Several countries including New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, pakistan, Dubai welcomed 2017 as hundreds of thousands of revellers gathered at famous spots to witness colourful fireworks display marking arrival of the New Year.

Auckland and Sydney became the first major world cities to have welcomed 2017, as New Year celebrations kicked off at Auckland’s Sky Tower and Sydney’s glittering harbour, attracting thousands of spectators to the colourful fireworks displays.

New Year celebrations kicked off in Auckland with spectacular fireworks from the Sky City tower, as New Zealand was among the first countries to have welcomed in 2017.

Thousands gathered there at 11am as multi-coloured fireworks exploded across the city skyline at midnight.

The Sky City – a casino and an event centre in Auckland – has an impressive 328m (1,080ft) tall tower that provided a dramatic backdrop to the annual fireworks, an hour after Samoa welcomed in 2017.

The preparations in different countries are all finalised to welcome 2017, but Australia kicked off a global party ahead of the new year.

Global terror attacks have cast a pall over 2016 but Australia was Saturday defying the threats and ringing in the New Year with bumper crowds gathering to watch a firework extravaganza on Sydney´s glittering harbour.

Some 1.5 million people are packing Australia´s biggest city to watch the midnight fireworks, a larger-than-usual crowd due to the weekend timing and warm weather, as the New South Wales state premier urged “business as usual”.

“My encouragement to everyone is to enjoy New Year´s Eve… in the knowledge that police are doing everything they can to keep us safe,” Premier Mike Baird said.

Japan also ushered in 2017 in style, with thousands packing the streets of Tokyo and releasing balloons into the air in celebration of the new year.

Shoppers in Japan had earlier filled markets to buy tuna and crabs — seen as expensive items for special feasts — for New Year´s Day family gatherings.

Revellers in Hong Kong and Taipei also thronged city streets to watch firework performances.

Trump tweets backhanded New Year´s greeting to his ´many enemies´

Donald Trump sent New Year´s greetings to his “many enemies” in a backhanded tweet Saturday in which he gloated over his political conquests.

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don´t know what to do. Love!” the US president-elect wrote.

The message on Twitter, Trump´s preferred mode of communication, caps a year in which he overcame long odds to vanquish 16 other Republicans vying to become the party´s White House nominee.

He then upended Democrat Hillary Clinton in last month´s general election — her formidable political machine and bigger campaign coffers notwithstanding — in a shock election upset.

Trump takes the oath of office on January 20, when he will become the 45th US president.

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