Sydney will Monday kick off a wave of dazzling firework displays welcoming in 2013 from Dubai to Paris and London, with long-isolated Yangon joining the global pyrotechnics for the first time.

Australia's famous harbour city will usher in the New Year with a Aus$6.6 (US$6.9) million display curated by pop icon Kylie Minogue who designed the colour scheme and soundtrack.

"Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations are world-famous and reach over a billion people -- not just because we have the first major display for 2013, but because it's the best," said the city's lord mayor Clover Moore.

City officials are expecting more than 1.5 million people to crowd the waterfront to watch the seven tonnes of fireworks go up, including crackers launched from jet-skis and a show-stopping finale on the Harbour Bridge.

This year sees an interactive twist with smartphone users able to download an app which will colour their screens. Held aloft, en masse, the devices will create their own show along the shore.

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Major fireworks will light up the Thames in London, Moscow's Red Square and Kremlin, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, as well as central Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Stockholm, Amsterdam and cities across China.

Revellers in New York will celebrate the stroke of midnight with the traditional New Year's Eve ball drop over Times Square.

In Rio de Janeiro, authorities have promised a bumper 16-minute, 24-tonne display opposite Copacabana Beach and fireworks will cap a mammoth party at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate featuring the Pet Shop Boys, Bonnie Tyler and Blue.

Vying to become a permanent fixture on the planetary map of New Year celebrations, the Gulf city state of Dubai is planning a lavish gala at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

Fireworks will engulf the spike-like tower, accompanied by a soundtrack performed live by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Some 50,000 people are also expected to flock to the revered golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon for the Myanmar capital's first public countdown with fireworks, seen as further evidence of opening up after decades of junta rule.

Organisers had to campaign for months to get permission for the event from the military regime, which has embarked on dramatic reforms since President Thein Sein took office last year.

Hundreds of political prisoners have been released and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to parliament after almost two decades of house arrest.

In regions devastated by Typhoon Bopha which hit the southern Philippines in early December killing at least 1,067 people, many survivors said food, work and permanent shelter topped their priorities for the New Year.

Authorities in the capital Manila are bracing for the annual rush of injuries as families celebrate with do-it-yourself firework displays and shoot celebratory bullets into the air. Hospitals were put on high alert.

Some 171 Filipinos have already been wounded since the Christmas weekend including one poisoned after eating a firework.

Seoul will usher in 2013 with a ritual ringing of the city's 15th-century bronze bell 33 times, reflecting the ancient practice of marking a new year.

Elsewhere in the South Korean capital, including the glitzy Gangnam district made famous by YouTube sensation Psy, there will be fireworks, concerts and street parties. Psy himself will be performing in New York.

Millions of well-wishers will visit temples and shrines in Japan for "ninen-mairi" two-year prayers and gather at family homes to feast on soba noodles and watch the New Year variety show "Kohaku Uta Gassen" or the Red and White Song Contest.

Up to 40 percent of Japan's TV audience watch the four-hour programme, which features established acts and J-Pop stars.

Popular South Korean performers were left out of this year's line-up amid territorial frictions with Seoul, though taxpayer-funded broadcaster NHK insisted politics had played no part in the selection of performers.

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  • U.S.A.

    Confetti flies over New York's Times Square after the clock strikes midnight during the New Year's Eve celebration as seen from the Marriott Marquis hotel Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Australia

    Spectator boats in Sydney Harbour (below) look on as New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on January 1, 2013. (GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Las Vegas

    Rapper Common counts down to 2013 at Hyde Bellagio at the Bellagio on New Year's Eve January 1, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/WireImage)

  • Egypt

    Bouquets of flowers are made ready for sale as people prepare to mark the dawn of a New Year in Cairo, on December 30, 2012. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Brazil

    People watch fireworks light up the sky along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 2013, during celebrations by over three million people attending New Year's Eve festivities. World cities from Sydney and Hong Kong to Dubai and London rang in the New Year with spectacular fireworks, as revelers at Times Square in New York sought to top off the global extravaganza

  • Scotland

    Katy Saunders, left, Alex Mueller, center left, Rebekka Frank and Arina Motamedi, right, play with sparklers ahead of welcoming in the new year during the 2013 Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, Scotland, Monday December 31, 2012. (AP Photo/PA,Danny Lawson)

  • Los Angeles

    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Singer Pitbull performs on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve at CBS studios on December 31, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Brazil

    People watch fireworks light up the sky along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 2013, during celebrations by over three million people attending New Year's Eve festivities. World cities from Sydney and Hong Kong to Dubai and London rang in the New Year with spectacular fireworks, as revelers at Times Square in New York sought to top off the global extravaganza.

