Feast Your Eyes on Dubai’s World Record-Setting New Year’s Fireworks Show

Forget Times Square, the place every photographer wishes they were on New Year’s Eve 2014 (or is it 2013?) was Dubai. Why, you ask? Because this year the city set the world record for the largest fireworks show, and captured the entire thing on camera for posterity’s sake.

The video above was put together by Downtown Dubai and actually shows the entire celebration, but we’ve gone ahead and skipped you forward to a few seconds before the countdown itself starts. And once that countdown hits zero brace yourself, this is one doozy of a show.

Over 500,000 fireworks were set off during the show from 400 different locations along a total of 61.6 miles of coastline. The show took 10 months to plan and the finale created “an artificial ‘sunrise'” along the coast, with some of the fireworks reaching over half a mile in the air.


The goal of the show, beyond giving photographers something unprecedentedly awesome to capture, was to beat the 2012 world record set during Kuwait’s golden jubilee anniversary. Well, they didn’t beat it… or rather we should say they didn’t JUST beat it… they SMASHED it.

In 2012, Kuwait set off only 77,282 fireworks. The city of Dubai set off more fireworks in the first minute of its six-minute show.

Designed by U.S. firm Fireworks by Grucci, the show used 100 computers and 200 expert technicians who worked some 5,000 man hours to properly synchronise the pyrotechnics. And to think, I was on my couch watching the ball drop. On the off-chance any of our readers were in Dubai for this, please share your photos in the comments below!

(via The Verge via Guinness World Records)

  • Shawn Hoke

    Wow, would have been amazing to see that in person. Too bad 90% of the people there watched it on their tiny cellphone screens rather than just enjoy the real thing.

  • the_gator

    Isn’t this the same place that not too long ago a woman from Australia was arrested after she reported being raped. Only after a huge outcry from many western governments was she released and also the rapist was never arrested. This was a woman there on business for her company.

  • superduckz

    See your Petrodollars at WORK!

  • gochugogi

    There was a Norwegian woman in the same situation last year as well…

  • Guest

    It was indeed one of kind…more than artificial sunrise…it looked like Dubai was being bombed…BUT was a splendid show…Officially Awesome Dubai

  • sell_him

    Yes the Norwegian woman was lying, Please read the full story.
    She had admitted willingly to go into the hotel room, agreed to stay the night there, and stripped down to get into bed. She throw up so many different stories she confused herself let a lone everyone else.

  • sell_him

    It interesting to see how ALL THE PRESS including this website get it all wrong. Just shows how crap quality is passed around via the interwebs these days, lazy people.

    The world record WAS NOT set by Burj Khalifa. It was set by the fireworks done on the Palm and The World. The Burj khalifa show was NOTHING compared to the palm/world show which made the Burj Khalifa look like childs play.

    However it should be pointed out that the world record fireworkshow was over 20 minutes into the new year before it even started. Loads of Expats that tried to get to Sandance to enjoy the evening were not even able to attend due to stupid rules and traffic in place.

  • Karl Meyer

    Are you aware that everyone is repeating “world record breaking fireworks” because that’s what the press release says?

    Tweeted yesterday by Dubai’s official Tourism & Commerce account:

    Dubai Tourism – DTCM @Dubai_DTCM
    Dubai marks 2014 with a spectacular world record breaking fireworks display (video)
    about 18 hours ago

  • kasenyee

    What oil? Dubai has 0 oil under it’s territory. It relies solely on industry and tourism.

  • Theranthrope


    The thing is… the Tao of photography, first and foremost, is that of a documentarin, recording aspects of real life in a fixed format with the tools that happen to be available; with any high-sounding talk about artistry, a very, very, distant second.

    Again and again, I hear this complaint from the posters (and occasionally writers) of Petapixel, a site ostensibly devoted to ENCOURAGE photography; with some-or-another variation of: “I can do it better, so don’t even bother” …just phrased differently.

    Which all stems from mewling, condescending, barely hidden, elitism from Amateur Photographers or Pro Photographers (themselves, former amateurs) towards other “lesser” amateurs (and their “lesser” gear).