As the sun sets down slowly across the capital's waterfront, thousands of blue and white lights begin to illuminate the lanes at the Corniche area. Shapes representing stars, crescent moon and traditional lanterns, these attractive bulbs bring forth the spirit of Ramadan.
The sparkling lights, which are based on an initiative by Khalid Allaq Al Hammadi, have become an expected part of the month in the capital.
"I wanted to celebrate the coming of Ramadan, and spread the cheer of this sacred month to all. So I have been spearheading this initiative for the past three years, and it has only grown with time," Al Hammadi, the head of events at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City's marketing and corporate communication office, told Gulf News.
This year's lighting scheme took Dh500,000 and two weeks to put together, and are concentrated along the Corniche, as well as on major bridges and tunnels in the capital.
"We have always focussed on lighting up the Corniche, which is one of the major roads in the city, but this year, we have also lit up the bridges, including Mussaffah Bridge, Maqta Bridge, and bridges and tunnels along the Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (Old Airport Road)," Al Hammadi said.
According to a statement sent by the municipality earlier, the initiative includes 1,200 white string light pieces, as well as 850 geometric patterns. Surrounding trees have also been decorated with 200 crescent moon, 200 stars and 120 lantern-shaped pieces and text greeting residents Ramadan Kareem.
"This month is a time for peace and reflection, so I focused on using only white and blue coloured lights for all the lighting pieces and geometric patterns. It gives the surrounding a heavenly feel," the municipality official explained.
"The LED lights we use also consume 90 per cent less energy than traditional lighting fixtures, and are also waterproof," he added.
According to Al Hammadi, the preparations to light up the city began almost two weeks before Ramadan. "I attained permissions from the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company and alerted the police. Then a company was contracted and 20 workers went out in the dead of night, when the roads are free and easy to work on, to install the different lights," he said.
He added that the decorations would only be taken down once the Eid festivities were over.
"Residents have become used to having their city lit up during this blessed period, and we see many [people] taking photos of the lit streets, or posing next to them. It is something they enjoy, and each year, we add new pieces to the existing ones," Al Hammadi said.