Spectacular Arab Games Opening Ceremony

HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani opened the Arab Games Doha 2011 last night at a spectacular ceremony that not only encapsulated the Arab world’s glorious past and touched upon its current turmoil, but also resonated with a call for a future based on knowledge, peace, unity and dignity.

The 40,000 crowd at the magnificently-lit Khalifa Stadium was transported to a magical world by the wizardry of David Atkins Enterprises (DAE), with about 700 performers selected from all over the Gulf involved in a gripping 90-minute extravaganza that ended with a dazzling fireworks display.

The dazzling pyrotechnics special effects, flames and fireworks finale were designed & produced by Andrew Howard, Stuart Bensley and the dedicated Howard & Sons crew of 12 flame & pyrotechnicians.

Howard & Sons produced several new and innovative effects throughout the ceremony. Impressive 25m flames erupted around a giant inflatable and animated monster, as images of the earth’s surface cracking up into fields of lava were projected onto the stadium arena.

Silver comets where ignited by ‘Dignity’, the show’s main character, to kill the monster.

Dignity and a young child then traveled up to the top of the grandstand through a glowing flare tunnel of legend athletes from the Arab nations to ignite a fuse at the base of the Ziggurat cauldron. A bright pyrotechnic fuse that then travelled up around the amazing spiral cauldron structure to finally reach the top and ignite the Arab Games flame cauldron.

At the conclusion of the magnificent ceremony produced by ceremonies mystro David Atkins, Khalifia stadium was illuminated with a brilliant array of pyrotechnic stars launch from the stadium archway and behind the ‘Ziggurat’ cauldron.

Andrew Howard, who headed up the flame and pyrotechnics team, was delighted with the event. “Working on this unique ceremony was a fantastic opportunity and we all really enjoyed it. David and his talented team are great to work with and you always come out of these events having learnt so much more about live grand-scale spectacles.”

“Everything on the night was so perfect it was eerily perfect and I could not have been happier with all the hard work our team put such a large event that had a very, very tight production lead time.” It was a privilege and a proud moment in our company’s 90 year history”.

David Atkins was also full of praise for the Howard & Sons team;   “Great work last night! All the SFX were delivered and the finale display was 1st rate!!! Well done and congratulations to you and your team.”

David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) delivered the Opening Ceremony of the 12th Arab Games, Doha 2011, the first major peacetime event of the region in 2011. The Opening Ceremony welcomed 3,500 athletes from 21 participating Arab nations and carried a message of peace and freedom conveyed through the unity of sport and the celebration of Arabic culture. http://www.daeglobal.com


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