Fireworks explode around the Burj Khalifa during New Year's celebrations in Dubai. Reuters
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
As the UAE ushered in another glorious year, leaders have sent out warm greetings to the people.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, mentioned on Twitter: “Today, a new year starts, a year of goodness and optimism, work, hope, preparing and achieving. Happy New Year, my country, and Happy New Year to the whole Arab world. Happy New Year to all humanity that seeks a better and greater future.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, tweeted: “With the New Year, our expectations are widening and our insistence to double our national achievements is reinforced. Allah willing, we will go ahead to perform our civilised message to spread the good, tolerance and co-existence. I wish the Emirati people and peoples of the world happy New Year. We wish 2020 to be a year of the good, peace, stability and optimism for humanity.”
Marking the beginning of a New Year in grand style has remained a hallmark of the UAE and this year is no different.
Spectacular fireworks in 25 different locations lit up not only the skies, but also the hearts of the people across the country.
Taking the comfort of residents and revellers into consideration, the Dubai Metro authorities decided to run services for 43 hours continuously starting from 5am on Dec.31 to midnight on Jan.2.
Besides fireworks and laser displays, enthusiastic residents took part in a host of other activities, including parties and concerts, to kickstart a memorable beginning for the New Year.
Burj Khalifa joined a host of global landmarks in decorating the sky with colours.
Emaar, the master developer of Burj Khalifa, once again successfully showcased the Emirate of Dubai and Downtown Dubai as a global hub.
Emaar earlier confirmed plans to once again host the world-renowned New Year’s Eve show with a firework display on the world’s tallest building.
At the stroke of midnight, Emaar continued its tradition of putting on a captivating choreographed show, incorporating fireworks and animation on the Burj Khalifa LED facade, music composition and a fountain show.
“I decided to stay overnight at a friend’s home in Karama so as to watch the world-famous Burj Khalifa fireworks from any comfortable destination nearby,” stated Feroz Khan, an Ajman resident.
“I love watching the dazzling fireworks along with my children at Sharjah’s Al Majaz area,” said Rajitha Kurien, a resident of Sharjah.
Hundreds of thousands headed to the family viewing areas in Downtown Dubai to witness the iconic show, that was also viewed live by millions on television and online across the globe.
Dozens of pop-up food and beverage stalls were made available for visitors to enjoy during their countdown to the New Year.
Al Majaz Waterfront (MWF), one of Sharjah’s family leisure destinations, welcomed 2020 with a spectacular 10-minute long fireworks display. Families and residents thronged the area to enjoy the spectacle, launched from 16 massive barges, and sights of the Sharjah fountain lit up in multi-coloured splendour.
Ras Al Khaimah scripted history with its mesmerising fireworks featuring two record-breaking bids: the use of the most unmanned aerial vehicles launching fireworks simultaneously (190) and the spell-binding sight of the ‘longest firework firewall.’
Officials earlier fine-tuned every aspect of the 190-drone record attempt to perfection, finalising specifics to create the “longest firework waterfall”, with the fireworks hung on wires at a distance measuring 4,000 metres, in the hope of breaking the current record of 3,517.23 metres recorded in Fukuoka, Japan.
While Ras Al Khaimah’s New Year’s Eve has set Guinness World Records in the past two years, the innovative two record bids this year are the first-of-a-kind.
Adding more colour to the celebrations, eleven-time Grammy Award-winner Bruno Mars lit up Yas Island’s du Arena with an electric New Year’s Eve performance as part of Resolution by Night, organised by Flash Entertainment and presented by du Live alongside DCT — Abu Dhabi and Miral Asset Management.
The World celebrated the New Year on Wednesday with fireworks displays from Sydney to London, although celebrations were clouded by deadly wildfires in Australia, protests in Hong Kong and India and new nuclear tensions with North Korea.
Large crowds gathered in European capitals for spectacular fireworks displays that lit up the skies over landmarks like Big Ben in London, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Parthenon in Athens and the Kremlin in Moscow.
In Australia, a million revellers thronged Sydney harbour and nearby districts to watch more than 100,000 fireworks explode above the city, even as thousands of people along the country's eastern seaboard sought refuge from the bushfires on beaches.
Thousands in Hong Kong welcomed 2020 on neon-lit promenades in the picturesque Victoria Harbour, breaking into pro-democracy chants shortly after the countdown to midnight.
Hong Kong authorities cancelled the main midnight fireworks display for the first time in a decade, citing security concerns. A "Symphony of Lights" took place instead, involving projections on the city's tallest skyscrapers, while smaller-scale pyrotechnics were launched from waterfront rooftops.
The first baby to be born in 2020 arrived at 00:00, weighing in at 3170gms, to Syrian national parents - Romeo Sheha, 31 years old and his wife, Sally Hanna Habib, 28 years old.
The NCM said Saturday would be cloudy with a chance of scattered rain starting in the morning over the islands, gradually approaching the coasts and the Northern regions in the afternoon.
The price of Super 98 is to drop to Dhs2.16 per litre for March, down from Dhs2.24 in February, while the price of Special 95 is to drop to Dhs2.04 per litre for March, down from Dhs2.12 in February.
Authority called on all cigarette dealers and producers in the UAE to comply with these measures in order to avoid the penalties outlined in the Cabinet Decision on Violations of Procedures for Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on hand for the arrival of the inaugural flight after its nearly four-hour trip, called it "a moment of history." "As-salaam alaikum (Peace be upon you)," he said to arriving passengers. "Come again and again and again."
The Jordanian father of the child, Rakan, expressed his gratitude and thanks to the leadership, and its great interest in providing health and psychological care at the highest and most prestigious levels for those infected with COVID-19.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the girl took the drastic step after the mother refused to take her along to a wedding ceremony.