Two Emiratis claim Guinness record titles

Footballer Areej Al-Hammadi, who plays for the UAE National Football Team, broke the record for soccer ball ‘hotstepping,’ and fitness expert Walid Yari smashed the record for the most side jump pushups in a minute.
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Updated 04 August 2020

Two Emiratis claim Guinness record titles

Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking achievements, has announced that two Emiratis — footballer Areej Al-Hammadi and fitness expert Walid Yari — are the newest title holders in the region.
Al-Hammadi, who plays for the UAE National Football Team, broke the record for soccer ball “hotstepping,” completing 86 repetitions of the ball control trick in 1 minute. She broke the previous record of 56 in the UK. Yari, meanwhile, smashed the record for the most side jump pushups in a minute, completing 33 flying pushups in a single minute, where the previous record stood at 26 in India.
The two Emiratis’ achievements were announced at the launch of Guinness World Records Day 2020, which is themed “Discover Your World.” The initiative is encouraging people to take on a new challenge now that lockdown measures are easing, or simply turn a newfound skill or talent into a world record attempt.
Known as “The Beast of the Middle East,” Yari is a 34-year-old fitness professional and social media content creator. He is taking the region by storm with a growing fan base of more than 650,000 followers on Instagram.

I am incredibly proud to be a Guinness World Records title holder and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year. It is proud moment for me, for my country, and for women around the world.

Areej Al-Hammadi, Emirati Footballer

“I encourage people to swap their burgers for burpees and get into shape with unique training routines that resemble something that can only be visualized in a film,” said Yari. “I have been training almost all my life, and I was ready the minute I knew about Guinness World Records Day. So, I set up my cameras the next day, and filmed the entire scene to smash the previous record title,” said Yari.
Al-Hammadi has paved her way to the top of women’s football in the MENA region. She is a creative services professional by day, and a footballer by night. She has lived most of her life chasing opportunities in football, forming football teams both in school and during higher studies at the American University in Dubai, and attending many of the women’s football championships within the MENA region, before she finally made it to the UAE National Football Team.
“I am incredibly proud to be a Guinness World Records title holder and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year. It is a proud moment for me, for my country, and for women around the world. Why football? Because it is my passion,” said Al-Hammadi.
Guinness World Records Day 2020 will take place globally on Nov. 18.


Future Hospitality Summit eyes tourism recovery

Updated 28 September 2020

Future Hospitality Summit eyes tourism recovery

Future Hospitality Summit, a hybrid virtual conference to explore big ideas and tackle the challenges facing the hospitality industry, is set to take place live from Riyadh and around the world, on Oct. 26 and 27. It is organized by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism and the G20 Saudi Secretariat, as part of the International Conferences’ Programme, honoring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020.

The event, which promises to be one of the most impactful gatherings of the world’s hospitality community, will be delivered on Bench Digital’s tried-and-tested digital event platform, providing an immersive live experience, including a virtual exhibition, one-to-one video networking, and integrated chat features for all participants.

A comprehensive three-pillar program has been developed in collaboration with industry creators, innovators and mentors, with particular focus on understanding the new landscape, collaborating and assessing opportunities, and innovating to recreate the industry’s future. Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International; Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corporation; Gloria Guevara, CEO and president, WTTC; Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority; and Anita Mendiratta, special advisory to the secretary general, UNWTO; are lined up as featured speakers, along with over 100 other speakers and thousands of attendees.

“As a country that is at the forefront of the tourism sector’s response and recovery plans through the G20 presidency, Saudi Arabia is leading the conversation on the future of tourism and will provide an international platform to bring the industry together at the Future Hospitality Summit. Together, we will map out the rebuilding of the tourism and travel sector and strategically plan a sustainable future for stakeholders at every level,” said Mahmoud Abdulhadi, deputy minister for investment at the Saudi Ministry of Tourism.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman and founder of Bench Digital, added: “During this difficult time, it is vital that hospitality professionals across the globe come together as a community to work toward the recovery of our industry. Future Hospitality Summit will not only provide a powerful platform to network virtually, showcase best practice and demonstrate thought leadership, but it will also prove invaluable in ensuring that the industry emerges stronger as a whole from these unprecedented challenges.”

Empowering tomorrow’s workforce and attracting talent into the hospitality sector — imperative factors in sustaining the industry — will be two of the key focus points of the hybrid summit. Developing a skilled workforce is paramount in order to quickly evolve and keep pace with the demand being created from the hospitality sector. In Saudi Arabia, for example, 253 new hotels are coming online by 2030. Consequently, Future Hospitality Summit is a forum to engage with the hospitality workforce of the future and promote the sector as an attractive career path.