Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 February 2020

Burj Khalifa pays tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant in spectacular style - in pictures

NBA legend and 13-year-old daughter among nine people killed in a helicopter crash last Sunday

The UAE paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Sunday evening by displaying their images on the Burj Khalifa.

Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players in history after 20 illustrious years with the Los Angeles Lakers, and Gianna, 13, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in California last week.

There has been an outpouring of tributes from around the world over the past week, with NBA teams holding commemorations, athletes from all sports donning Lakers jerseys, and world leaders and millions of others expressing their grief and condolences on social media.

Thousands of Lakers and basketball fans have held vigil outside the Staples Centre, Bryant's home stadium during his playing days.

People placed flowers and cards in honour of Bryant, Gianna and the seven others who lost their lives.

Now Dubai has paid tribute in its own special way by covering the Burj Khalifa with a poignant image of Bryant and Gianna.

As the world's tallest building, the display has attracted global attention and received widespread praise.

Power 106, a prominent music radio station in the US, described the tribute as "absolutely amazing", while Hot 97, another popular US music provider, said it was a "beautiful tribute".

The Burj Khalifa has a deserved reputation for using light displays to make spectacular tributes to important events and figures.

Also on Sunday, the building lit up with the Chinese flag in solidarity with the nation as it tackles the coronavirus crisis.

Last month, the Indian flag was displayed to mark Republic Day, and a few weeks earlier lit up in support of Australia amid the bushfire disaster, including the words "Mates Help Mates".

The Burj Khalifa is also the focal point of Dubai's New Year celebrations, with world famous fireworks displays.

Updated: February 4, 2020 01:48 AM

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