145 Nationalities On a Flight Set a Guinness World Record

The most number of nationalities in one flight has been recorded on an Emirates Airline EK2019 flight. The 145 nationalities comprising the 541 passengers on the said flight set a new Guinness World Records™ title for most nationalities on an aircraft. An Official Adjudicator from Guinness World Records™, who was also onboard verifying nationality counts, officially announced the new world record just before the aircraft’s descent.

Before boarding, a special stamp to mark the flight was put on each boarding pass as a remembrance for passengers, who were also given certificates of participation. To cap off a memorable flight, a group photo with all 541 passengers was taken in front of the Emirates A380 aircraft.

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The record-setting flight marks UAE’s 48th National Day and 2019 as the “Year of Tolerance” in the Emirates.

The historic one-off special flight flew across all seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah) to mark the 48th UAE National Day. It was also part of the activities for the UAE’s “Year of Tolerance” showcasing the UAE’s spirit of unity and inclusiveness. Passengers wrote down their wishes for the Year of Tolerance on a special message wall. Over 30,000 people from all over the UAE registered to take part in the record-setting activity. The selected passengers were encouraged to come in their national dress or costumes to show and honor their different heritages.

Talal Omar, Director of Guinness World Records™ for MENA, said in a press statement: “We congratulate both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Emirates Airline for making history today. This achievement reflects the keen(ness) to spread the spirit of tolerance and show the real image of moderation. The UAE has always been a place of peace and coexistence for people from different backgrounds regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or gender. It is inspiring to see all these people coming together to create an environment that celebrates diversity and understanding.”

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A typical Emirates Airlines flight usually carries more than 50 nationalities onboard, EK2019 flight carried 145 nationalities onboard [Photos from Emirates Airline website]

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “The UAE has become a remarkable symbol of tolerance and coexistence, welcoming people from over 200 nationalities and backgrounds, all living together in solidarity and harmony. It is, in fact, the diversity of the citizens and residents of the UAE that unite us and make us stronger through mutual respect and opening bridges of common dialogue, and today’s flight is a celebration of that spirit which is very much a part of our everyday lives here in the UAE.”

Even the crew of EK 2019 is comprised of various nationalities. It was commanded by UAE Nationals, Captain Abbas Shaban and Captain Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, and First Officer Karin Arning from Germany. The 22 cabin crew hailed from 18 countries. On an average flight, Emirates cabin crew represent up to 15 nationalities and usually carries more than 50 nationalities on board.

As a former resident expat of Dubai, UAE for over six years, this writer is pleased to know that UAE remains a gracious host to people of various nationalities. It is home to over 200 nationalities who outnumber UAE Nationals. Thus, if you want to experience a melting pot of cultures and traditions, UAE really is the place to be.

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