The Most Expensive Fire Works Display in the World

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Who doesn’t love fireworks? Even if you are one of those, “Oh, I left burning crackers long ago, it’s noisy; I am eco-friendly you see” you got to admit that you still love watching them. There is something so fascinating about those coloured squiggles lighting up the sky only to vanish in thin air in a jiffy that leaves everyone stunned.

Oh So Grand!

Abu Dhabi holds the world record for the largest and most expensive firework display, by putting up a show worth $20 million in 2009, to celebrate the UAE’s 37th National Day on December 2.


One of the richest cities in the world, Abu Dhabhi knows how to show off in style!

It is a hugely popular event there and coincides with Eid Al Ata – a holiday.

The Event

The celebrations went on for 12 days starting from 23rd November to 4th December.

A total 46 events reflected the importance of the occasion. The highlights included the Union March that took place on December 1 starting from Jumairah Centre to Union Square organized by Culture and Art Authority and “Watani” Programme, followed by a marine march on December 2 at Dubai Creek, organized by Dubai Police, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Culture and Art Authority and Road and Transport Authority.


Poetry sessions were held on the evenings of December 2 and December 3 sponsored by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Dec. 2 and 3 were declared as public holidays. School children were  given 13 days off, as the holiday will overlapped  with Eid Al-Adha celebrations.

UAE’s biggest Greeting Card 

A 7.5 meter high greeting card was put up on the Emirates Palace’s Dome which offered both guests and visitors the opportunity to add their special greetings message to the card to celebrate the special UAE National Day.


A painting and photography exhibition showcasing the work of both national and international artists attracted a huge crowd; a laser show was launched along the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the Emirates Palace Marina. Indigenous talent also got a platform to perform and entertain the public.


Sponsored by Abu Dhabi Arts Culture and Heritage a national concert headed by renowned Arab singer Mohammed Abdo  supported by Lebanese songstress Elissa and UAE rising star Al Wasmy was open to the public.

The concert was held on Emirates Palace Garden; during the events, Abu Dhabi Transportation Department provided a complimentary shuttle bus service to take music fans to the free concerts.

There was also an air show in Dubai and Hatta from December 1 to December 3, featuring a team from Dubai Police.

The Dubai Government organized these events to reflect the importance of National Day particularly as this year has been declared the Year of National Identity by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Celebrating the day was a tribute to the grand vision of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum who were the very founders of the UAE.

The event was marked by a speech from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Khalifa stressed that “there will be no compromise with whatever threatens our values, our traditions and language, which are the heart of our national identity and the soul of the nation and our heritage.” “Thus, we must confront the negative effects of globalization and the defects in the make-up of our population. Any infringement of our identity is an infringement of the country itself. Simply, it is a violation of the country’s sanctity”, he remarked.

Where exactly?

The firework was visible along the Abu Dhabi Corniche and across the Emirates Palace Marina. The city authorities wanted to set a new world record by displaying the most expensive fireworks ever, which lasted for 55 minutes.

A total of 17,000 shots illuminated the skies of Abu Dhabi and Madinat Zayed.

The first ten minutes of the awe inspiring event were covered by a combination of exotic fireworks, followed by a 10 minute show where flames from giant fire crackers extended up to a maximum length of 600 meters.

Who gets the credit?

The magnificent show was choreographed by the international event management company “WRG Creative Communications and Groupe F”.

The record set by Abu Dhabi on that spectacular night of December 2009 has not yet been surpassed! 

Author: Swathy Tantry

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