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Thousands gather around Burj Khalifa for New Year’s Eve laser show in Dubai

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(G.N.S) Dt. 01
Abu Dhabi
Dubai earned a world record for the largest light and sound show on a single building as thousands gathered around Burj Khalifa for the emirate’s first New Year’s Eve laser show.
The ‘Light Up 2018’ on Burj Khalifa covered a surface area of 109,252 sq metres, more than double that of the earlier Guinness World record set on the ICC Building in Hong Kong in 2013.
‘Light up 2018’, which replaced the city’s usual annual fireworks display, began at midnight lasting approximately seven minutes. Onlookers watched in awe as beams of colour shot through the night sky pierced by the world’s tallest building.
Visual tributes were paid to the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth and the start of the year commemorated as the ‘Year of Zayed’.
“The ‘Light Up 2018’ spectacle is our tribute to the nation, celebrating its accomplishments, and putting the UAE on the global map as a true hub where inspiring minds meet and connect,” said Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties.
Talal Omar, Guinness World Record’s Country Manager, said: “We are always keen to find out what records Emaar plan to attempt each year, and to support them as they continue to push the boundaries of technology and innovation in these attempts.”
People from far and wide poured into the surrounding areas as early as midday with many electing to take public transport to avoid heavy traffic congestion.
By 6pm, the walkway to Souk Al Bahar was packed with spectators and not a free seat was spied in The Dubai Mall’s restaurants and cafes facing the fountains.
Table bookings were made weeks in advance costing upwards of Dh800 per person in places.
Mohammed Ali, a Jordanian engineer, was one of the lucky few to bag a table, thus securing a front row seat to the highly-anticipated laser show for himself and his family.
“Luckily we had reserved our table because the restaurant was packed,” he said.
Nadia Haj Khalil also attended celebrations with her family and despite living in the country for ten years, said she was astonished by the displays every year.
“We are too lucky to be able to spend our New Year’s Eve in this fabulous place,” the Syrian said.
“My husband, two kids and I have heard a lot about light up 2018 and we are too excited,” she said.
As for her wishes for the upcoming year, Ms Haj Khalil said she hoped she would be able to see her three eldest sons who have immigrated to Sweden.
“I pray for peace in Syria,” she said.
Layla Suliemani, 36, and her family flew in from Paris last Thursday to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Dubai. “We are visiting Dubai for the first time. It is a spectacular city,” said Mrs Suliemani, adding that her wishes for the new year were peace around the world – particularly in Syria and Palestine. “Dubai is so beautiful and we are having a great time here,” the mother-of-three said.

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