AO Creative Ensures Emaar Breaks Records

AO Creative Ensures Emaar's 'Light Up 2018' Spectacle Breaks all Records // © Ralph Larmann

The Burj Khalifa’s transformation into the world’s tallest FIFA World Cup scoreboard is stunning fans in Dubai and around the world. The 828-metre-high building showcases 1.2 million LEDs pixels.

The spectacle kicked off with a spectacular New Year’s Eve Light Up 2018 launch, masterminded by Emaar Properties and realised by AO Creative.

Emaar Properties’ ambitious vision for the New Year’s Eve event was fulfilled by AO Creative, the creative division of Arts Outdoor Lighting Technology. More than one million people descended on Dubai to watch it live. In addition, over 2.5 billion viewers saw it through live TV broadcasts and online streams.

AO Creative Executive Producer, Marco Niedermeier explained: “Our task was to deliver ‘the biggest show in the world’ and make a positive, lasting impression, not only on the guests celebrating in Downtown Dubai but on the entire world. Emaar Properties’ idea was to create a spectacle on a different scale from the usual New Year’s Eve celebration. They trusted in our ability to deliver, and gave us a complete licence to develop this fresh, radical concept.”

Show production designer for AO Creative, Jerry P. Appelt added: “We had 109,252 square metres of LED screen area to work with and we used the spectacular height and shape of the skyscraper as accents for a huge, complimentary light show that extended the video images far into the surrounding atmosphere.”

“The challenges were countless and varied,” said Niedermeier. “Although we had five months from start to finish, the onsite team could only install the hardware during the final two months, often in very tough and restrictive conditions.”

Niedermeier added: “Seeing the event in its entirety for the first time on New Year’s Eve was emotional. To watch it being played out on technology we had specified and installed in such challenging circumstances, was incredibly rewarding. The joy was, it worked exactly as we had envisaged.”

Emaar’s Light Up 2018 not only conquered a massively creative and technical task but set a breath-taking milestone by breaking the Guinness world record for the biggest lighting installation in the world for a New Year event. In all, it took 280 moving lights rigged around the frame of the building, along with LED screen and special outdoor beam lights rigged on the façade edges to deliver.

Around 550 fixtures were used in total, many of them having to be dismantled to fit in the lifts and then rebuilt in their rigging location. In addition, AO Creative managed a team of over 300 specialist engineers, riggers and technicians, who built and installed nearly 120 tons of equipment and ran over 29 kilometres of cabling.