Qatar bagged yet another global first with the largest parade of Karwa buses, organised by Mowasalat, the public transport company, rolling into the Guinness World Records yesterday.
A 4.8km-long convoy of 325 Karwa school buses travelled a stretch of 5km on the Shahaniya-Dukhan highway, some 56km from Doha, breaking the existing record of 119 buses, created in Germany in January this year.
“This record was for Qatar,” Mowasalat chairman and managing director Jassim Saif al-Sulaiti declared after receiving the certificate from Guinness World Records adjudication manager Talal Omar, who flew in from London.
Speaking to Gulf Times, the Guinness official explained that the record was based on the number of buses. “The buses should be the same model, cover a minimum distance of 3.2km, and always maintain a gap of 10m to 15m in between,” he said.
“Our efforts have paid off,” Mowasalat’s business development director Ahmed al-Ansari stated. A number of senior officials were present at the event that began at 7.30am.
Once bus number 001 rolled away from the starting line, it took 35 minutes for the last bus to leave the point. The buses moved in a single line, at a slow pace.
Personnel from the Qatar Armed Forces, Military Police and Internal Security Force provided support throughout the route, with medical and recovery crew standing by.
Given that the Shahaniya-Dukhan highway is four-lane, it was a Friday morning and the buses occupied only the slow lanes, there were no obstructions to the traffic flow on account of the event.
“The buses in the convoy started leaving the Mowasalat headquarters at Mesaimeer from 11am on Thursday to be lined up on the highway,” an employee said.
The buses were neatly parked on the assigned lane by Thursday evening and the drivers shuttled back to their accommodation before being brought back to Shahaniya in the early hours yesterday.
All the drivers and Mowasalat officials were in great spirits, in anticipation of creating a new world record. “It is a great honour to be part of the team,” a driver said.
Deployment of more than 300 school buses for the record-breaking event also did not hinder the activities of the department concerned in Mowasalat as it was the summer holiday time.
“Among the other Guinness World Records held by Qatar include the ones for the most expensive mobile phone number, and the biggest pasta and the longest sandwich,” recalled Omar.
At an auction conducted by Qtel, the number 666 6666 had fetched a world-record of QR10mn ($ 2.7mn) as the highest amount quoted for a mobile phone number and was mentioned in the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
The pasta and sandwich feats were achieved by Wataniya Restaurants by dishing up pasta weighing a whopping 4,300kg and a 1,730m-long sandwich.
“Though Qatar also created a world-record for the largest serving of fried chicken it was later broken in Kuwait,” the Guinness official said.
Guinness World Records, with offices in London, New York, and China, has nine adjudicators criss-crossing the globe to ratify new records.
“We have a full-time representative in Qatar, who co-ordinated the Mowasalat record event,” Omar added.