The world greeted 2016 with cheers, but tightened security put a damper on the party in Europe and a spectacular fire at a hotel in Dubai scared gathering revellers.
Fireworks were cancelled in Brussels and Paris as November’s terror attacks cast a pall.
Yet at the stroke of midnight the skies still lit up with pyrotechnics in Sydney, traditionally the first to host a major New Year’s bash, as crowds thronged to waterside vantage points.
Tens of thousands of revellers gathered on either side of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, which was bathed in a dazzling fireworks display.
In Dubai, a huge fire ripped through a luxury hotel, the Address Downtown, near the world’s tallest tower where people were gathering to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations. All residents were safely evacuated, police said, and the celebrations went ahead as planned.