Guin­ness World Records has great ex­pec­ta­tions for Saudi ti­tles mile­stone

In MENA re­gion, KSA is sec­ond be­hind UAE for its record-break­ing prow­ess, with 93 GWR ti­tles

Arab News - - News - Aseel Bashra­heel

Saudi Ara­bia’s pen­chant for break­ing world records looks set to see the King­dom smash through the 100 ti­tles mark in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture, of­fi­cials have pre­dicted.

Guin­ness World Records ( GWR), which lists in­cred­i­ble hu­man achieve­ments and ex­tremes of na­ture, has great ex­pec­ta­tions for the coun­try over the com­ing months. The King­dom has been placed sec­ond be­hind the UAE in the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA) re­gion for its record-break­ing prow­ess, with 93 GWR ti­tles un­der its belt. GWR’s se­nior mar­ket­ing man­ager in the MENA re­gion, Shaddy Gaad, told Arab News: “We’re very im­pressed with Saudi record-break­ing and we’re re­ally ex­cited — a lot of record-break­ing hap­pens on the Na­tional Day. “Over the last few years and with the Saudi Sea­sons (ac­tiv­ity fes­ti­vals) we’ve seen a big rise in record-break­ing in Saudi Ara­bia and we’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing this con­tinue.

“Saudi Ara­bia is on the up and it’s ris­ing very quickly. There were a lot of records bro­ken near the end of last year. We had Riyadh Sea­son and we had AlUla. I think that num­ber’s go­ing to rise up very quickly,” he said.

Gaad added that so far this year there had been a 15 per­cent in­crease in the num­ber of new records set by MENA na­tions.

“This year we re­ceived 750 ap­pli­ca­tions from the MENA re­gion, com­pared to 649 in the first eight months of 2019. From Saudi Ara­bia, we re­ceived 79 ap­pli­ca­tions and we ex­pect it to go up to 100 by the end of the year,” he said.

One of the most no­table ti­tles achieved by Saudi Ara­bia was for the largest mir­ror build­ing, the Maraya Con­cert Hall in AlUla. “If you see that build­ing it­self, it’s ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful. It looks like some­thing out of a movie,” added Gaad.

Jed­dah can boast the world’s largest burger restau­rant, with I’m Hun­gry cov­er­ing 2,860 square me­ters, the equiv­a­lent of 11 ten­nis courts ac­cord­ing to its mar­ket­ing team.

The Red Sea port city also has the world’s tallest un­sup­ported flag­pole, while AlUla plays host to the largest hot air bal­loon glow show, and Saudi in­flu­encer Hus­sain Sal­lam (known as S7S) holds the record for the largest serv­ing of sayadieh (1,334 kilo­grams of the sea­soned fish and rice dish). Stunt driver Terry Grant com­pleted the largest loop-th­eloop in a car dur­ing Riyadh Sea­son on Nov. 25, and the MDL Beast Fes­ti­val in the Saudi cap­i­tal on Dec. 21 won the tallest stage ti­tle. How­ever, sim­i­lar to most or­ga­ni­za­tions, WGR has had to adapt to work­ing around safety re­stric­tions put in place due to the coro­n­avirus dis­ease (COVID-19) pan­demic.

“We moved a lot of things on­line. To view the growth in the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions, we launched this on­line record-break­ing; what hap­pened is it’s a ded­i­cated brand and con­tent di­vi­sion, fo­cused on help­ing brands and busi­nesses break records as part of their mar­ket­ing cam­paign, and all of it is done over the in­ter­net.

“It wasn’t dif­fi­cult; record­break­ing and ev­i­dence pro­vi­sion is gen­er­ally done on­line. It wasn’t dif­fi­cult for us; the only thing was that peo­ple just had to get used to it, but it was a seam­less process,” said Gaad. The new di­vi­sion runs over con­tent such as live-stream­ing, on­line pledges, on­line al­bums, video re­lays, and video chains.

One of them hap­pened in Saudi Ara­bia, with the most view­ers for an If­tar YouTube live stream, when 183,544 peo­ple tuned in to en­joy pop­u­lar YouTu­bers such as “The Saudi Re­porters” and co­me­dian Omar Hus­sein.

“These in­flu­encers got to­gether on YouTube, live, and for an hour they were shar­ing their sto­ries about Ra­madan tra­di­tions and Saudi tra­di­tions. They broke their fast and shared this mo­ment with their fans. That video ended up trend­ing as No. 1 in Saudi and the re­gion.

“If any­thing, this pan­demic has taught us to adapt to sit­u­a­tions. I think peo­ple are now more flex­i­ble with the idea of do­ing on­line records as much as they’re do­ing of­fline records,” Gaad added. He pointed out that the on­line ap­pli­ca­tion process for the GWR was sim­ple and that ti­tles were granted based on whether the record was mea­sur­able (long­est, largest, heav­i­est, etc.), break­able, stan­dard­iz­able, or ver­i­fi­able, and if it was made up of one vari­able.

There were a lot of records bro­ken near the end of last year. We had Riyadh Sea­son and we had AlUla. I think that num­ber’s go­ing to rise up very quickly.

Shaddy Gaad

GWR’s se­nior mar­ket­ing man­ager in MENA


The record of the largest mir­rored build­ing — cov­ered by 9,740 square me­ters — was achieved by the Royal Com­mis­sion for AlUla on Dec. 26, 2019. This is al­most the size of a foot­ball pitch.

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