A mountaineer who has twice climbed Mount Everest has had to postpone a base jump from Dubai’s Burj Khalifa on New Year’s Day because he has not been given the green light for the stunt.
Emirati Saeed Al Memari, 34, from Fujairah, had asked the tower’s owner, Emaar Properties, for permission to climb the side of the building and jump from the top of it at midnight, during the annual New Year’s Eve firework display.
"Instead I was given the go-ahead to complete the stunt on January 1, but now they have asked me to wait. I don’t know when I will complete my adventure," Al Memari told 7DAYS.
"First they liked the idea when I told them and sent an official letter with my idea, but until now they have not replied. I’m waiting and ready to go."
He continued: "I know I will be risking my life but I love adventures. I am not doing it for fame. I just want the world to know there is an Emirati who can make such an achievement.
"I climbed Everest twice and other mountains. I don’t know the word impossible." Al Memari believes it would take him five hours to climb the 828m tower before jumping off it.
He said: "I have prepared my staff and made my calculations, everything is set to go. I represent the Emirati people and want to send the message out that we can do anything. I want to be the first Arab man to climb and jump from Burj Khalifa. It has been a target of mine for a year now."
Al Memari said Emaar was concerned about dangers posed to the jump by the fireworks that are in place for the celebrations, and initially suggested January 1 instead.
7DAYS asked Emaar for comment but they failed to respond. Al Memari wanted his parachute to have images of UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and a Happy New Year message in English and Arabic on it.
HISTORY OF BURJ STUNTS>> In May 2008, base jumpers Hervé Le Gallou and David McDonnell dressed as engineers and illegally infiltrated Burj Khalifa. They jumped off a balcony on the 155th floor. They evaded arrest after the successful jump but two days later Le Gallou was detained after completing a second jump from the tower.
>> On January 8, 2010, with permission of the authorities, Nasr Al Niyadi and Omar Al Hegelan, from Emirates Aviation Society, broke the world record for the highest base jump from a building after they leapt from a crane suspended platform attached to the 160th floor at 672m. They opened their parachutes 10 seconds into the 90-second jump.
>> On March 28, 2011, French ‘Spider-man’ Alain Robert scaled the Burj Khalifa. The climb to the top took six hours. Robert, who usually climbs in free solo style, used a rope and harness to comply with safety rules.