Dubai is a city renowned for its long list of superlatives. Home to the world’s tallest building, largest man-made island, and biggest shopping mall – not to mention a police force that uses Lamborghinis and Ferraris as highway cruisers – Dubai prides itself on setting records.
On New Year’s Eve, the United Arab Emirates city state will try to gain yet another mention in the Guinness Book of World Records: “Largest Fireworks Display.”
Weather permitting, Dubai’s December 31 attempt will crush the current record held by Middle Eastern neighbor Kuwait.
Last year, during the celebration of Kuwait’s 50th National Day, the gulf nation spent 64 minutes shooting more than 77,000 fireworks across a five kilometer span.
In just six minutes, Dubai will dwarf that display – launching more than 450,000 fireworks from over 400 different locations that span 95 kilometers. The performance will require 100 computers to synchronize the detonation of microchip-embedded pyrotechnics with a choreographed musical soundtrack.
So far, more than 200 expert technicians have put in more than 5,000 hours of work to ensure that the fireworks’ timing is accurate down to the millisecond. The CEO of the U.S.-based fireworks supplier, Fireworks by Grucci, even moved to Dubai to personally oversee preparations.
“The display will include never seen before elements like a 225 meter wide and 130 meter high UAE flag, conjured through fireworks and special effects that will adorn the Dubai sky,” said GulfNews. “The flag will be another world record attempt for the largest pyrotechnic flag ever.”
The spectacle’s grand finale will create an artificial “sunrise” that will reportedly light up a ten kilometer stretch of the Dubai waterfront.
Dubai’s world record attempt is being hosted, in part, by Atlantis – a five-star hotel situated on The Palm Jumierah artificial island. Atlantis was awarded the world record for largest fireworks display during the hotel’s opening ceremony in 2008.
“We want it back,” Serge Zaalof, Atlantis’ president, told The National. “It will be twice as big and twice as long as the opening of this hotel. We will beat the record.”
Atlantis is also hosting a $900 per person New Year’s Eve gala for 3,600 attendees. The event will boast 35 kilograms of caviar, 130 kilograms of foie gras, 900 kilograms of lobster, 250 kilograms of prime rib, a “chocolate river” filled with 150 liters of chocolate – and, of course, a front-row seat for the biggest fireworks show the world has ever seen.
“The celebrations will mark the end of a momentous year for Dubai, a year which we will reflect on with pride and has laid the groundwork for a prosperous future,” Helal Saeed Al Merri, the Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, told Al Arabiya.