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Al’-Ula hosts hot air ballooning world record breaking feat

25/03/2022 Jo Bailey Hot Air Balloon Records

The Saudi Arabian city of Al’-Ula this month hosted the world’s largest ever hot air balloon glow show.

The record attempt took place near Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is famous for its 100 Nabataean tombs and inscribed sandstone mountains. These have stood in this site for millennia, making this the perfect landscape over which to fly a balloon.

Organisers of the Saudi Arabian Ballooning Federation collaborated with local tourist organisation Al’-Ula Moments to ensure that the event went off without a hitch. A total of 142 balloons participated in the balloon glow. The glow is a traditional mainstay of ballooning festivals and is where onlookers are charmed by an elegant twilight display of balloons turning their burners on and off to make their canopies glow. The festival also included dawn and dusk flights. Over 150 balloons took part in these.

This is not the first ballooning record that has been broken at Al’-Ula; in 2019 the Winter at Tantora arts festival set the previous record for balloons performing a glow. That time 100 balloons participated. This event coincided with the enshrining of Al’-Hua as the official capital of ballooning activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The desert backdrop makes for a stunning vista by hot air balloon.

The ambience and grace of hot air ballooning is hard to overstate. If you would like to get a taste of the appeal for yourself, we offer hot air balloon adventures in the skies of Bath, Bristol and other parts of the southwest.

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