Musical performances, food stalls and a spectacular fireworks display marked the opening night of Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel.
A celebratory atmosphere had been growing throughout the day, as UAE residents enjoying the public holiday headed to Bluewaters Island to witness the wheel turning for the first time. And as night fell, the attraction, which stands 250 metres high, became the backdrop for light and laser shows and a fireworks display. The wheel itself was illuminated in numerous ways, at one point with the words “Year of the 50” emblazoned across it.
This was part of a two-day celebration marking the launch of the observation wheel, which was assembled using two of the world's largest cranes, and crafted using 11,200 tonnes of steel, 33 per cent more than the amount used to build the Eiffel Tower.
Tickets for the first day quickly sold out. A single rotation of the wheel takes about 38 minutes, during which guests can view 360-degree views from the attraction's 48 cabins. For safety reasons, Ain Dubai has kept a maximum capacity of 10 to 12 people per cabin.
To mark the occasion, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, posted a video of himself to social media riding on top of the wheel as it prepared to open.