Inside the UAE Fireworks Show That's Won Two World Records — and Is Going for More
For Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, ringing in the New Year is a big deal — so big that their celebration has scored them two world records.
Last year, the show — that is complete with fireworks launched from drones in the sky from more than 100 different points across nearly two and a half miles — broke the Guinness World Record for one for the longest chain of fireworks and one for the longest straight line of fireworks.
And It’s that exact distinction they're aiming for again as the clock strikes midnight on this New Year’s Eve.
More than 100,000 people are expected to gather on the island of Al Marjan to watch. The display took eight months to design, plan and build, and included vendors from all over the world, including the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
It will take more than 250 people to operate the fireworks for the 12-minute show, which is expected to highlight the colors of the UAE’s flag as well as pay homage to the desert and the sea. More than 3,000 people in total from security to logistics have worked on the show, which takes 10 days to set up along the waterfront.
“We’ve grown from a small local show to one of the biggest global shows... We are not just trying to do fireworks, we are trying to create experiences for people,” H.E. Abdullah Al Abdooli, the CEO of Al Marjan, told Travel + Leisure. “We are challenging ourselves -- how we can make Ras Al Khaimah attractive? How we can make Ras Al Khaimah a destination?”
This year, Abdullah said they are going after another two world records for the most unmanned aerial vehicles that launch fireworks simultaneously as well as for the longest fireworks waterfall, using both pyrotechnics on the ground and from drones.
“We are taking fireworks to a 3D dimension,” Abdullah said.
“It’s a massive show, you can imagine how grand it is,” Abdullah added. “We are trying to create an unforgettable New Year’s experience.”