01-09-2010, 10:45 PM
Dubai: An Emirati man has set a new world record for base jumping after parachuting from the top of the Burj Khalifa.
The developer of the Burj Khalifa confirmed that they permitted the man to jump off the tower, which had a grand opening ceremony on Monday.
Nasr Al Niyadi and his skydiving trainer Omar Al Hegelan made a perfect landing after jumping from the 160th floor of the world's tallest building on Tuesday afternoon.
The duo, from the Emirates Aviation Society, fell 672 metres (2,205 feet) at a speed of 220 kilometres per hour in under one and a half minutes.
Al Niyadi described the feat "as the best experience ever". He said: "When we were at the top of the building I was thinking ‘this is crazy'. I was a little nervous but I wanted to jump from the highest tower in the world to record an achievement for my family and for my country.
"As soon as we reached the ground I looked up and just thought ‘wow'. I have completed over 2,700 jumps but this was the most amazing."
BASE jumping, an extreme sports activity, refers to the four categories of fixed objects from which one executes the jump — buildings, antennas, bridges or spans and cliffs or earth.
Al Niyadi and Al Hegelan, who are both members of the Fazza Sky Team, covered the distance in a breathtaking 10 second freefall delay and 30-40 second parachute flight. They set a new world record by jumping from the highest point of a man-made structure. They landed smoothly at Burj Park Island with the parachutes fanning out 10 to 12 seconds after their jump.
The proud father was greeted at ground level by his five children; his youngest son, who is 14, is currently training to be a parachutist.
Al Niyadi said: "They all want to do what I am doing and the youngest is even getting trained to jump with parachutes. I received skydiving training in Italy, Spain, France and Germany. It is an adventurous sport, but to me it is a hobby."
Ahmad Al Matroushi, managing director, UAE of Emaar Properties, said: "The base jump undertaken by the UAE national and his trainer is another human achievement that complements Burj Khalifa's accomplished track-record of pushing frontiers."
Al Niyadi started freefly jumping in 2002. In 2008, Al Niyadi and Al Hegelan were among a Fazza Sky Team expedition that made a world record jump over Mount Everest at 29,500 feet.