World Records and Firsts in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar

Vertical Maze

In 2015, the 55-storey tall Maze Tower in Dubai's Financial District earned the Guinness Book of World Records nod for the world's largest vertical maze. As noted in a January 21, 2015 article in The National, "The maze itself is not just a random pattern but a real puzzle. The design uses the changing level of natural light and shadow during the day, as well as natural Brazilian Verde Bahia stone, to create a striking facade."


In March 2008, Mohammed Yahya Al-Assiri of Saudi Arabia broke two records to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. Al-Assiri not only has the largest collection of handmade prayer beads (3,220), but also the largest collection of old car license plates, issued during the era of the first Saudi king, Abdul Aziz. Technically, speaking, Al-Assiri is the holder of three records: He's also the first Saudi to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.


Meanwhile, a September 6, 2008 Arab News article reported that a group of four Saudi chefs and 15 assistants in Jeddah prepared the largest bowl of soup. The 10,000+ liter soup was made from 250 kg of Quaker oats, 500 kg of onions, 400 kg of tomatoes, and other ingredients including white pepper, garlic, basil, coriander and parsley, and was distributed to spectators and a charity.


An August 1, 2008 article in reported that the world's largest steel plate was on display during the Liwa Date Festival. The oval platter measured 10.06 metres (33.0 feet) by 2.03 metres (6.65 feet). In my opinion, much better than the plate was the fact that it was heaped with 2,000kg of juicy dates, representing four varieties grown in the area! (Source: World Records Academy)


You may think that a country in the Far East would boast the world's largest wooden chopsticks, but no! An April 9, 2008 Gulf News article reported that Dubai's Marco Polo Hotel holds the world record for longest wooden chopsticks. At 22.5 feet (6.86 meters) long, the pair of chopsticks in Dubai beat the record of China's Shenyang Province.


A Saudi Arabian jewelry manufacturer created the heaviest gold ring, known as the Najmat Taiba (Star of Taiba). The ring was made with 58.686 kg (129.379 lbs) of 21-carat gold, and is mounted with 5.37 kg (11.839 lbs) of precious stones. The ring's total weight is 53.856 kg (118.731 lbs). The ring was made by 55 artisans over 45 days. (Source: The Rich Times)

Cell Phone Number

A May 23, 2006 article reported that Qtel, Qatar's leading telecommunications supplier, saw the sale of the world's most expensive mobile phone number, which was sold during a charitable auction. The number, 666 6666, was sold for 10m Qatari riyals ($2.75 million).


Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport's Haj Terminal, built for arriving and departing Haj pilgrims, is roofed by a fabric tension structure that covers more area than any roof in the world. (Source:

The Burj Khalifa, formerly Burj Dubai, a skyscraper located in the Business Bay district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest man-made structure ever built. Construction began on September 21, 2004 and was completed September 2009.

Racing Purse

The Dubai World Cup is a thoroughbred horse race that is an invitation-only event. It is the world's richest race, and in 2008, its seven races had a total purse of $21.25 million.

Transplant First

In 2000, Dr. Wafa Fageeh at King Fahad Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, performed the world's first womb transplant, transplanting the uterus of a 46-year-old into a 26-year-old woman. The uterus produced two menstrual periods before it failed after three months and had to be removed.

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