A mere 50-years has passed and Dubai has earned an unmatched reputation of being a favourite global destination in the Middle East for both tourism and business.
Shopping, travel, ultra-modern urban architecture and luxurious lifestyle opportunities makes this city the most sparkling gem in the crown of the United Arab Emirates.
Lying at the heart of expansive barren land of sands, this city appears nothing less than magical from those beguiling stories of Arabian Nights.
There is a hoard of interesting as well as intriguing facts about Dubai.
We have decided to decode those fun and fascinating facts and present them in front of you so that when you plan your next Dubai trip, you can check themselves on your own.
Interesting Facts About Dubai
1. Although Dubai is known for its business opportunities, that’s not the main source of capital here. It’s the ‘oil’ actually. The economy of the UAE has been transformed rapidly once oil beds were discovered underneath the soil and the country started to export oil in 1960s. Although oil is at present the main contributor to GDP, tourism is fast approaching. By the time Dubai Expo 2020 is complete, tourism is expected to outgrow oil in Dubai!
2. Dubai’s per capita gross domestic product is equal or better to many leading Western European countries.
3. If this impeccably designed city and its peaceful lifestyle is helping you to imagine a lower population, then wait. With a population of 3,137 million (2019), Dubai is also the most crowded and most polluted city in UAE.
4. You must have thought of this spectacular city as the capital of United Arab Emirates but truth is something different. Dubai is not the capital of UAE. Abu Dhabi is just an hour and a half drive from Dubai.
5. Most of us prefer to describe Dubai as a wonderful travel destination in the Middle East; but technically Dubai is located in the continent of Asia. Yes, you are visiting Asia when you are heading for Dubai!
6. There’s no permanent river in United Arab Emirates but there are few wadis or permanently/ intermittently dried-up riverbed. The Arabic name for river contributed to the naming of the world famous Wild Wadi Water Park.
7. The UAE government is the first one to introduce a ministry for Artificial Intelligence as per the World Economic Forum.
8. If you don’t like to call it ‘Dubai’, then we will not force you to do that. You are lucky here to try another name. Yes, you guessed it right. Dubai has a nickname to the Emirate’s. You can also refer it as “Gulf Tiger” or “Arab Gulf Tiger”.
9. Not just the ultra-modern skyscrapers, Dubai skyline is heavily marked by presence of gigantic cranes. The number of cranes in the city is simply crazy. If you consider the reliable sources, 3% of the world’s total cranes can be found here, although urban legend has exaggerated the number to 25%.
10. On an average, approximately 14 million tourists visit Dubai every year. Now, you know why it is one of the celebrated travel destinations in the world.
11. Dubai’s population is highly dominated by the younger generation. More than 50% of its population is aged between 25 – 34. Only 15% of the population is aged over 45. So, there’s no offence if we call Dubai “young at heart”.
12. Does paying taxes bother you? Then you will be happy to know that Dubai is the land of ‘no income tax’. That’s one of the primary reasons people all around the globe come here to earn tax-free money and save a lot.
13. Dubai loves gold and if you have any argument to place, then pay a visit to its world-famous Gold Souk. More than 380 gold shops from the souk is enough to prove Dubai’s fatal attraction for gold and glitter.
14. Although Dubai is home to a number of the tallest buildings in the universe, still it is trying to build something unique and spectacular. Dubai is presently under the process of constructing ‘Dubai Square’ which is going to be the world’s largest retail and entertainment centre.
15. Along with Abu Dhabi, Dubai also enjoys veto rights. No other emirate is blessed with a veto in UAE.
16. The sun shines upon Dubai throughout the year. If you are from a place where summer is too short to live, then Dubai is going to give you plenty of scope to soak in sun rays.
17. Thanks to an extremely hot climate, Dubai never knows what snow is but still you can go skiing. Located at the heart of Arabian Desert, this city allows you to try sand dune skiing. Skiing over sand is seriously something extraordinary.
18. Home to 50 million flowers and more than 250 million plants, Miracle Garden is the largest flower garden in the world. This breathtakingly gorgeous garden in Dubai spreads over an area of 780,000 square feet.
