Happy 2014 from Dubai

A veritable feast of pyrotechnics awaits Dubaians at the stroke of midnight.  Dubai is primed to go down in the record books again with an attempt to stage the world’s largest fireworks’ display.  The Emirate is ready to fire 400,000 rockets into the darkened sky from 400 locations on the Palm Island and the Islands of the World.  200 pyrotechnicians will take a fleeting 60 seconds to break the world record for the largest fireworks display which will last 6 minutes.

A ‘flying falcon’ rounding the World Islands will signal the new year countdown.  A sparkling UAE flag (225m x 130m) will light up the sky (another record).  The display will illuminate the skies for spectators within a 10km radius to ‘oooh and ahhhh’ at.  There is talk of Expo 2020 displays all culminating in celebration of UAE pride.

Excitement levels in Dubai have been rising slowly since 8am this morning.  Today office talk revolved around the best venues to view the fireworks, times to set off to get the best spots, whether to taxi it, drive it or, where possible walk.  By 2pm Downtown Dubai traffic was already backing up.  Southbound traffic on Sheikh Zayed road was heavier than usual.  People were leaving work early to beat the chaos.  Access to the Palm was shut from 8am with access only permitted to those with the relevant security passes.  Since dinnertime hordes have been gathering on the public beaches, staking out premium spots in the hope of maximising their view of as many of the firework displays as possible.  Those within walking distance of high rise office buildings which offer floor to ceiling views across the Arabian Gulf (and to which they have access!), will be clocking in to view the spectacle.

And then comes the record breaking traffic.  Last year Sheikh Zayed road stalled for 2 hours.  People on their way to view the fireworks, had the pleasure of enjoying the view from their cars before entering the unmovable gridlock to return home.  Downtown visitors have been asked not to consider moving until 1am….a mass exodus could unnecessarily delay the revellers’ return home by many hours.  Jumeirah will be a case of ‘walking would be quicker’.

For the nth year running we have decided to spend NYE at home.  While DH went for a bike ride with the kids, I started the indoor picnic of sausages, rashers, beans, chips, sausage rolls and fizzy drinks.  Board games and Christmas TV – everyone is relaxed and happy.  A great way to usher in the new year!

Good health, happiness and laughter to one and all for 2014!






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Laura Jane Burns

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