Welcome 2018

JEDDAH: Spectacular fireworks have lit up the skies in Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia and elsewhere in Asia as the world welcomed 2018.
Countries around the world planned epic displays of fireworks, lights and dance among other showpieces as the clock struck 12 a.m. in their respective parts of the world.
Dubai replaced its main midnight fireworks with a laser show on the world’s tallest tower, the 828-meter Burj Khalifa.
Hong Kong saw in 2018 in spectacular style as the southern Chinese city staged a stunning fireworks display over its famous Victoria Harbor.
Thousands thronged the harborside to see the show illuminate the famous skyline as revellers danced to Auld Lang Syne.
Shooting stars were also fired from the rooftops of skyscrapers in a 10-minute musical fireworks display.
Dubai celebrated the New Year with a spectacular midnight laser show at Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world.
As the clock ticked to midnight the 828-meter tower was lit up with the green, white, black and red colors of the UAE, a portrait of UAE founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan and “2018.”
Hundreds of thousands of people watched the display amid tight security, with roads to the city center sealed off.
In previous years Dubai had organized spectacular fireworks displays to ring in the new year, but this time the authorities opted instead for a massive laser show, aiming to break a Guinness World Record.
In the Indonesian capital Jakarta, hundreds of couples attended a free mass wedding provided free by the authorities.
A few hours earlier Australia rang in the new year with a spectacular display of rainbow-colored fireworks cascading from Sydney Harbor Bridge, as partygoers marked the nation’s legalization of gay marriage amid tight security.
About 1.5 million people packed the city’s seafront to watch the pyrotechnics light up the sky above the historic bridge and the iconic opera house, the first major celebrations worldwide after New Zealand.
“This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 — the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding ‘Yes’ to marriage equality,” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore of the nationwide postal vote in support of change.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a year-end “red alert” to a world he said faces the perils of inequality, nationalism, xenophobia and possibly even nuclear war unless it works to resolve its differences.
He suggested that the international community “can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values, but we can only do that together.”
Guterres urged world leaders: “Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.”
He concluded: “Unity is the path.”


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