Dubai Lights Up the Sky for NYE Celebrations

For many around the world, closing off the year that was 2020 was a celebration to look forward to. On 31 December 2020 alone, more than 115 000 news articles and 3 Million social mentions mentioned “New Years Eve” across the globe. 

While fireworks displays are the usual way to usher in a new year, for 2021, the world decided to light up its skies and well-known buildings a little differently in a “muted celebrations” fashion. Dubai was no exception, with its spectacular fireworks that wished the world Happy New Year in multiple languages, and was showcased as a virtual event via Zoom due to lockdown restrictions still in place.

Meltwater, the world’s leading editorial and social media analytics company, tracked and analysed news and social media to highlight how Dubai lit up the sky for this year’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations.

A Global Look at this year’s NYE Celebrations 

With many countries still in lockdown, large gatherings were prohibited for this year’s New Years Eve celebrations. But this didn’t stop the festivities entirely. 

The USA led social media mentions related to “New Years Eve” between 30 December 2020 and 2 January 2021, with online users sharing how this year’s infamous “New Year’s Eve ball” dropped in a mostly empty Times Square. Joining the USA as the Top 5 countries that mentioned “New Years Eve” were the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and India, respectively. 

Global Heat Map of “New Years Eve” Social Media Mentions between 30 December 2020 and 2 January 2021

Global social media mentions on “New Years Eve” decreased by 28% this year, as compared to last year, and this could be due to many people needing to stay home and a number of infamous celebrations being cancelled due to the pandemic and ongoing lockdown restrictions. 

However, despite this year’s NYE celebrations looking different than last year, there was a great sense of positivity and hope as users ushered in the 2021. The data indicates that 74% of online users, globally, were looking forward to the new year and expressed gratitude for being able to be alive to ring in the new year. These feelings carried over to 1 and 2 January 2021, with online users tweeting their happy new year messages with online audiences and followers. 

The negative sentiment received on “New Years Eve” is mainly attributed to online users who had expressed concern for people who were not practicing social distancing measures while celebrating, while others shared how emotional 2020 had been or how lonely they were on New Years Eve. 

Global Sentiment Analysis on Social Media “New Years Eve” Mentions between 30 December 2020 and 2 January 2021

Some of the top trending themes for “New Years Eve” included:

  • ‘Home’ which refers to where people where on 31 December 2020
  • ‘Worrying sign’ which refers to this tweet regarding the New Years Honours list
  • ‘Family’ which refers to online users either spending New Years Eve with family, or sharing their well wishes to other families. 

Dubai’s 2021 NYE Celebrations

With many families staying home for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, Arab News reported on how Emaar Dubai and Zoom partnered together for a virtual NYE show that could be watched from home. The Burj Khalifa gave quite a show, with a special message shared on the building, as reported by the Khaleej Times

Overall, online users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) felt overwhelmingly positive about “New Years Eve”, with 87% of social media mentions on 31 December 2020 attributed to users sharing their well wishes, hopes for 2021 and their excitement for celebrations that would take place later that evening. 

Sentiment Analysis on “New Years Eve” in the United Arab Emirates between 30 December 2020 and 2 January 2021

Dubai is well known for its massive New Years Eve gala, as mentioned in Time Out Dubai. With the Burj Khalifa firmly established as one of the best structures to watch New Years Eve fireworks and lighting displays, it might not come as a surprise to see that the “Burj Khalifa” received more social media mentions in the UAE (59.3%) than social media mentions on “New Years Eve” (40.7%).  

Media Exposure on “New Years Eve” Social Media Mentions (green) and “Burj Khalifa” Social Media Mentions (blue) in the UAE between 30 December 2020 and 2 January 2021

Global social media mentions on the famous building increased by 113% this year, as compared to last year, with the world’s tallest building certainly made online waves around the world, with Sky News sharing a video of the fireworks display, which has now been viewed 100 000 times. 

Mentions on the “Burj Khalifa” had a global social reach of 263 Million people on 31 December 2020 while on 1 January 2021, that number increased to 385 Million people, indicating how the Burj Khalifa still remains a global spectacle that many people talk about on New Years Eve. 

Global Social Volume (blue) vs Social Reach (green) on “Burj Khalifa” between 30 December 2020 and 2 January 2021

All in all, Dubai most certainly gave a spectacular display as the city lit up the sky to welcome 2021. Many people choose to celebrate hope, happiness and well wishes, with social media users both in the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the world feel good about the News Years Eve send off that 2020 received, and have welcomed 2021 in a dazzling way. 

If you want to get insights like these to monitor trending topics in news and social media about your brand, business, industry or competitors, you can contact the Meltwater Team here.

Source: Data gathered by Meltwater from 30 December 2020 to 2 January 2021.

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