It's New Year in Australia, New Zealand, fireworks welcome 2014

Sydney New YearSydney New Year!

Exploding fireworks sprayed from Sydney's iconic opera house and harbour bridge in Australia at midnight as the world began ushering in a new year.

More than one million people crammed the Sydney Harbour foreshore on a warm summer night to watch Sydney's renowned annual pyrotechnics show, which appeared to live up to its billing as the city's most extravagant. Fireworks launched from four sails of the Sydney Opera House for the first time in more than a decade.

Dubai will later try to create the world's largest fireworks show to ring in 2014.

Closer to the edge of the International Dateline, New Zealand bade farewell to 2013 two hours before Sydney with fireworks erupting from Auckland's Sky Tower as cheering revelers danced in the streets of the South Pacific island nation's largest city.

Dubai, home to world's tallest tower, is known for its glitz, glamour and over-the-top achievements, and this New Year's Eve the city is planning to break another record by creating the largest fireworks show ever.

Organisers plan to light up the city's coastline with a flying falcon made out of fireworks that moves across a massive man-made palm-shaped island alongside a countdown in fireworks. Organisers say they will also create a burst of light out of fireworks to imitate a sunrise and dazzle spectators with a United Arab Emirates flag that could also break records for being the largest ever made out of fireworks.

The 6-minute extravaganza will include 500,000 fireworks from 400 firing locations, all synchronised by 100 computers from stations across the city, said Barrett Wissman, co-chairman of IMG Artists that is managing the event. Guinness World Record officials will be on hand to measure the scale of the event.

Wissman said the display will cover 48 km of seafront. "It is really mind-blowing, the size of this," he said.

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