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Dubai promises record-breaking firework show
Agence France Presse
File - Fireworks illuminate Burj Khalifa while thousands of people gather to celebrate the New Year at midnight in Dubai on January 1, 2013.  (AFP PHOTO/STR)
File - Fireworks illuminate Burj Khalifa while thousands of people gather to celebrate the New Year at midnight in Dubai on January 1, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/STR)
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DUBAI: Dubai has promised to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a record-breaking extravaganza featuring over 400,000 fireworks – the largest display the world has ever seen, its government said.

The United Arab Emirates city state, home to the world’s tallest tower, largest man-made island and one of the world’s busiest airports, will “break the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Firework Display,’” a government statement said.

The six-minute show over two of its man-made islands – The Palm Jumeirah and The World – will “feature over 400,000 colorful fireworks and a series of amazing scenes designed exclusively for the event and set to a specially choreographed musical soundtrack.”

The display will be overseen by more than 200 pyrotechnicians, and the fireworks will be launched from 400 locations, it added.

Over the past few years, Dubai has been vying to become a permanent fixture on the world map of New Year celebrations, staging spectacular shows since the opening of the 828-meter Burj Khalifa tower in 2010.

The glitzy Gulf city, which has already established itself as a global hub for air transport and transit trade, as well as a regional financial center, beat off opposition from Brazil, Russia and Turkey on Nov. 27 to win the right to host the five-yearly World Expo trade fair in 2020.

Dubai’s economy was hit in 2009 by the global financial crisis, which caused its growing real estate sector to shed half its value.

But the economy of the emirate has made a strong comeback.

With its reputation as a liberal city in a conservative region, the Gulf city is home to an expat population of more than 200 nationalities.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 31, 2013, on page 13.
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