Alain Robert now eyes Burj Al Arab

Muaz Shabandri ?and Praseeda Nair
Filed on March 29, 2011
Alain Robert now eyes Burj Al Arab

Alain Robert in Guinness book of records with Burj Khalifa feat, now sets sight on Burj Al Arab

“It wasn’t as easy as I was expecting it to be,” remarked Alain Robert after completing his climb of Burj Khalifa on Tuesday.

Alain climbed the spire of Burj Khalifa minutes after midnight as he was awarded a Guinness World Record certificate by an official adjudicator on the sidelines of the ‘Education Without Borders’ World Forum organised by the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). “It was difficult climbing Burj Khalifa because the building is very smooth. There was hardly anything to hold onto. Even the glass was slippery because of the windy conditions and the metal window latches were very narrow,” Alain told Khaleej Times at the forum on Tuesday.

Having scaled more than 100 skyscrapers in different cities, often without safety harnesses, Robert ascended the exterior of the world’s tallest building in six hours 13 minutes and 55 seconds.

“There was no question of quitting the climb. I kept climbing until there was nothing to hold onto,” said Alain as he received the Guinness World Record certificate.

The 48-year-old daredevil climber, nicknamed the French Spiderman, said the feat was a reminder that one can dream to achieve what they want in life.

“I think all of us have dreams but we should work to make these dreams true. We should be living instead of just surviving.” Suffering from Vertigo, Alain said he was not afraid of heights or climbing.

“The only worry was the wind and the cold weather. All in all, it was a lot of fun and I had enjoyed it from bottom to top,” said Allan.

While Burj Khalifa may be the tallest building in the world, the ‘spiderman’ still has a few more buildings to climb before he retires.

“There are a lot of buildings that I still want to climb and my next objective is to climb Burj Al Arab,” said Alain.

“Climbing for me is like conquering something that is already so awe-inspiring, since man-made structures are getting taller and more impressive every year,” Robert told Khaleej Times hours before his gravity-defying attempt.

Aside from battling body pain and exhaustion, Robert took mini-breaks to eat protein bars and replenish liquids to boost energy levels during his climb. “I had been practising over the years, but climbing the antenna at the top was something completely new. (The antenna) looks like a smooth, rounded surface, so getting a foothold was very difficult without the proper equipment. It is nice to set a record, but for me, it’s the thrill of the climb rather than getting titles” is more important.


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