The New Year’s Eve Gala in Downtown Dubai is the highlight of the year, a memorable event at the flagship lifestyle destination of Emaar Properties, world renowned for its fireworks display at the iconic Burj Khalifa.
But in 2018, Emaar had a surprise in store: No fireworks. Instead, they offered something more innovative: Emaar simply called it ‘Light Up’.
The challenge was to ensure the same massive turnout of visitors from around the world as in the past, especially as people now didn’t know what to expect.
ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller had been running the PR programme for Burj Khalifa, from when it was a sketch on a notepad to its grand inauguration and beyond. We knew from the experience of managing the media for six fireworks events at the majestic tower that people just love the grand spectacle.
Our PR campaign for Burj Khalifa’s inauguration reveal was driven by the ‘mystery factor’ of its height. In 2018 we believed that ‘Light Up 2018’ needed a similar mystic allure – with just the right ‘sneak peeks’ – and the promise of a never-before spectacle.
Behind-the-scene videos promoting ‘Light Up 2018’ as a bid for Guinness World Record built strong buzz. Twitter supported the effort with a live feed and a Direct Message service. A dedicated website was ready for live streaming, and live feeds were assured for international broadcasters.
Over 1 million people attended the event in Downtown Dubai; live telecast and feed reached over 2.5 billion people. 13 hours of broadcast coverage were secured globally and the event set the Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Largest Light and Sound Show on a Single Building’.
Light Up 2018 had clear economic impact: hotels in Downtown Dubai recorded 100 per cent occupancy. Its success prompted Emaar to host the light shows for the next three months, welcoming hundreds of thousands of more visitors to Downtown Dubai every week.