AlUla celebrates longest hot air balloon glow show

Choreographed light show with 100 balloons over 3km sets Guinness record

290 views

ALULA — The Royal Commission for AlUla is celebrating its first Guinness World Records (GWR) title for Longest hot air balloon glow show when 100 balloons spread across 3km over the AlUla desert in north west Saudi Arabia.

Balloonists from 19 countries successfully completed the record breaking attempt as part of the ongoing Winter at Tantora festival in an extraordinary night time achievement of choreography and planning.

Glow shows — in which balloonists create choreographed dancing lights set to music by using their burners to illuminate the envelope of their hot-air balloons — are a regular attraction at AlUla’s ongoing Winter at Tantora arts, music and culture festival but this was the most ambitious ever staged.

An official adjudicator from GWR attended the event — that featured the 100 balloons stationed 30 meters apart — to verify the official attempt as the hot air ballooning festival at Winter at Tantora came to a dramatic conclusion.

Amr Al Madani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, and president of SAHAB, the Saudi Arabian Balloon Federation, said, “This was a magical occasion as 100 balloons lit up the skies of AlUla and we are enormously proud to have been recognised by GWR for this achievement.

“This was a tremendously complex task in planning and coordination to ensure that it was achieved with maximum impact and it was truly a night to remember and demonstrates once again the extraordinary opportunities that AlUla has to offer in every sphere as a destination.”

The international balloonists, all certified experts with commercial pilot’s licences, were participating in Winter at Tantora’s Balloon Festival, and offered festival attendees the opportunity to glide over and through AlUla’s spectacular landscape and some of its 7,000 years of archaeological remains, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hegra, a 2,000-year-old Nabataean site with incredibly well-preserved tombs carved into sandstone cliffs.

Safety was paramount for the record-breaking attempt, with organizers and support teams monitoring wind conditions and the distance between balloon envelopes. By comparison Winter at Tantora’s regular hot-air balloon glow shows usually feature only 25 balloons.

Winter at Tantora runs until March 7, and features a range of top-class entertainment, cultural, arts and sporting events, including concerts at the mirrored Maraya concert hall and the Fursan horse endurance race on Feb. 1. — SG


290 views