Spectacular firework displays lit up skies around the world last night, from London to Dubai, as New Years revellers welcomed in 2012.
Setting aside their woes from 2011, including political upheaval in the Middle East, the devastation that was reaped in Japan following the earthquake and tsunamis and continued economic uncertainty, tourists and locals danced, drank and celebrated the end of 2011.
In Dubai, the Burj Khalifa - the world’s tallest building – lit up with a magnificent and extravigant firework display. Fireworks went off from the top floor in a display that lasted ten minutes.
In Abu Dhabi, Coldplay gave a memorable performance to a 20,000 strong audience before the count down to the new year began. They played at the new purpose built Volvo Ocean Race ‘Destination Village’ to usher in the new year as part of celebrations for the emirate’s historic, fortnight-long hosting of the gruelling 39,000 mile round the world ‘Everest of Sailing’.
London drew 250, 000 revellers who gathered to see the pyrotechnic firework display along the river Thames. 12,000 fireworks were exploded during the 11-minute and 15-second display. Crowds danced to music that was played by Radio 1 DJ Nihal.
The London Mayor Boris Johnson said the display was “to commemorate the fact that next year is the most extraordinary we are likely to see in our lifetimes in this city.” He was referring to London playing host to the Olympics 2012.
In New York, the Mayor Bloomberg was joined by Lady Gaga in the count down to midnight. Confetti was poured over Times Square where an estimated million people enjoyed the multi coloured fireworks display.
Sydney also played host to a fireworks display which was themed ‘Time to Dream’ aiming to enable people to look to the future and put the past year behind them. Approximately one million people are thought to have gathered at the Sydney Harbour Bridge to see the display.
Hotels and hospitality companies all over the world also played host to their own celebrations to mark the occasion.
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa - which recently won two World Travel Awards including Middle East’s Leading Golf Resort, hosted an international gala buffet with live entertainment as well as a spectacular 1001 Arabian nights buffet, Arabic bands and belly dancing.
Meanwhile the Jumeirah Beach hotel - nominated for nine World Travel Awards this year, organised a range of celebrations for the whole family which included New Year’s Eve fireworks. The Emirates Palace rolled out New Year’s culinary delights to satisfy even the most jaded of foodies.
The Caribbean’s Casa de Campo Marina became a hot spot for the day at Palmilla Island as hundreds of boats formed a circle around Palmilla for an all day party. Upon return to the Marina, visitors dined at a selection of restaurants before heading to a New Year’s Eve party right on Minitas Beach which included champagne and fireworks over the Caribbean Sea and dancing ‘til dawn! Casa de Campo picked up five World Travel Awards last year including Caribbean’s Leading Golf Resort.