The rapidly developing Dubai in the Arab Emirates has been attracting many tourists for the past 15 years. It is a city with its own atmosphere, exciting rules and customs, skyscrapers to the clouds and innovations of technological progress.
In this article, we have collected the 14 most interesting facts about Dubai. So let's dive in!
Top interesting facts about Dubai
Dubai is a very safe city
Dubai is the 11th safest city in the world. According to Numbeo: there is a low crime rate and a high level of well-being of residents.
Cameras are everywhere in the city: in the streets and parking lots, shopping malls, and even cabs. Calls and Internet activity are monitored. It sounds like total control, but it doesn't really bother anyone. The authorities want to keep people as safe as possible. So they are only looking for those who actually break the law and stage cyberattacks.
Weekend in Dubai - Friday and Saturday
The working week in the UAE is entirely different: it starts on Sunday and ends on Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, the residents of Dubai have a rest. It is religiously constructed: for Muslims, Friday is considered a day blessed by Allah and a time of obligatory prayer.
On Fridays and Saturdays, schools, government and state institutions, and small stores are closed in Dubai. But the shopping malls, cafes, and entertainment venues are open all day long.
The tallest building in the world is in Dubai
The tallest and most high-rise building in the world is built in Dubai - the Burj Khalifa Tower, which is 828 meters tall. This skyscraper is 8 times taller than the Egyptian pyramids, 3 times taller than the towers in Moscow City. You can already see the clouds from the windows.
The building broke world records not only in height. It is believed that the Burj Khalifa:
- the highest spire in the world;
- the highest number of floors;
- the highest and one of the fastest elevators.
The appearance of the building is not just a creative idea of the architect. The design of the skyscraper was inspired by a local plant. Suppose you look at the design from above. In that case, the tower seems exactly like a hemerocallis lily. It symbolizes a blooming flower in the middle of the desert.
Robots instead of jockeys
Traditional camel racing in the UAE has long ceased to be a tradition and has become an official sport. But in Dubai, the camel races are not simple: the camels are not driven by humans but by robot jockeys.
It used to be that the riders were always children. A child weighs little and does not load the camel in any way to develop maximum speed. But because of the high number of injuries and the new law prohibiting minors' participation in the races, the riders were replaced by robots.
Dubai is a very young and fast-growing city
The first settlements on the territory of modern Dubai appeared as early as 2500 B.C. Still, until the last century, it was a small town in the desert without infrastructure. The new history began with the discovery of oil reserves: most of the proceeds went to the construction and development of the future metropolis.
In the late '90s and early 2000s, Dubai built significant towers: the seven-star Burj Al Arab Hotel, the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa), the 21st-century tower and many other skyscrapers. There are now 38 high-rises over 120 meters tall in the city, and 19 more are planned for construction.
In just a few years, Dubai has transformed from an unknown city into a centre where people from all over the world come for work, business and tourism.
Dubai has a museum dedicated to coffee
The most important museum of Dubai is located in the old fortress Al Fahidi and is dedicated to coffee. There are more than 1000 exhibits related to the drink's history: ancient turks and coffee machines, paintings and photographs.
And in the museum store, you can buy everything for making coffee: books with recipes, barista equipment and unusual coffee varieties.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Dubai
An hour and a half drive from Dubai, there is a place that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the old city of Al Ain with a thousand years of history.
El Ain is the 4th most populous city in the UAE and is considered the only major city away from the coast. Its name translates from Arabic as «garden city»: there are many parks, alleys and squares.
El Ain's list of cultural sites includes Jabal Hafit Mountain, the Hili Archaeological Garden, the ancient Bidaa Bint El Aziz settlement and the area's oases.
The largest artificial archipelago in the world is located in Dubai
The Dubai Palm Islands is the largest man-made archipelago in the world. Each of the small islets is designed in the shape of a palm tree: Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jabal Ali and Palm Deira.
