Dubai: As the world welcomed 2024, Dubai celebrated the occasion with unmatched vibrancy and joy. The UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, lit up the sky with a spectacular 40-minute firework show, complemented by a choreographed performance of 5,000 drones. In a parallel display of festivity, Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa was adorned with its most elaborate and colorful firework display to date.
Ras Al Khaimah added to the jubilation with a captivating blend of aquatic pyrotechnics, LED drones, and fireworks, illuminating 4.5 kilometers of shoreline from Al Marjan Island to Al Hamra Village.
As the UAE welcomed the New Year with open arms, some residents opted for a more subdued New Year’s Eve, standing in solidarity with the people of Gaza amidst ongoing conflicts.
Internationally, Kiribati was the first country to greet 2024, soon followed by New Zealand and Australia. Auckland celebrated the New Year with grandeur at Auckland Tower, while Sydney’s famous firework displays lit up the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
Countries like Japan, China, and India joined in the global celebration as the New Year progressed across time zones. The last to ring in 2024 were Baker Island and Howland Island in the United States.
In the post-COVID era, the world has witnessed some of the most vibrant New Year’s celebrations. Notably, thousands gathered in New Zealand’s Auckland and Wellington for their renowned countdown events.
Yet, the festive atmosphere was not universal. Amidst conflicts in Western Asia and Ukraine, New Year’s celebrations were muted or absent in several regions. Pakistan and the Sharjah Emirates, in a show of solidarity regarding the situation in Gaza, refrained from festivities. Israel, which celebrates the New Year during Rosh Hashanah as per the Jewish calendar, and Russia, grappling with an economic crisis due to the war, abstained from official New Year celebrations.
This contrast of celebration and contemplation underscores the varied ways the world embraced 2024, a year filled with hope yet overshadowed by ongoing global challenges.
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