x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Emirates Palace goes for a record

The hotel plans a "fireworks extravaganza" to celebrate tomorrow's National Day and set a record for the largest display.

Fireworks near Emirates Palace during the 37th National Day in Abu Dhabi last year.
Fireworks near Emirates Palace during the 37th National Day in Abu Dhabi last year.

ABU DHABI // Despite talk of record-breaking fireworks in recent years, the UAE has yet to establish a Guinness World Record, something that the Emirates Palace hopes to change this National Day. The hotel is planning a "fireworks extravaganza" to celebrate the 38th UAE National Day tomorrow and set a record for the largest display.

The fireworks, which will reach up to 2,000m into the air, will be set off from 12 barges situated off the shores of the capital. The display aims to "showcase the city of Abu Dhabi and all its glorious vision to a world audience", according to a statement from the Emirates Palace. According to the Guinness World Records, the mark for "largest fireworks display" is 66,326 devices, set off on the Portuguese island of Madeira for a New Year's Eve display in 2006.

Those fireworks were fired from 37 locations, which were visited by Guinness inspectors prior to the show. The opening of the Atlantis Hotel in November 2008 was punctuated by a US$14 million (Dh51m) fireworks display reportedly made up of more than a million devices. However, Guinness said it had not "received evidence with regards to those claims". Organisers of New Year festivities in Dubai in 2008 also said they put on a record-breaking show.

A year ago, Emirates Palace claimed Abu Dhabi was set to take the world record, but no formal attempt was lodged, and the Portuguese record from 2006 still stands, Guinness said. Justine Bourdariat, international marketing executive at Guinness World Records, said yesterday "there are no records officially registered held by Dubai and Abu Dhabi with regards to fireworks". Janet Abrahams, executive director of sales and marketing at Emirates Palace, could not provide details on how many fireworks are to be set off this year. but said it would be a "breathtaking" show.

"We've got so many locations across the city, it's going to be like having 10 firework shows at the same time," she said. "It's something everybody will be able to see." Guinness World Records said it had not been contacted by the Emirates Palace about the attempt, so a judge will not be present. However, it is still possible for a record attempt to be lodged after the event if evidence and witness statements are submitted.

Displays will begin at 8.30pm and last for 45 minutes from three barges at Emirates Palace Marina Bay and from five more alongside the West Corniche. Firework shows will be visible from the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Al Bateen Marina, according to the Emirates Palace. @Email:lmorris@thenational.ae