x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

UAE sets new Guinness World Record

The country has set a new world record on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche for the most number of people waving chequered flags in one place.

Two hundred and fifty eight people set a new world record on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche for the most number of people waving chequered flags in one place.  Sammy Dallal / The National
Two hundred and fifty eight people set a new world record on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche for the most number of people waving chequered flags in one place. Sammy Dallal / The National

ABU DHABI // Two hundred and ninety took to the field but 32 fell by the wayside. Such are the rigours of world record attempts.

Mind you, when all they had to do on the capital’s Corniche on Thursday was stand still and wave a chequered flag for five minutes, the commitment of those non-finishers has to be under some question.

But the record, which also flagged the start to celebrations for the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix, is now one for the books.

“This is a new record category and Flash Entertainment were the first to attempt it,” said Samer Khallouf, project manager at Guinness World Records and official adjudicator.

The conditions set by Guinness officials stated at least 250 people had to continuously wave their flags for five minutes, without leaving the location or dropping their flag.

It was a close run, as 30 people left their positions during the attempt and two were disqualified for dropping their flags.

The event was part of the city’s fifth annual Yasalam festivities leading to the Grand Prix on Yas Island from November 1 to 3, which also features performances from Jay Z, Muse and Depeche Mode.

“The most challenging part was keeping all those people in the same place and keep them waving the flags continuously,” said Mr Khallouf.

“It was a really nice way to mark the start of the Formula One. Using the flag as a symbol was the perfect way to do it.”

Filipino Rodrigo Nilos, 30, said: “It was an amazing thing to be part of. I love Formula One and went to last year’s race at Yas. I think this year’s will be even better.”

Yu Zhon, an Adco employee, said: “I have never been part of anything like this before. It was great.

“It was just lucky I was here. I was just coming down to the beach to go swimming after work and I saw that they were doing this. It is a funny thing to be part of a record.”

“I thought it looked amazing,” said Meigy Pricila, 35, also from the Philippines. “I am going to go to see some of the racing but I really want to come and see some of the music here, especially Ciara.”

A full rundown of the Yasalam events can be found online at www.yasalam.ae.