With towering sky scrapers and jaw dropping man-made architectural beauty Dubai is perhaps the fastest growing metropolis in the world. Home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, this city has quite literally risen from the sand and dust. Every year millions of travelers come to experience this city in all its glory and are amazed by all it has to offer. If you are planning a trip to Dubai, read on as we reveal 15 amazing facts about it.
1. Till the 1960 Dubai didn’t have even the basic infrastructure:
One of the fascinating facts about Dubai is, in fact, its story. Today it is a world class trading hub and a global business center, but most people find it really surprising that half a century ago there was close to nothing where the city of Dubai stands today. When Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the father of the present ruler of Dubai started his reign in 1958, Dubai had neither electricity nor any infrastructure. The small settlement that dwelled near the Dubai creek lived on pearl trade. Sheikh Rashid was a visionary man and he took many steps at that time (building Dubai creek, electrification, developing infrastructure, Dubai airport, Port Rashid, etc.) that became instrumental in the making Dubai we know today. Dubai was on its way to becoming a global hub in the Middle East even before oil was discovered here. Even today only 5% of its revenue comes from oil.
2. 83% of Dubai’s populations are immigrants:
The major chunk of Dubai’s population – almost 83% consists of a mix of people from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Philippines. These people take up the blue collared jobs – mostly laborers and workers who work at construction sites. It is unlikely that you will come across and get to talk with Emiratis when you are meandering on the beaches and marinas of Dubai.
3. Men outnumber women in Dubai:
Of the 2.5 million populations in Dubai, only 30% are women. One of the major reasons for such skewed figure is because of the city’s expats – they are typically men from countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who leave behind their families in their home countries and come to Dubai to earn money.
4. You can witness robot camel racing in Dubai:
Camel racing is to Dubai what football is to the US. Traditionally kids participated in racing them. Due to this child trafficking was rampant in the country so that they could run the camels. The child right activists around the world, raised their voice against it, the Emiratis came up with a novel solution. Child-sized robots coasting anywhere around $300 to $10,000 have been built and they are used to race the camels. Have you heard of robot camel racing anywhere else?
5. For a long time, there has been no standard address system in Dubai
It is actually surprising that a city of Dubai’s stature didn’t have a standard address system in place for a long time. Given the rapid rate of development that has been seen in Dubai in the last few decades, the authorities had not been able to put a standard and uniform address system in place. Writing out instructions on a mailing label was a common sight. However, that is changing now as the new addressing system is being implemented in phases in preparation for world Expo 2020.
6. Burj Al Arab in Dubai boasts of having the highest tennis court in the world:
Dubai is a city of superlatives – they love to have the ‘highest of this’ and the ‘tallest of that’ for most things. Among other things, the famous Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai boasts of having the highest tennis court in the world. The hotel is 321 meters in height and the tennis court is located very much near the top. The tennis court has a circular shape and doubles up as a helipad when it is not in use.
7. Dubai traded 40% of the world’s gold in 2013:
The love for gold among the Emiratis is quite apparent in Dubai. The rich of Dubai are known to decorate things like car wheels, number plate and even the interior of their house in gold. In the year 2013 40% of the gold traded around the world was traded in Dubai. According to estimates, about $70 billion worth of gold was traded that year and the figure has been on a rise each passing year.
8. New feather in the cap of Dubai by 2020 – Domed climate controlled city:
Dubai is known to be a hub of top-notch architectural projects and the latest one making headlines is the domed climate controlled city that will be sprawling over an area of 8 million square feet in the heart of Dubai – that is almost twice the size of Monaco. Named as the Mall of Dubai, it will be home to several hotels, a transit system, and the largest indoor theme park in the world.
9. The interior of Burj Al Arab is decorated in gold:
The sail-shaped luxurious hotel in Dubai – Burj Al Arab is a status symbol of Dubai. The interior of the hotel is said to be decorated with 1790 square meter of gold leaf. With that amount of gold, one can fill as many as 46,265 Mona Lisa paintings.
10. Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa:
The Burj Khalifa standing tall with a height of 830 meters is the world’s tallest building. It is said that the residents staying at its top floors have to wait for an extra 2 minutes before breaking their fast during Ramadan as the sun is still visible up there even after the sun has set for those on the grounds.
11. Zero Debt Tolerance:
When it comes to debt, Dubai has serious laws against those who live beyond their means. The residents of Dubai are strictly forbidden to incur debt and not be able to pay back. Such defaulters are mostly deported or put behind the bars.
12. Zero Crime Rate:
The laws in Dubai strictly forbid anyone to commit any crime. If one is found guilty of any such action, he will face deportation or will be imprisoned for life. Due to such strict laws, the Dubai police boast of having zero crime rates in the city.
13. Dubai Police has a fleet of Super cars:
The Dubai police have a fleet of super cars that include Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins and Bentleys. With so many super cars in the streets of Dubai, surely the police cannot do without having its own fleet of luxurious fast cars.
14. Graveyard for Luxury Cars:
In no other city in the world, you will come across a graveyard for Luxury cars. Since the laws about debt are so strict in Dubai; many rich businessmen who face bankruptcy leave their luxury cars here and flee the country.
15. Premarital Sex is forbidden in the city:
Public display of affection is still a taboo in Dubai and premarital sex is prohibited by law. If is advisable to not even hold the hand of your spouse; forget about kissing in public. If one gets caught getting intimate with someone other than their spouse, they can land in jail or face deportation.