Dubai Tourism

Dubai’s Skyline of Icons Lights up to Celebrate the End of a Landmark Year

Press Release   •   Dec 31, 2013 22:28 GMT

Dubai Sets New World Record for ‘Largest Fireworks Display’

Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab Joined Celebrations with Spectacular Shows

Dubai, UAE, January 1, 2014:As the clock struck midnight on 31 December 31, 2013, the skyline of Dubai lit up with some of the world’s biggest and most impressive fireworks displays, sealing the city’s reputation as one of the premier global locations in which to spend New Year’s Eve. The festivities were centred around the iconic landmarks of the city including Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, The Palm Jumeirah, and Atlantis, The Palm.

Since its opening in 2010, celebrations at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, have been shown around the world and this year was no different, with these images joined by those of a spectacular show using the coastline of Dubai as the stage for a breath-taking display beginning just before midnight and lasting for almost 20 minutes. The extraordinary pyrotechnic displays were the culmination of a string of successes and celebrations for the UAE in 2013, including Dubai’s recent World Expo 2020 Host City win and the country’s commemoration of its 42nd National Day anniversary.

The show broke the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Fireworks Display’ with a six-minute display choreographed across the whole of The Palm Jumeirah and the islands of The World. The World Record breaking show saw 450,000 fireworks set off over 99.4km of seafront and featured a series of scenes set to a musical soundtrack, both designed exclusively for the event. Visible from vantage points across Dubai, all hotels on The Palm Jumeirah hosted parties and events to celebrate their involvement in the record breaking display, demonstrating the appeal of The Palm Jumeirah as one of the region’s most exciting tourism destinations.

As the six-minute world-record attempt concluded, a 12 minute display covering a one kilometre stretch of the Jumeirah beach commenced, with the Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Hotel as the stunning backdrop. Launched with a laser countdown from the sail of the Burj Al Arab, the show featured 6,562 special effects created by fireworks with a combined weight of more than 5.5 metric tons, released from 16 pontoons and barges and synchronised by wifi.  

While the world record breaking show was taking place, across the city in Downtown Dubai residents and visitors enjoyed fireworks cascading down Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. Visitors flocked to locations across Downtown Dubai to enjoy the fireworks including Burj Park, an island overlooking Burj Khalifa set on Burj Lake; the Waterfront Promenade lining The Dubai Mall; Burj Plaza; and the 3.5km Emaar Boulevard.

The shows, and the numerous other events across Dubai, created a city-wide spectacular and a New Year’s Eve to remember for residents and visitors.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), commented: “The celebrations marked the end of a momentous year for Dubai – a year which has laid the groundwork for a prosperous future. The highlight for us in 2013 was winning the bid to host World Expo 2020, an event which will provide a unique platform on which to communicate the remarkable story of a young city and nation and allow us to positively shape global perceptions of the Arabian Gulf as a destination for both business and leisure. This was also a year when Dubai was named as a ‘Travellers Choice’ destination by Trip Advisor, an accolade that demonstrates our strong position amongst opinion formers in the travel industry, and a number of announcements regarding new hotels and billion dollar orders at the recent Dubai Airshow demonstrated the exciting years that lie ahead.

“The recent celebrations of the Expo win, the 42nd National Day and last night’s record-breaking firework displays have shown the ability of Dubai’s government and private sectors to come together and mark important occasions with creativity and style. Once again, this New Year began with images of our Emirate being shown around the world. We look forward to a busy 2014 which starts with the Dubai Shopping Festival opening tomorrow, which ushers in a packed calendar of events.”

The world-renowned Fireworks by Grucci was commissioned for the pyrotechnic designs of the world-record breaking show, creating an awe-inspiring and real-time experience for viewers in Dubai and across the world. The Dubai display featuring more than 450,000 fireworks broke the previous World Record held by Kuwait for a display of 77,282 fireworks.


Dubai Tourism or DTCM is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector; markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector; and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the DTCM portfolio include Dubai Convention and Events Bureau, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (formerly known as Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment). In addition to its headquarters in Dubai, DTCM operates 20 offices worldwide.