Blog: January 03 2014 | 00:00 AM

Dubai rings in the new year with largest fireworks show ever

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Your New Year's Eve celebrations had nothing on this. In Dubai, organizers successfully pulled off a fireworks display so epic that it set a new world record: an estimated 500,000 pyrotechnics were set off from 400 different locations along 60 miles of coastline at midnight.

The blazing event was attended by thousands of people as well as being live-streamed on YouTube and Dubai Media's website. Viewers enjoyed a six-minute display that lit up various Dubai landmarks — including the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree, and The World, an archipelago of islands designed to create the shape of a global map.

"The spectacle's final salvo of fireworks created an artificial 'sunrise' along the seafront, with the highest fireworks reaching more than one kilometer in height," reads a description from Guinness World Records, whose adjudicators confirmed the world record. "Dubai's attempt [had] enough fireworks launched within the first minute of the display alone to surpass the previous record." That earlier benchmark, set by Kuwait in 2011, saw a relatively pithy 77,000 fireworks light up the sky.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the glitzy city is no stranger to ostentatious firework displays. For the 2008 opening of Dubai's Atlantis Hotel, event management company IMG Artists — who also oversaw this latest show — orchestrated an event that featured 250,000 fireworks but wasn't registered with Guinness. "When we did 250,000 in 2008 for the opening of Atlantis and the palm island, there were people who said that would never be able to be done again," Jerry Inzerillo, IMG's president, told the Wall Street Journal. "But Dubai has always exercised great vision and great judgment."

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