Dubai, UAE (26 February 2013) - Guinness World Records, the global authority on record breaking achievement, today announces it has established its Middle East operations with a Dubai office. For the first time Guinness World Records has a Dubai-based official dedicated to working with record-holders and future record-breakers from across the region, as well as delivering record-based business solutions for companies.

The move to establish an office in the Middle East is a direct response to the exceptional growth in record-breaking across the region. In 2012, record applications increased from all countries across the Middle East. This growth is typified by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia which have seen record applications increase by 130% and 105% respectively. In turn, numbers of actual record holders for United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have grown by 171% and 66% respectively.

The Guinness World Records Middle East office, based on Dubai's Media City, will deliver the complete range of record services from application and assessment to record attempt verification and live record adjudication.

Heading the Middle East operations is Talal Omar, who has worked at Guinness World Records HQ in London for the past four years. As the official representative for the Middle East, Talal will focus on developing the record ambitions of individuals, groups and businesses throughout the region.

Talal Omar has officiated more than 300 record attempts in the Middle East and 70 in the last 12 months alone. With the move to Dubai, Talal looks forward to welcoming many more record-holders into the record books, as he said: " Dubai is an ideal location for me to connect with the whole Middle East region and now Guinness World Records is officially based here, I predict that we will see our record-breaking increase by 50% and hopefully much, much more. From my experience, the Middle East is ready to lead the world with record-breaking achievements and we have only scratched the surface in the region's talents."

Commenting on the Guinness World Records in the Middle East, Alistair Richards, Global Managing Director said: " The Middle East is an important market for Guinness World Records, we have seen record applications growing at an incredible rate year-after-year. By establishing an official presence, and with our new office set to come, I hope we're signalling our commitment to helping the region achieve even greater world record fame."

Guinness World Records is also set launch a new version of its website dedicated to the Middle East region later in the year. The new site will focus on record-breaking news from the Middle East, giving record fans greater insight to records being broken in the region and the record holders behind the headlines.

Guinness World Records titles achieved in the Middle East in recent years include:

  • Tallest residential building:The tallest residential building is Princess Tower in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), which is 413.4 m (1,356 ft) high and was completed in 2012
  • Largest illuminated advertising sign: The largest indoor illuminated advertising sign measures 174.171 m² (1,874 ft² 108 in²) and was achieved by Nissan Motor Co., LTD, at Dubai International Airport, in Dubai, UAE, on 4 February 2013.
  • Longest driverless metro network:The Dubai Metro is the longest driverless metro network, with two lines totalling 74.694 km (46.41 miles). It was constructed by the Roads and Transport Authority (UAE), in Dubai, UAE, and officially inaugurated on 9 September 2011.
  • Heaviest item moved by road freight: The heaviest object moved by road freight is an evaporator unit weighing 4,891 tonnes (5,391.4 tons), which was achieved by Almajdouie Logistics Company (Saudi Arabia), at Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia, on 22 January 2012.
  • Largest book:The largest book measures 5 m x 8.06 m (16.40 ft x 26.44 ft), weighs approximately 1500 kg (3,306 lb) and consists of 429 pages. The book was unveiled by Mshahed International Group, in Dubai, UAE, on 27 February 2012.
  • Farthest distance towing a car by bicycle:The farthest distance towing a car by bicycle is 803 m (2634 ft 6in), achieved by Vasken Melikian (Lebanon), in an event organised by Play For Today, in Beirut, Lebanon, on 7 October 2012
  • The most touches of a football in one hour while keeping the ball in the air:The most touches of a football in one hour while keeping the ball in the airis 8,230 and was achieved by Amr Abdel-Fadeel (Egypt) during Head & Shoulders sports event organised by FAME-Egypt Company, at the Gezira Youth Club, in Cairo, Egypt, on 5 July 2012.