Record for largest hot air balloon glow show broken in AlUla

More than 140 brightly-lit balloons took to the skies at the Unesco World Heritage Site of Hegra

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The Guinness World Record for the world’s largest hot air balloon glow show was broken in Saudi Arabia last week.

As part of AlUla Moments, the new record set on March 1 featured a show of 142 brightly-lit hot air balloons taking to the skies near Hegra.

"The project aimed to position AlUla as an international destination for hot air balloons and increase AlUla’s awareness globally as a tourist destination for unique adventurous experiences while diversifying the economic benefits for the local community from adventure travel and tourism sector the area can host," Guinness World Records has said of the feat, on its website.

The Guinness World Record for the world’s largest hot air balloon glow show was broken in AlUla, Saudi Arabia on March 1, 2022. Photo: Guinness World Records

The colourful display took place in the Unesco World Heritage Site in the early hours of the morning. It marked the Royal Commission for AlUla and Saudi Arabian Ballooning Federation's announcement that AlUla has been named the "the capital city of hot air ballooning activities" in Saudi Arabia.

The glow show was part of AlUla Skies, a new festival which includes sunrise and sunset hot air balloon experiences that feature around 150 balloons floating over the ancient site daily.

The record was previously set in AlUla in 2019 with a show of 100 hot air balloons during the Winter at Tantora festival.

Of the 2019 record, Amr AlMadani, chief executive of the Royal Commission for AlUla, and president of the ballooning federation, told Guinness World Records: "This was a magical occasion as 100 balloons lit up the skies of AlUla and we are enormously proud to have been recognised by Guinness World Records for this achievement."

This is not the only Guinness World Record to have been broken in AlUla. Reflective art space and concert hall Maraya holds the record for being the world's largest mirrored building, thanks to its facade made of 9,740 square metres of mirrors.

The AlUla Moments winter events calendar is designed to offer engaging, authentic arts, music and cultural experiences inspired by the land of civilisations. The events continue with AlUla Wellness and AlUla Arts festivals running until the end of March 2022.

Updated: March 11, 2022, 4:37 PM