x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

A worthy world record

Of nearly 150 world records held by the UAE, we can all endorse the bid for a new one by organising the biggest seabed cleanup ever.

There are world records and then there are ridiculous records. As to the latter, we’re more than accustomed to them. Unfortunately. They include the tallest Mohican hairstyle (held by Japan’s Kazuhiro Watanabe, standing 113.5cm above his scalp), the heaviest rideable bicycle (a 750kg behemoth built using a tractor tyre by Dutch cyclist Wouter van den Bosch) and the 15,000 different Barbie dolls collected by German enthusiast Bettina Dorfmann.

The UAE is no stranger to records. Yes, we’ve had a fair number of worthy ones. But also those that might prompt a raised eyebrow or two. Yet the attempt to set a new record this week for the world’s biggest underwater clean-up is one the nation ought to be particularly proud of. More than 200 scuba divers signed up for the mass dive in Abu Dhabi waters.

There is no doubt of the need for the clean-up. One (slight) drawback to having crystal clear water in the Gulf is that you see right through to the stuff that irresponsible people unthinkingly chuck away. Now that our coastal waterways are a tad cleaner, a walk along the Corniche is certainly a great deal more pleasant. And that’s a record worth applauding.