  • Germany

    BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 01: Fireworks explode behind the Quadriga statue on top of the Brandenburg Gate shortly after midnight on January 1, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Tens of thousand of revelers gathered in the city center to celebrate New Year's Eve.

  • England

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on January 1, 2013 in London, England. Thousands of people are lining the banks of the River Thames near Parliament in central London to herald the start of 2013.

  • New York, Times Square

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 31: A view of atmosphere during New Year's Eve 2013 In Times Square at Times Square on December 31, 2012 in New York City.

  • Singapore

    Fireworks explode over the Singapore financial district to mark the start of the new year on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013 in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Sri Lanka

    A Sri Lankan Buddhist devotee lights oil lamps at the Kelaniya Temple in Kelaniya on January 1, 2013. Many Sri Lankans marked the beginning of the 2013 New Year with religious ceremonies.

  • France

    A man writes a text message (SMS) of New Year greetings on his smartphone in the western city of Rennes on December 31, 2012 shows. Millions of SMS should be sent in the world on January 1, 2013. (DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Cuba

    A poster with a New Year greeting is displays at a kiosk in Havana on December 29, 2012. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Japan

    Shinto priests bow during a ritual end-of-the-year purification ceremony to prepare for New Year's Day at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on December 31, 2012. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Turkey

    People are pictured through a window as they sit on a bench on New Year's Eve at Beyoglu in Istanbul on December 31, 2012. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Japan

    People release balloons to celebrate the New Year's during an annual countdown ceremony produced by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo, flagship of the Prince hotel chain in Tokyo on January 1, 2013. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • China

    Chinese women pose for a photograph near a lanterns with the words "New Year's Day" hang at Qianmen Gate, a spot frequented by tourists in Beijing Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • India

    Indian people look at the sand sculpture for the new year 2013 created by sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik at the Puri sea beach, 67 kilometers (42 miles) away from the eastern Indian city Bhubaneswar, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/ Biswaranjan Rout)

  • South Korea

    A Catholic prays behind papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

  • Myanmar

    Workers prepare to set up a stage as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. *AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • Myanmar

    A Myanmar worker puts up a sign to bring in the new year ahead of Myanmar's first public New Year countdown celebration at the Myoma grounds in Yangon on December 31, 2012. (Soe Than WIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Singapore

    A couple are silhouetted as fireworks explode over the Singapore financial district to mark the start of the new year on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013 in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Russia

    Russian people dressed as Santa Claus take a swim in an ice-hole of a pond in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk on December 30, 2012, on the eve of the New Year's celebrations. (VALERY TITIEVSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Singapore

    A man is silhouetted as firework explode over the Singapore financial district to mark the start of the new year on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013 in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • India

    Indian schoolgirls form numbers representing the year 2013 during a prayer ceremony in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Singapore

    Fireworks explode over the Singapore financial district to mark the start of the new year on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013 in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • India

    An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Australia

    Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the pre New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

  • Philippines

    A Filipino boy looks as his mother tests a paper horn in downtown Manila, Philippines on Monday Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

  • Israel

    In this Dec. 31, 2011 photo, a woman sports a musical note tattoo at New Year's party catering to the upper crust of Israel's Russian-speaking immigrant community, in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Malaysia

    Fireworks burst in the sky near Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers during the New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur on January 1, 2013. (MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Philippines

    Revellers set off firecrackers as they usher New Year in Manila on January 1, 2013. (TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Philippines

    Spectators watch a fireworks display at the Quezon Memorial Circle in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

  • New York

    Pranav Patel of Toronto, is bundled up as he waits Monday morning, Dec. 31, 2012 for midnight in Times Square in New York, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. An estimated 1 million people were expected to cram into district to see the crystal ball drop and countdown to 2013, organizers said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesians watch firework explode on New Year's eve in Jakarta, Indonesia, late Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

  • Singapore

    People are silhouetted as fireworks explode over the Singapore financial district to mark the start of the new year on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013 in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Germany

    Fireworks explode next to a lighthouse at Kap Arkona on the German island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea on New Year's Eve, Monday, Dec. 31. 2012. (AP Photo/dapd, Jens Koehler)

  • South Korea

    People gather to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

  • Malaysia

    A man watches fireworks explode during New Year celebrations in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)