19. The Arabian Oryx is the national animal of UAE. This antelope with distinct long and straight horns may not look that majestic but they are surely cute.
20. If you look at the population demographic of Dubai, it reveals that there are more men than women. The difference is as much as of 40% between these two genders. 70% of men and only 30% of women. This is primarily because expats coming from other countries are usually the male candidates without moving with their own families.
21. Consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Dubai for Muslims. But when you are a non-Muslim tourist, you can have your favourite drink without any inhibition. Just don’t take that wine bottle in the crowd and start drinking. Drinking in public places is not allowed here.
22. For non-Muslim people, it is fine to have alcohol but it is not at all fine to create nuisance in public or driving under the influence of alcohol in Dubai. Law is very stringent and don’t dare to mess with it. This may cause you hefty fine or deportation.
23. Your marital status can play a crucial role in deciding the fate of your Dubai trip. Of course, they are not going to bar you from visiting their land if you are not married but they can bar you from sharing same room with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Islam doesn’t allow you to spend night with a person of opposite sex unless it’s your spouse or a close relative.
24. Crime rate in Dubai is surprisingly low and it is less than 1%. Technically it is almost nil. In 2018, the city was declared as the 8th safest city in the world. The credit goes to its strict law enforcement.
25. When it comes to richest people across the globe, Dubai is the residence to many of them. Majid Al Futtaim is the richest man in Dubai with an approximate net worth of over $10 billion. Ahmed Al Ghurair is the 2nd richest man in Dubai and 296th richest person in the world. Huda Kattan, the founder of famous makeup like HUDA Beauty, is the richest woman in Dubai.
26. While rest of the world is fighting over fossil fuels, Dubai has plenty of it. In fact, petrol prices here are of the cheapest in the world while on the other hand, water is really costly compared to other countries.
27. Do you know what Dubai means? One theory is that the word Dubai is a combination of the Farsi words for two and brothers, the latter referring to Deira and Bur Dubai.. Another possibility is that the name came from a word meaning money – people from Dubai were commonly believed to have money because it was a prosperous trading centre.
28. Every year, 10 new skyscrapers with a height of more than 150 metres from the ground are coming up in Dubai’s skyline. This city is surely fascinated with height like anything.
29. Drug-related laws are very stringent in Dubai. Bringing drugs into UAE or doing drugs here can land you in serious trouble.
30. Swimwear is only allowed in beachfront areas, not in public places. Cover up yourself as soon as you leave the beach.
31. Dubai is not a LGBQTI-friendly destination and anything beyond “traditional” male-female relationships is punishable here in the eyes of law. So, don’t brag your homosexuality status or your line-in partner when you are in Dubai.
32. Are you 21? If not, then stay away from alcohol. Although Dubai boasts a pulsating nightlife but alcohol is served only to non-Muslims that too above an age of 21 years.
33. When it comes to smoking, Dubai doesn’t show a casual attitude like any other Asian country. Smoking in Dubai is allowed only in designated “Smoking Areas”. Beyond that limit, it’s offensive.
34. Ultra-modern buildings and architectural marvels of Dubai will surely lure you to take photos but clicking photographs of government buildings and religious places is restricted. Ask for permission before doing that.
35. There’s no doubt that Dubai believes in making simple things of life super-luxurious. You can order gold infused coffee in Dubai that takes your coffee craving to a whole new level.
36. Dubai’s strange fascinations will also fascinate you. The easiest way to know how much someone is loaded with money is to take a look at their license plate. Less digits on the plate mean higher status. For instance, a number plate with only digit “1” was auctioned at a whopping price of $14 million.
37. People of Dubai don’t show any tolerance for debtors. If you found guilty of any unpaid debt, you will be barred from leaving the country and will be spending days in jail.
38. Dubai broke the architectural boundaries with its futuristic designs and impressive execution of all those towering buildings but they forgot something – the footpaths. Footpaths are less in number in Dubai and most surprisingly they come to an end abruptly. This might be Dubai’s way of telling you to drive their supercars rather than venturing on your feet!
