Breaking world records in Dubai

How easy is it to carve a spot in the record books? asks Holly Sands

The Knowledge

Holly Sands finds achieving recording-breaking recognition is harder than she thought.

When I heard last week that the world’s largest mosaic made entirely out of packaged food had been created in Dubai, I wasn’t quite sure what reaction was called for. Bemused pride, presumably, but you can never be too sure – some of the laterally minded brains behind these often barmy undertakings seem to think that if you attach a brand to it, we’ll all rush out and buy their cornflakes. What actually happened was that
I felt a twinge of envy. When I heard of this feat, I had a conversation with myself, which went a bit like this:

‘That’s easy.’

‘I could have done that’

‘I will do that!’

And so began my ill-advised attempt to pull off a Guinness World Record.

My first challenge was to find a record that had not yet been set – I reasoned it would be much easier to make up something daft and be the first one to do it on a grand scale, than attempt to copy the last person. In a country that already holds 103 titles in the 2014 book of Guinness World Records (tallest structure, largest mall, biggest doner kebab...) it’s not particularly easy to come up with something new. Then there are the limitations – for starters: I don’t have the skills to bake the world’s largest manakeesh, and don’t get my bank manager started on my finances.

And then it struck me – so many of us in this city go for records every day. Certainly, the delivery man at my local takeaway outlet has staked a claim on the world’s longest ‘five minutes’. I could make it official and set my own, without even venturing too far from my normal routine. Just last night in the supermarket, my friendly bag-packer attempted to divide six items into three separate bags – next time I get a trolley-load of groceries during my weekly shop, I could attempt to break the record for the most carrier bags per shopping item. Perhaps I could attempt the world’s shrillest scream in The Dubai Mall’s food court, make the most phone calls during a movie screening or post the world’s most obnoxious ‘look where I live’ Instagram selfie.

Of course, while holding a world record will certainly add some colour to my CV, the ideas I’ve come up with are not likely to make me popular with environmentalists, courteous cinema-goers or the hardened cynics who form my most loving circle of friends. Unless I went for that swimming pool-sized manakeesh, which I foresee would make me very well-liked indeed. Anyone got a rolling pin handy?

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