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In Dubai, everything is bigger and better. From the world’s tallest building (the 830 meter Burj Khalifa) to the world’s largest shopping mall by total area (Dubai Mall, at 1,124,000 m2), Dubai is a city that loves to think of challenges and figure out ways to meet or surpass them. Here are the top ten craziest Dubai world records that were listed in the Guinness Book Of World Records.
As Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, it only makes sense that the world’s largest chocolate sculpture should be a replica of that building. In 2014, Dubai Airport revealed a chocolate replica of the Burj Khalifa that stood at 13.52 meters tall. The sculpture was originally intended to be 17 meters tall, but as it was meant for the 42nd UAE National Day, time constraints meant the intended height had to be reduced. The project required 500 tonnes of chocolate cubes and took 1050 hours of work to complete.
Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet achieved this record in April 2014. Naturally, they chose to achieve this record by jumping off the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai. The duo leapt an incredible 2721 feet off of the world’s tallest building. To prepare, they spent time on a Swiss mountain in order to acclimatize to the altitude.
As you may know, Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building. But what you may not know is that it is also home to the world’s tallest hotel. The record belongs to the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, which stands at 355.35 m from the ground level to the top of the mast. The hotel itself is actually made up of two towers, each with 77 floors. Both towers are entirely occupied by the hotel. If you’re visiting Dubai, you can see the hotel in Business Bay, on Sheikh Zayed Road.
One of Dubai’s taglines is “Dubai City of Gold”. The city’s famous gold souk allows shoppers to buy beautiful pieces at bargain prices, making it a popular destination for anyone looking to purchase quality jewelry with authentic craftsmanship. So, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping festival, Dubai’s Deira Gold Souk Bus Station played host to a 5km long chain of 22k gold. Known as the Dubai Celebration chain, it weighed close to 240 kilograms and had over 4 million links. The entire chain required 100 crafstmen and it took over 45 days to produce. Afterwards, shoppers were given the opportunity to purchase parts of the chain for themselves.
Dubai is home to a huge expatriate population – 90% of the country’s residents are expatriates. Despite this, these expatriates still maintain their respect and appreciate for their adopted home. In December 2014, to celebrate the 43rd National Day of the UAE, people of 117 different nationalities got together to sing the UAE’s national anthem.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo (Rep.), Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The world’s longest painting was created for a good cause. It was made to raise awareness for autism. The entire work of art was painted by children from schools across the country. They were asked to paint a self-portrait, as part of a campaign titled ”I’m different just like you” which was aimed at teaching children to accept the differences in others. Around 20,000 students participated to create the 10,850-meter painting. The painting was so long that, for a flat surface, they needed to use the track of the Dubai Autodrome.
For a desert city, Dubai sure loves water and water-based attractions. One of its coolest records is that for the largest water screen projection. It involves a 893 m2 light projection displayed on a curtain of 30 water fountains and mist. The 360-degree display, called ‘Stardancer’ also included music, fireworks and dancing, although the record was for the water projection alone. Thousands of Dubai residents showed up to see the record-breaking show. Today, visitors can still see ‘IMAGINE’ shows at Dubai Festival City.
Have you ever played Operation? It’s a popular board game, wherein players need to remove plastic ‘ailments’ from cavaties in a patients ‘body’, without touching the edge of the cavity opening. It requires an extremely steady hand, and so usually takes quite a lot of time to complete. However, at the Global Village Pavilion in Dubai,the record for the fastest game of operation was achieved. Maharoof Decibels managed to successfully complete the game in only 21.87 seconds.
Dubai is a city that loves to mix the modern with the traditional. This record is a great example of that mindset – graffiti, a very trendy form of artwork, was used to tell the story of the history of the UAE. The entire scroll was 2 km long and created in the shape of the UAE. It involved over 100 graffiti artists (including 33 Emirati artists) painting under the theme Rehlatana, or ‘Our Journey’. Some examples of the artwork included are a women in a traditional niqab, looking up towards to the future and an Arabia Nights-esque representation of a towering mosque in the desert. The scroll was kept on display in Jumeirah Beach Park.
We talk about how things in Dubai are always bigger and better- however, those aren’t the only sort of records broken in Dubai. In 2014, Ernesto Gainza fell from 14,000 feet, using a parachute of only 35m2. The average parachute today measures 70-90 m2, making this the smallest parachute canopy used for a jump. The feat was accomplished at Skydive Dubai, a popular sporting attraction in the city.
Records are constantly being made and broken, so it’s likely that this list won’t stay static. Nevertheless, it gives you a pretty good idea of the kind of city Dubai aspires to be – one that strives to be creative and to challenge itself in its quest to make a mark on the world.