39. Apart from its impressive shopping malls and tallest skyscrapers, one thing that makes Dubai a global destination is its captivating food scene. Name any of your favourite dishes and you will be served with the same without any delay. All major restaurant chains have their presence in Dubai. The local food scene is also loaded with a variety of delicious options.
Strange Facts About Dubai
40. Many of us may not consider to live in an Islamic country but you will be amazed to know that 85% of Dubai’s total population is made of foreigners. Only 15% of the population consists of local Emiratis. Dubai is truly a global city with endless opportunity to earn and grow in life.
41. Don’t be surprised to see Ferrari police cars in Dubai. The police department of Dubai invests in supercars and patrol the city in style.
42. Dubai police departments don’t hesitate to buy Mercedes, Lamborghini, Bugatti’s or Ferrari’s for their employees so that they don’t feel left out, while maintaining law and order of the city.
43. This is somewhat surprising to see Dubai spends much more on their police supercars than the cost of sending a child to USA for college.
44. Camel racing is one of the best enticing sports in Dubai. But to solve the issue of illegals child trafficking for participation in camel race, Dubai is using robots to run the race.
45. Dubai is surely one of the fastest growing cosmopolitan cities in the world but this city was literally a place without address until 2015. It is only 2015 when the city started to develop a proper postal system by allocating address, zip codes and area codes.
46. When every other city in the world is dispensing money through ATMs, Dubai is dispensing gold bars. Yes, Dubai is the only city where you can spot Gold ATMs.
47. In the year 2013, trading of 40% physical gold in the world happened right at Dubai which is equivalent to the total weight of approximately 355 adult elephants.
48. The city is the home to one of the biggest aquariums, the tallest hotel, the highest automated fountain, one of the largest indoor malls, the longest automated railway network and one of the largest indoor ski slopes in the world.
49. Today Dubai houses as many as more than 2 million cars but if you look back to 1968, there were only 13 cars registered within the city.
50. You may love your pet but Dubai residents have set the standard far from your reach. When rest of the world is busy in keeping their dogs and cats as their pet, people of Dubai are keeping lions, leopards, pythons and exotic animals as their pets. Exotic pets are a way of bragging about your social status here.
51. When you are staying at the Burj Khalifa, get ready to enjoy more daylight than those on the ground level. Being at a height of 828 meters off the ground is going to give you an extra hour of daylight.
52. The city boasts the longest automated Metro network that covers a distance of 74.6 kilometres.
53. We all understand weekends to be Saturday and Sunday but it’s not the same when you are in Dubai. Weekend here starts with Friday and ends on Saturday. The start of the working week is actually a Sunday.
54. UAE is the only country in the world with a Minister of Happiness. The country also supports a nation-wide project supporting National Happiness and Positivity Programme.
55. Guinness Book of World Records has recently set up an office in Dubai so that they can get quick updates on UAE’s (including Dubai) new world records and confirm them quickly.
56. Dubai encourages its citizens to lose weight and pays them for that. What? Doesn’t that sound crazy? Yes, it does but it’s the truth. Dubai government rewards its citizens with 2g of gold for every kilo they shed off. The rule is, only two children from one family can take part in this program.
Historical Facts About Dubai
57. Dubai was just a little town in the desert just 50 years ago. This city transformed into a glittery travel destination and a global business hub particularly during last two decades.
58. Dubai is not a country. Sorry to disturb your long-nurtured notion of Dubai being a country. It is just a city but of course it is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates.
59. Dubai is just a part of UAE which consists of seven different emirates – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is strikingly different from others in respect of culture and tradition.
60. Each emirate of UAE is headed by a separate royal family which means there are as many as seven different kings for all those seven emirates.
61. Emirate of Dubai is an Islamic country and Islam is the official state religion of UAE. Therefore, social etiquettes for local residents are very stringent.
62. Apart from predominant Muslim population, Dubai is the home to several other religious communities like Hindus, Christians and Buddhists. Every community is allowed to follow their own religion without any repercussion.