The archipelago is connected to Dubai by bridges: Palm Jumeirah can be reached by monorail. In contrast, Palm Jabal Ali and Palm Deira can be reached by bridges.
A subway without a driver
The Dubai Metro is another landmark in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the longest subway line globally that does not need a driver: the train is controlled automatically. The total length of the tracks is 52 km, and there are 29 stations.
But the subway in Dubai is not exactly an underground transport. Only 4 stations are underground. The rest are located on the ground or bridges.
Dubai - is a paradise for bird lovers
The emirate is home to over 320 species of birds. Here you can see flamingos, Egyptian herons, rare species of hawks, and hoopoes with your own eyes.
You can see the local birds in the zoos and nature parks, of which there are many in Dubai: Safari Park, Green Planet, Desert Oasis.
Almost 7 times more foreigners than locals in Dubai
Until oil was found in Dubai, only 1200 people lived there. But since 1966, the city began to rapidly develop at the expense of newcomers, and the population has grown to 3.3 million. At the same time, only 11% of them are locals.
The fact is that becoming a citizen of the UAE is almost unrealistic. To apply for citizenship, you have to live 30 years in Dubai, speak excellent Arabic and earn good money. At the same time, submitting an application form does not guarantee anything: a tiny percentage of those who want to become citizens.
In 2021, the law was slightly changed, and now foreigners will still be given citizenship. True, only investors with billions of dollars or scientists and inventors.
But the state really cares about its few citizens. It provides housing, free education even abroad, pays considerable sums on the birth of a child and on weddings and introduces the law. The locals should be delivered 2-3 times more for work. In theory, the native population does not even have to work.
Emirates - the land of bans
So that a vacation in Dubai does not turn into a fine or arrest, it is worth knowing more about the bans in the country. In the Emirates, there are no strict and radical rules like in other Muslim countries. But there are no indulgences for tourists either - absolutely everyone has to comply with the law.
- You can buy alcohol in Dubai, but it's against the law to drink in public places.
- Watch out for your camera, you can't take photos of people without permission, and you can be arrested for taking pictures of strategic national landmarks.
- There is no strict dress code, but you should not go out into the city in revealing clothes, such as a short dress with a deep cleavage. It is recommended to cover the shoulders and knees.
- Lovers should not show their feelings in public. They can walk hand in hand, but kissing and sitting on each other's lap is prohibited.
- In Dubai, there are places where only women and children are allowed to enter: pink cars in the subway, separate sitting areas, special entrances. Men are strictly forbidden to enter individual women's spaces.
Fines in the subway for food and drink
The Dubai subway is under a strict ban on food and drink. If caught with a sandwich and coffee on the train, you will be fined 100 dirhams. You can not even chew gum. The fine is even higher - 120 dirhams.
The ban applies only to trains. And on stations and platforms, you can eat and drink.
«Ministry of happiness» to control the level of happiness of the population.
Dubai was the first emirate to launch a Ministry of Happiness. UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid believes that happiness should be a goal, not just a wish.
Happiness is an elastic concept. It's different for everyone. That is why the ministry polls the population, analyzes the results and works on other areas. For example, to calculate the happiness index, even created artificial intelligence, which anonymously reviews comments in social networks and determines how happy people in Dubai are.
To make Dubai even happier, they are improving the education system, developing infrastructure, introducing electronic systems for easy payment of bills and paperwork and introducing social benefits for the indigenous population. But, of course, it's also hard to be happy without entertainment, so the ministry invests in malls, hotels, and parks.
Some valuable facts about Dubai
- Official Language - Arabic
- Official Religion - Islam
- Currency - Arabian Dirham (AED)
- Time Zone - GTM+4
- It rarely rains in Dubai. It usually only rains a few drops and only 15 to 30 days a year.
- The best time to visit Dubai is during the cooler months, from November to April. Summer temperatures often top 40°C (103°F) and even stay around 30°C (86°F) at night.