x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Emergency units stand by for unparalleled event

Security for tonight's celebrity-studded party at Atlantis, The Palm, has been intensified and explosives experts have been put on standby.

DUBAI // Security for tonight's celebrity-studded party at Atlantis, The Palm, has been intensified and explosives experts have been put on standby in case any of the 50 tonnes of fireworks start fires in construction sites around the venue. "It will be the biggest firework display ever and there is a risk that things can go wrong, especially given that there are many construction sites around The Palm that contain highly flammable materials," said Col Abdullah Ali al Ghaithi, the deputy director of protective security at Dubai Police.

Heavy security, including increased police patrols, traffic officers, CID officers, air and land rescue teams and emergency workers will cover The Palm Jumeirah from 2pm today for the party and its 2,000 invited guests. Thousands of spectators are expected to watch from parties along the coastline. "The explosives department have liaised with the company which will plant the fireworks on how to ensure maximum safety of the display. Safety teams will have the job to ensure all the fireworks are out and to destroy them if they fail," Col Ghaithi said.

"The ambulances will be there in the event that anyone gets hurts from a fall or anything unpredictable, and they are also equipped to deal with an evacuation situation if needed. The traffic police will supervise the flow of traffic into and out of The Palm, and Civil Defence will work to ensure no fires break out and to make sure that it is kept under control in the event that it did." Rescue boats and cranes will patrol the waters near The Palm, where large numbers of yachts are expected to congregate for the display, Major Ahmed Burqibah, deputy director of the rescue department at the police department, said. Circling aircraft will also record the display from a distance.

rbaker@thenational.ae Police are advising commuters to avoid Al Sofouh Road to avoid the expected congestion there.