Tag Archives: dubai

Dubai breaks Guinness World Record with largest fireworks display


DUBAI // Breaking the world record for the largest fireworks display will showcase the emirate as a destination and help to attract tourists, experts say.

The extravaganza marked “the end of a momentous year for Dubai in which the undeniable highlight was the UAE’s winning bid to host World Expo 2020”, said Dr Ahmad Belhoul, chief executive of Strategy and Tourism Sector Development at Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

He said there was no doubt about the benefits the New Year’s Eve shows would bring.

“The pyrotechnic displays at Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and at Dubai Festival City all have a part to play in ensuring that Dubai is established in the minds of residents and visitors as one of the most exciting and entertaining destinations in the world in which to see in the new year,” Dr Belhoul said.

With the record-breaking display being televised around the world, he said the celebrations would “not only attract thousands of visitors to Dubai and make a significant contribution to our travel and hospitality sectors, but will also … help to attract new travellers to our city for generations to come”.

Stephan Schupbach, general manager of the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel on the Palm, said the fireworks display was “fantastic” for the man-made island and the emirate. The hotel had 1,200 guests and 2,000 visitors at its various outlets to see in the new year.

“Dubai is an expensive destination but as long as we can continue to offer these kinds of events, it all helps,” Mr Schupbach said.

One family had travelled from San Francisco for just three days for the spectacular, he said.

More than 78,000 fireworks had to successfully explode to beat the record set by Kuwait last year. The crescent of the Palm alone had more than 100,000 fireworks set up, plus 300,000 spread across the island and the World Islands for the six-minute show.

Though Guinness World Record officials confirmed it was indeed the largest fireworks display in the world, its team was inspecting the sites on Wednesday to do a final count of how many fireworks exploded.

But not everyone was able to enjoy the show. Elizabeth McAllister, a resident of the Palm, encountered chaos. She bought a ticket to Sandance at Atlantis before the record attempt had been announced and in hindsight she wishes she had not.

“I drove off the Palm to go to the American University of Dubai to get the shuttle bus. I boarded the bus at 8 and by 11, was still sitting on the bus and hadn’t even passed my own house,” she said. “We’d driven 5 kilometres. We knew we weren’t even going to make it in time for the fireworks so we just got off the bus and walked to my house, but the fireworks were half an hour late so everyone had already done with celebrating by the time they went off.

“If I’d realised this was going to be happening the same night as Sandance I’d never have bought a ticket.”

The event’s choreographer, Phil Grucci, said safety was of paramount concern, which led to the show being delayed.

“There were a few traffic snags on the Palm so we erred on the side of safety and there were other shows going on at the time anyway, so we decided if we couldn’t do it at midnight we’d do it at the next available slot, 12.30, to allow for the complications to clear out.

“The first objective was that not only was it entertainment but it was safe for the people of Dubai.”

Though it took 10 months of planning, it will take only 11 days for 200 pyrotechnicians to dismantle the display.

“It was a great honour to produce what we produced last night and it’s well deserved for the people of Dubai,” Mr Grucci said.

Fireworks were also a highlight of the celebrations in Sharjah. At Al Majaz Waterfront, a laser clock counted down to midnight, with a huge display highlighting the evening for tourists and residents.


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Dubai Ruler visits world’s first facility dedicated to A380


Dubai Ruler visits world’s first facility dedicated to A380

Dec 27, 2012

DUBAI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, toured the new Emirates Airbus A380 Concourse 3 yesterday.

The facility – the world’s first dedicated to the super-jumbos – is at Dubai International Airport and is due to welcome its first flight in January, according to the state news agency, Wam.

Sheikh Mohammed was joined  by his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai – among many other dignitaries, ministers and higher officials – during his inspection.

They were briefed by Khalifa Al Zafeen, chief executive officer of Dubai Aviation City.

Concourse 3 is 650 metres long and 90 metres wide with 11 storeys, four of them underground, according to Mr Al Zafeen.

There are automated passenger transport points for arrivals and departures.

During his one-hour visit, Sheikh Mohammed toured gates dedicated to lining up Airbus 380s, which were equipped with loading bridges for passengers to move between the planes and the terminal.

There are six additional gates for planes parked further away.

Concourse 3 has first and business-class lounges, four- and five-star hotels and a mall with 40 counters to follow flights and airlines. An internal metro carries passengers to and from Terminal 3, which is dedicated to Emirates Airlines flights.

It also connects to Terminal 2, which has a capacity for 19 million passengers annually. Overall, Concourses 2 and 3 will have a capacity for 43 million passengers annually.

Sheikh Mohammed wandered through the arrivals hall of Terminal 3 and inspected the counters.

At the end of his trip, he took the Metro to Burj Khalifa, describing the rail network as “the project of the century”.


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UAE cities top in Arab world for quality of life

UAE cities top in Arab world for quality of life

Abu Dhabi and Dubai rank highest in the Arab world for quality of life and infrastructure, according to a survey by the HR consultancy Mercer.

For overall quality of life, Abu Dhabi ranks 78th globally – level with last year – while Dubai edged up one place to 73rd, according to Mercer’s rankings.

That puts the two UAE cities ahead of others in the Middle East and North Africa, with the next highest in Mercer’s ranking being Oman, which was placed 103rd.

“That the two UAE cities maintained and exceeded their high ranking shows that development is up to par with major cities around the world,” Mercer said.

Dubai – which opened its Metro system in 2009 – ranked 34th globally in terms of its infrastructure, ahead of cities including Geneva, Miami and San Francisco.

Quality of life in Cairo and Damascus fell sharply in Mercer’s rankings due to the impact of social unrest, the survey found.

Mercer’s study measures elements including social and economic conditions, plus the availability of medical, education, transportation and recreational facilities.

Vienna retained the top spot in Mercer’s ranking, followed by Zurich at second and Auckland third. Baghdad ranked lowest among the global rankings for quality of life.


World’s tallest residential tower at Dubai Marina

Gulf News Article

World’s tallest residential tower set to welcome occupants soon

The Torch in Dubai Marina overtakes Q1 Tower in Australia

At 348 metres, The Torch in Dubai Marina has won formal recognition as the world’s tallest residential tower. Dubai has got strong representation in the Emporis Standards Committee’s list of the world’s tallest residential towers.

Read the complete Gulf News Article