Thousands watched in awe as Dubai ushered in the New Year with the world’s biggest fireworks display. The six-minute spectacle encircling the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and the Palm, was yet another reminder of Dubai’s success story.
To many, pyrotechnics such as this might seem to be an unnecessary – even selfish – expenditure, especially when hundreds of thousands of people are living in misery elsewhere in the region. Wouldn’t it be wise to divert the funds to feed the hungry, provide shelter to the homeless, or teach the ignorant, some might wonder.
Indeed, we all need to strive to support those less fortunate – and this country certainly does – but Dubai’s celebrations are more than just colourful eruptions. They symbolise success and hope for the rest of the region. They exemplify the human impulse to come together as a community and mark the end of an old time and the beginning of a new.
By connecting with others at such glittering community events, we can reassure ourselves that despite poverty and suffering, there are reasons to be happy; that we are not alone on our journey through life. But most importantly, New Year fireworks demonstrate that we need to keep our hopes alive and make a fresh start.