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Another Guinness Record out of Dubai

Nissan World Record Dubai1

Nissan's global 'What If_' campaign breaks yet another Guinness Record in Dubai.

February 5, 2013 12:03 by

Roel De Vries rested against the wooden podium as he comfortably addressed the press in Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3 Majlis. He said that as he arrived from Japan yesterday, he knew he’d be entering a city that loves to break records but he hadn’t anticipated that his day would consist of so many. He flew in on the A380, the world’s largest aircraft, stayed at a hotel adjacent to the world’s largest mall and rode on the world’s longest driverless metro. As he looked out of his hotel room window, he was faced with both the world’s largest fountain and tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. He later added that although he might have mentioned the records jokingly, they do come from the emirate’s internal desire to set a standard.

De Vries is Nissan’s Global Vice President and Head of Marketing and although it may appear awkward for an automotive company to be ‘talking to us from an airport’; we were all there to witness yet another world record emerge out of Dubai. As part of the company’s global ‘What If_’ campaign aimed at international airports across the globe, they were all here to get their name (yet again) in the Guinness Book of Records for the ‘largest indoor advertising billboard’.

You may have never heard of such a Guinness Book category, and there’s no reason why you should. Paul O’Neill, VP Commercial at Guinness World Records told Kipp that it was an entirely new category formed to encourage corporations to set a new standard in the world. The first question that occurred to me was if the category is new then how high do you set the bar? “We came up with a figure that – if achieved – would be considered impressive,” says O’Neill. “170 square metres.”

Weeks ago, Kipp briefly discussed an experience that encouraged us come to terms with Dubai’s consumerist culture; stating quite plainly that perhaps the emirate shouldn’t have to apologise for it – because in essence – it makes it what it is. Similarly, Dubai being a place constantly looking to make the biggest and the best of everything, Kipp wouldn’t have been able to sleep with a peaceful conscience had we not asked the following question to Guinness’s representative.

Most of the records you see, are they broken coincidentally for the sake of being broken?

Well, I think it’s a mixture of both.

I meant particularly in Dubai?

Oh, then yes I think most are done with the intention of breaking a record and setting a standard.

Is that a bad thing, do you think?

No reason why it should be. If somebody doesn’t do it, nobody else will.


As we headed towards the Terminal, there was an undeniable sense of diluted anticipation – diluted because everyone knew that we’d been invited precisely because the company was certain the record would be broken. Nevertheless, the growing excitement of being some of the first people to glance at the world’s largest billboard (indoor) was far from being dampened.

Crowds of by-passers began to gather, facing the over-sized image of Usain Bolt (Nissan’s Director of Excitement) and curiously discussing it among themselves. We were then greeted by executives from the Guinness World Records, Nissan, Dubai Airport, MindShare, JCDecaux along with Emirates’ Chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum. Everyone quietly grouped as Guinness’s Paul O’Neill announced that the measurements taken – both with steel tape and laser beams – confirmed Nissan’s billboard to be slightly larger than 174 square metres.

The record was broken.

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