The Six: The UAE’s wackiest world records

The largest flower arrangement in the world can be found in Dubai Miracle Garden in the shape of an Emirates Airline Airbus A380. (Shutterstock)
Updated 03 November 2018
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The Six: The UAE’s wackiest world records

DUBAI: The UAE is no stranger to breaking world records, but these feats of ingenuity are on the stranger side.
Chain reaction
On Thursday, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority broke a Guinness World Record when commuters from 96 countries set a record for the longest human chain with the most diverse range of nationalities.
Nailed it
The Beauty Connection Spa in Dubai partnered with KOKO Nail to set a record for the most nails filed and varnished within eight hours in 2014.
Blooming brilliant
The largest flower arrangement in the world can be found in Dubai Miracle Garden in the shape of an Emirates Airline Airbus A380.
Record-breaking breakfast
In 2017, a Sikh temple in Dubai entered the Guinness World Records archive for serving free continental breakfasts to 600 people from 101 countries — the maximum number of people from diverse nationalities.
A tricky operation
In January 2014, the Dubai Health Authority broke a record for the largest gathering of people dressed as nurses with 691 attendees.
Light it up
A wood and copper lantern standing at 13.09 meters tall was named the largest standing lantern in the world in 2016 and is a permanent installation at a fresh food market in Sharjah.


No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

Updated 21 January 2019
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No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

  • The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths
  • With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw

BAGHDAD: Roaring along Baghdad’s highways, the “Iraq Bikers” are doing more than showing off their love of outsized motorcycles and black leather: they want their shared enthusiasm to help heal Iraq’s deep sectarian rifts.
Weaving in and out of traffic, only the lucky few ride Harley Davidsons — a rare and expensive brand in Iraq — while others make do with bikes pimped-up to look something like the “Easy Rider” dream machines.
“Our goal is to build a brotherhood,” said Bilal Al-Bayati, 42, a government employee who founded the club in 2012 with the aim of improving the image of biker gangs and to promote unity after years of sectarian conflict.
That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics.
“It is absolutely prohibited to talk politics among members,” Bayati told Reuters as he sat with fellow bikers in a shisha cafe, a regular hangout for members.
“Whenever politics is mentioned, the members are warned once or twice and then expelled. We no longer have the strength to endure these tragedies or to repeat them,” he said, referring to sectarian violence.
With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw.
But while their style is unmistakably US-inspired — at least one of Bayati’s cohorts wears a helmet emblazoned with the stars and stripes — these bikers fly the Iraqi flag from the panniers of their machines.
The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths. One of their most recent events was taking part in Army Day celebrations.
Some are in the military, the police and even the Popular Mobilization Forces, a grouping of mostly Shiite militias which have taken part in the fight to oust Islamic State from Iraq in the last three years.
“It is a miniature Iraq,” said member Ahmed Haidar, 36, who works with an international relief agency.
But riding a chopper through Baghdad is quite different from Route 101. The bikers have to slow down at the many military checkpoints set up around the city to deter suicide and car bomb attacks.
And very few can afford a top bike.
“We don’t have a Harley Davidson franchise here,” said Kadhim Naji, a mechanic who specializes in turning ordinary motorbikes into something special.
“So what we do is we alter the motorbike, so it looks similar ... and it is cheaper.”