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Saturday, September 4, 1999 Published at 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK

World: Middle East

Gulf barber heir to new record

Each haircut took scarcely two minutes

By BBC Gulf Correspondent Frank Gardner in Dubai

Hold on to your hair if you are in the United Arab Emirates. A hairdresser in the capital Dubai has set what he claims is a new world record - 25 haircuts in one hour.

Before an admiring audience of his most loyal customers, the city's fastest barber cut and shaved his way to what he hopes is a new world record.

Exactly one hour after his attempt began, expatriate Egyptian Khaled Badawi put the finishing touches to his 25th client, kissed the hair on the floor of his shop and embraced his manager.

Twenty-two men and three boys ended up a few hairs short.

[ image: Not the ideal head for a record attempt]
Not the ideal head for a record attempt
According to the Dubai-based paper, Gulf News, this performance surpasses the current record set by a UK hairdresser in 1997. He could only manage 18 haircuts in one hour.

Mr Badawi says he is overjoyed, and to back up his claim, a video of the marathon session is being authenticated by the Dubai government before being submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records.

However, descendants of a Welsh barber, Harry Lacy Provis from Barry, are disputing Mr Badawi's claim.

According to contemporary press reports, Mr Provis managed 27 haircuts in 59 minutes in Swindon in 1895.

His feat was recorded by a timekeeper in front of witnesses.

In any case, Mr Badawi isn't resting on his laurels. Last week he added a further achievement to his racy career, cutting the hair of a delighted security guard in just one minute 22 seconds.

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