More than 650,000 people expected to welcome 2017 in Downtown Dubai

The annual display at the world’s tallest building is this year one of 160 locations across the emirate to host displays at the turn of midnight.

Fireworks explode over Downtown Dubai to ring in new year. This new year promises more spectacles. Sarah Dea / The National
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DUBAI // More than 650,000 people are expected to welcome 2017 in the shadow of Burj Khalifa as the official new year fireworks illuminate the night sky.

The annual display at the world’s tallest building is this year one of 160 locations across the emirate to host displays at the turn of midnight.

Of that total, 23 will be in the Downtown Dubai area, police said today. Other locations include Khaleej Al Tejari, Dubai Canal, Al Jaddaf, and Ras Al Khor.

Brigadier Abdullah Al Marri, director of Dubai Police’s protective security and emergency department, said efforts had been made “to ensure that people can reach the locations of events smoothly, so they can get back home safely after enjoying the fireworks,”

He urged members of the public to cooperate with the authorities and contact the nearest police stand in case of emergencies.

Brig Al Marri said there will be 26 tents across the emirate to offer first aid or help if a child gets lost.

“We urge people to get to head to the celebrations early and before 8pm, to follow the officers’ instructions, and avoid hindering traffic flow,” he said. “We are expecting six locations to be crowded, including the Burj Khalifa area with approximately 200,000 people and the Dubai Mall area with 400,000 people.”

Another 27,000 people are expected near the Address Hotel, 13,000 in Souk Al Bahar, 10,000 along the promenade, 1,800 in the Burj Plaza area, he said.

Al Saada Road will close beginning with the Al Murooj Rotana intersection leading to Burj Khalifa and tunnel at 6pm; Zabeel Intersection at 8pm; Emirates Towers roundabout leading to Al Saada Road at 10pm; Al Asayel Road at 4pm although public transport and VIP access will continue and Al Sukook Road at 8pm.

Brig Al Marri said that there will be three paths for pedestrians from the metro stations to Burj Khalifa.

“There will be two paths from the Burj Khalifa metro station, one for families and will lead to the promenade and the area behind Burj View, while the second one will be for bachelors and will head toward South Ridge,” he said. “Another path will be from Financial Centre metro station, and a third from Al Khaleej Al Tejari metro station.”

Maj Gen Khalil Al Mansouri, director of criminal investigation affairs, said that there would be 470 police patrols across the emirate.

“Police stations will be open to offer security services and for those with emergencies, and in case of suggestions, please call 901,” he said. “We urge people to follow procedures and the signs, especially in places where there will be large crowds.”

In Sharjah, tens of thousands of people are expected at the Al Majaz Waterfront to watch a 10-minute fireworks display.

“New Year’s Eve brings a wonderful opportunity to get together with loved ones, celebrate to the fullest and share one’s optimism and fresh resolve for the year ahead,” said Mohammed Al Mazrouei, manager of the waterfront.

“We promise all visitors to Al Majaz Waterfront a memorable evening marked by good family-themed entertainment.”


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