts skillfully setting up fireworks along the sides of the Burj Khalifa, reminiscent of scenes from action movies. Watching these preparations unfold outside her living room window adds to the anticipation and excitement of the approaching celebration.

"Their work is like a sequence from the action movie franchise, "Mission Impossible", and watching this unfold right outside my living room window is quite a marvel."

Preparing for the New Year's Eve celebration involves giving out wristbands before the event and granting residents access to designated areas of Burj Park. Exits from the Burj Khalifa are restricted after 10pm to ensure the smooth setup of the fireworks and to prioritise residents' safety. Throughout the evening, the dedicated staff members guide residents and guests, assisting whenever needed.

During the fireworks

Every year, before joining the festivities in Burj Park, Dr Jethu hosts a dinner party at her apartment, sharing the celebration with her family and friends. The menu features delightful cuisine, including a traditional Dutch doughnut dessert called "Oliebollen." Two hours before the event began, they would gather their picnic basket filled with snacks and beverages and make their way to Burj Park. Food trucks and live entertainment add to the electrifying ambience.

"It's an incredible experience that always feels surreal. It is an amazing "pinch me" moment for me," Dr Jethu exclaimed.

Living in an apartment with a panoramic view of the fountain, Dr Jethu enjoys witnessing the spectacular fountain show daily. However, the laser shows on the Burj Khalifa are not visible from inside her apartment. Only when she dines at a restaurant with a view of the Burj Khalifa or explores social media platforms can she fully appreciate the magnificence of the light show.

The clean-up acts

Once the fireworks display concludes, the cleaning-up process starts, ensuring that debris is promptly cleared from the entrance. Approximately 15 minutes after the show, attendees can exit the Burj Park area. The Burj Khalifa staff then facilitate re-entry into the building, conducting thorough security checks to ensure a safe return. Remarkably, within a day, Downtown Burj Khalifa is restored to its usual state of cleanliness and functionality, as if the grand celebration had never taken place.

For Dr Mina Jethu and her fellow residents, spending New Year's Eve inside the Burj Khalifa is an experience beyond compare. From the anticipation and preparations to the exhilarating fireworks display and the restoration of normalcy, it is an extraordinary journey that leaves them with lasting memories and a sense of gratitude for being part of this iconic architectural marvel.


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