The Address Downtown Dubai hotel caught fire hours before the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Dubai. Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters
Following are some of the major events to have occurred on Dec 31
1946 – U.S. President Harry Truman formally declared an end to all hostilities in World War Two.
1997 – Dow index rises over 20 percent three years in a row for the first time in its 101-year history.
1999 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin stunned the world by announcing his resignation and naming Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting president.
1999 – Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso formally took back control of the Panama Canal from the United States.
2001 – The last day for national currencies in 12 European Union member states as the biggest monetary changeover in history takes place at midnight.
2002 – Expelled U.N. inspectors left North Korea after the Communist state set alarm bells ringing by ending independent monitoring of its nuclear programme.
2002 – World’s first passenger Transrapid Maglev high speed train inaugurated in Shanghai.
2004 – Taiwan opened the 508-metre (1,667 ft) Taipei 101, a 101-storey office block that surpassed the twin Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur as the world’s tallest building.
2009 – Both a blue moon and lunar eclipse occur on New Year’s Eve.
2014 – Dozens killed in stampede during New Year celebrations in Shanghai.
2015 – Fire engulfs The Address Downtown Hotel in Dubai.