DUBAI // The pyrotechnics of the Downtown Dubai New Year's Eve Gala attracted a record 1.7 million visitors, according to its organisers, Emaar Properties.
The "Water, Fire and Light" show at the fountain under the Burj Khalifa culminated in a fireworks display off the world's tallest building as a live orchestra played below.
The display was broadcast to more than 1,000 global television channels and streamed live online, reaching an estimated global audience of 2 billion people.
"The event underlines the positive vision that Dubai upholds by serving as a beacon of hope for people and highlighting the happiness and robust outlook that the city brings," Mohammed Abbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said in a statement.
Restaurants overlooking the Dubai Fountain were fully booked and the surrounding towers were lit up while helicopters circled above the area to capture a 360-degree view of the display.
Traffic jams kept cars at a standstill in some areas while huge crowds at the Dubai Mall Metro station led to hard-to-navigate congestion.
More than half a million people chose to travel to and from their New Year's eve parties on the Metro, and only a tiny percentage in New Dubai reported facing problems when a 30-minute power outage caused delays.
Authorities said they were well-prepared to deal with the masses, and police patrols and emergency vehicles were stationed around the main areas hosting the event.