Check out this post featuring interesting Dubai facts as you contemplate your next trip. This opulent, renowned city has so many intriguing landmarks, customs, architecture, traditions, and more to learn about. This article on Dubai facts features historical content, rituals, and economic information for you to consider as you plan your Dubai adventure.
After having visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi on a two week trip, I am confident you will love the city as much as I did. The opulence oozing from Dubai is unrivaled anywhere else and it is a sight to behold. From the high end shopping, luxury vehicles and even gold vending machines, Dubai really has it all.
Located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, the population of Dubai surpassed 3 million people in 2018 and is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A sprawling global city, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the country known as the United Arab Emirates, also known less formally as the “Emirates” or “the UAE.” Established in 1971, the seven emirates of UAE are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Among unique Dubai facts to consider regarding the governing structure: an absolute monarch governs each separate emirate, and together the monarchs make up the Federal Supreme Council. One of the seven monarchs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates.
Islam is the official religion of Dubai and the UAE, and it is important to observe the traditional customs of this religion when visiting. Another unique Dubai fact to learn regarding Muslim culture is that the left hand is traditionally used for “body hygiene”, meaning that one should avoid using it in certain circumstances. You would not want to greet anyone with a left-handed shake, open doors with your left hand, hand a guest something, or handle food using your left hand. Eating with one’s left hand is considered especially unclean. That being said, it is okay to drink with your left hand.
Many seek out international travel with the mission of “meeting the locals”. Cultural Dubai facts to encounter is that Emiratis tend to keep to themselves, away from the main tourist spots, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll be chatting on the beach with locals. Most tourists only encounter one Emirati when visiting Dubai: upon arrival in the UAE, receiving a passport stamp from a government official.
Border control is staffed almost entirely by Emiratis, but you won’t want to ask border control agents the best place to find local spots or delicacies. Plan a visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Museum of Cultural Understanding – a genuine initiative that connects visitors to Dubai with Emirati people that will provide cooking lessons, traditional dinners, heritage tours, and much more.
Emirati nationals are far outnumbered by expats in Dubai, almost six to one. The majority of the population is Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Asian, and Western.
You might think that the enormously grand Dubai Fountains are the tallest in the world, but they’re not – that accolade goes to King Fahd’s Fountain, in Saudi Arabia.
While Arabic is the official language of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, among interesting Dubai facts to acknowledge is that you’ll be pleased to learn English is widely spoken across the land.
Among Dubai facts to consider, you’ll be pleased to learn that the crime rate in Dubai is incredibly low, virtually 0% across Dubai and classifying Dubai as one of the safest cities on earth. The reason for this is that the laws are so strict in Dubai; in turn, the people of Dubai hold a high level of morality and judgment.
Wealth, prosperity, and riches are abundant in the gold that runs deep throughout Dubai. Among financial tidbits of Dubai facts to learn, and reasons to consider moving, is that there is a 0% income tax across Dubai, enabling personal wealth to flourish.
A fun Dubai Fact: you can find gold vending machines in the city.
Camel racing is one of the most popular sports in Dubai. Camels are smaller animals, and because of this, it is only possible for children to participate as the camel racers. There has been a problem in the past with having children illegally trafficked into the country to race camels. The rest of the world eventually caught on to the issue and has since put a stop to it for the most part. Instead of continuing to permit Emirati children to participate, child-sized robots are being built and now race the camels. They cost anywhere from $300 to $10,000.
The currency of Dubai is the dirham. Currently, 1 US Dollar converts to 3.67 United Arab Emirates Dirham.
Dubai has over 150 luxury properties that are classified as 5 Star! In order to get a 5 star recognition in this city, a hotel must be luxury and have a bidet in every guest room on property.
Due to the rapid rate at which population and infrastructure has been growing in Dubai, you’ll find peculiar Dubai facts very intriguing: the country never developed a standard address system. Instead of an address line on a mailing label, there was a space where recipients could draw a map or write out specific instructions such as: “After you pass the old mosque, it’s the second street to the left, a red door.” It wasn’t until 2015 that Dubai started assigning so called Makani numbers (a unique 10 digit code) to all buildings to universally identify them.
Dubai is outdoing themselves, yet again, and in the process of building a fully air conditioned city that when finished, will be over two times the size of Monaco!
When it comes to transportation, Dubai facts regarding its history are intriguing: there were only 13 registered cars in Dubai in 1968, which is roughly 154,000 times less than there are today.
Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world with a height of 828 m (830 m to tip) and 163 floors. The Burj Khalifa is so grand, it can be seen from 95km away. Burj Khalifa is also home to the world’s highest restaurant, highest mosque, highest nightclub, and highest observatory deck. Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith then of the Chicago-headquartered Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The building completed construction in 2009. Opening in 2010 as part of the new development called Downtown Dubai, the striking building was named in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Burj Khalifa visitors can pay to visit one of two outdoor observation decks. Visit “At the Top”, the observation deck on the 148th floor and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world when it opened. Adult admission ranges from 125 – 300 AED depending on the time of day and if the visit is booked in advance.
As a true desert climate, most days in Dubai are very sunny year round. During January, the coldest month, daytime high temperatures average 75 °F while overnight low temperatures average 57 °F. Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, windy, and humid, with high temperatures averaging 106 °F and overnight lows around 86 °F in August.
Dubai facts regarding the climate you’ll be grateful to learn: air conditioning is not only limited to buildings in Dubai. Due to hot weather conditions, even bus stops in Dubai are often air-conditioned.
There are no potholes or drains in Dubai as it rains only once or twice a year and seldom in the winter season. When rainfall does happen, there can be flash flooding. Fun fact: I was in Dubai on a day that it had a flash rain and it was chaos! People were running trying to get somewhere outside of the thunderstorm and I ended up on a bus that was packed to the brim. The streets were flooding and the rain was black.
There is no income tax on earned money in Dubai. While this is great for those looking to send money back home, living in Dubai comes with a price tag as well.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is a remarkably grand hotel, and the rumors from Dubai hold that it is the only hotel in the world with a 7-star rating. According to the Forbes travel guide, we have debunked this legend to conclude with authentic Dubai facts to conclude it is officially a five star hotel. That being said, it is said to be the most luxurious hotel in the world. A striking 1,790 sq. ft. of the hotel’s interior is decorated with 24-carat gold. While you do not have to be a guest at the hotel to go inside, you will need a reservation for a meal to gain access because the entrance is guarded. Book in advance!
Occasionally referred to as the Crane City, Dubai is developing so rapidly that 1 out of every 4 cranes on earth is located in Dubai. Around 25% of the world’s total cranes are operating in Dubai on various new construction projects.
Among Dubai facts to consider, retail is king. The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world, with over 1,200 stores, and including many major brands and designers. If you are looking to shop until you literally drop or get lost, this would be the place to do it.
Dubai facts about its growing infrastructure are immense, but these concepts never came to reality. International Chess City (a cluster of 32 black and white skyscrapers, designed to look like chess pieces) was proposed, but never came to fruition. The Steven Gerrard Tower met a similar fate. Dynamic Tower, whose floors were designed to spin, was never finalized for construction either.
UAE nationals, called Emiratis, make up only 10-15 percent of the Dubai population. The other 85 percent of residents are expatriates (or ex-pats), many of whom have been in the country for generations or were born in the UAE. Approximately 85 percent of the expatriate population is Asian, Indian (51%), Pakistani (16%), Bangladeshi (9%) and Filipino (3%.) Youth is alive in Dubai, as approximately 58% of the population is aged 25 to 44, with the majority of people are between 30 and 34.
The Dubai Metro is the world’s longest fully automated metro network at 75km, covering a total of 47 miles.
The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden. Spread across 72,000 square meters and having more than 45 million different floral species, it is certainly a unique, significant tourist attraction in Dubai.
Considering Dubai’s population of 2.5 million people, you’ll be alarmed at the Dubai facts concerning diversity: nearly 70% of Dubai’s residents are male. The higher proportion of men is attributed to the generalization that most of the city’s expats are males, who have left their families behind in their home countries to make money in the city to send back home.
Cohabiting or sexual relationships between unmarried couples is illegal in Dubai. Another one of Dubai facts to consider: it is still illegal for unmarried couples and same sex couples to share a room. While it is rarely enforced, throw caution to the wind while visiting.
Princess Tower in Dubai is the tallest residential-only building in the world and also the second tallest building in Dubai, next to the Burj Khalifa.
Safety and grandeur are one in the same in Dubai, as you’ll find that Dubai’s police force uses super cars to impress tourists and show how “classy” the city is. This includes cars such as the Ferrari FF ($500,000), Lamborghini Aventador ($397,000), and an Aston Martin One-77 ($1.79 million).
Alcohol consumption in Dubai is not like most countries. As a tourist you can drink it in restaurants, clubs and hotels. You have to be licensed to sell liquor.
If you thought college was expensive in America, one of the Dubai facts that will shock you is that more money is spent on a police car than your child’s college tuition. They have been known to drive Ferrari’s and even Aston Martins!
The famous Palms Jumeirah, the landmark palm tree shaped island, is the largest collection of human-made islands in the world and is visible from space. Their construction in Dubai required 94 million cubic meters of sand, which is the equivalent of filling 2.5 Empire State buildings. Many hotels and housings are on the island.
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