Dubai eyes record as London tastes New Year
FROM Sydney to Dubai, revellers welcomed 2014 with extravagant fireworks displays, while London celebrated by spraying clouds of fruit-flavoured mist.
In New York, hordes of people, many decked out in cartoonish hats, waving balloons and ringing bells, faced frigid temperatures and heightened security in Times Square for the annual New Year's Eve street party.
Crowds heard musical performances by Miley Cyrus and Melissa Etheridge, who performed the Beatles song Imagine, and then saw the ritualistic dropping of the New Year's Eve ball, which was followed by music and a sea of confetti that filled Midtown Manhattan.
In other parts of the world, festivities were well under way or finished.
At midnight in Sydney, Australia, a massive fireworks display lit up the sky around the city's famed Harbor Bridge and Opera House.
New Year organisers in Dubai attempted to break the Guinness World Record for largest fireworks display by setting off more than 400,000 fireworks.
The glittering display lasted around six minutes and spanned 100km of the coast, focusing on the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower at 830m.
People crowded in the streets below took pictures as the thundering display filled the skies.
"It's amazing," said May Hinnawi, a 35-year-old Syrian. "I will tell my children and grandchildren I was here to see this event."
Kuwait set the record in 2011 with an hour-long blast of 77,282 fireworks.
In London, edible banana confetti and strawberry mist rained from the sky as a fireworks display along the River Thames lit up Big Ben and other landmarks.