63. As a tourist, you may be amazed at the profuse use of fluent English by the employees of your hotels, the restaurants, resorts and shopping outlets. Yes, they are trained in that way to make everyone comfortable but official language of Dubai is Arabic. Many residents speak in Hindi, Malayalam and Persian in addition to Arabic.
64. If your eyes are getting too bedazzled with the sparkle and wealth of Dubai to bear with, you can look for something more soothing but fascinating at Al Fahidi. This historical neighbourhood features a series of interesting things speaking of Dubai’s history and heritage.
Landmark Facts About Dubai
65. Dubai boasts some of the most awe-inspiring tallest buildings in the world. The biggest is the Burj Khalifa which marks its towering presence with a height of 828 meters.
66. Do you know that Burj Khalifa is 3 times taller than Eiffel Tower and its construction costed a whopping amount of $1.5 billion.
67. Apart from being the tallest man-made structure in the world, Burj Khalifa holds a series of other world records like –
- Its observation deck is the 3rd highest observation deck in the world which is located on the 124th floor of the building.
- Burj Khalifa houses the highest mosque in the world on its 158th floor.
- 76th floor of the building proudly houses the highest swimming pool in the world.
- Highest nightclub of the world lies on the 144th floor of Burj Khalifa.
- This tallest building features fastest elevators in the world that run at a speed of 40 miles per hour.
68. Construction of Burj Khalifa was such an overly ambitious project that it dragged Dubai into deep financial crisis and Emir of neighbouring state Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan came to rescue. The tower was renamed to Burj Khalifa to pay gratitude to the Emir.
69. The secret of Burj Khalifa’s stunning appearance comes from those reflective glass panels fitted across the whole building. There are total 26,000 glass panels that not just saves energy but also minimizes the heat transformation.
70. Cleaning the windows of Burj Khalifa is neither that simple nor that quick. This daunting task takes serious effort and 3 months to complete.
71. We bet nobody dares to jump off the tip of Burj Khalifa. In case, someone dares, it will take about 20 seconds to touch the ground.
72. When you measure the temperature at the ground level of this building and then measure it again at its top, it will show you a difference of 15 degree Celsius.
73. To match its towering presence in the skyline of Dubai, Burj Khalifa weighs equal to 100,000 elephants. It’s heavy, really heavy!
74. Burj Khalifa is a marvellous specimen of sustainable buildings. It can collect about 15 million gallons of water every year which is utilised for maintaining those landscape gardens and drenching the water fountains.
75. When it comes to world records, Dubai simply doesn’t want to stop. This city is the home to world’s only 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. This is the most luxurious as well as expensive hotel in the universe. The cheapest room is going to cost you around 5,500AED per night.
76. Burj Al Arab Hotel uses about 1790 square metres of 24-carat gold leaf to decorate the interior. This much gold is enough to cover the portrait of Mona Lisa 46,265 times.
77. Dubai Mall is another record-breaking space claiming to be the largest shopping mall in the world. Sporting more than 1200 outlets, this 4-storied mall comes with a total retail area of 5.4 million square foot.
78. Dubai has made its own island. Palm Jumeirah is a man-made marvel which took 94 million cubic meters of sand and six years to get its perfect shape.
79. Palm Jumeirah is one of those few landmarks visible from space to the naked eye. They even took the help of satellites to get the shape right and obtain perfect symmetry.
80. The sand required to build the Palm Jumeirah Island can fill the Empire State Buildings 2.5 times. Specialized divers were appointed to determine how the sands were settling down underwater and whether it can hold the whole structure.
81. Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 is the largest airport terminal in the world and it also happens to be the single longest building in terms of floor space.
82. Formula Rossa is the fastest roller coaster in the world which is located at Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi. Jump into one of its compartments and feel the thrill of speed.
Facts About Working in Dubai
83. Most jobs in Dubai include housing arrangement, flight costs, visa processing and health insurance. While settling for a job in this city, check the terms and conditions thoroughly as real estate and visa scene are pretty complicated here.
84. Expats across the world come to Dubai for earning tax-free money. The average salary in Dubai hovers between 16,000 – 17,000AED or approximately 4,500 USD per month. Pretty attractive.
85. Employees coming from Western countries for new jobs find Dubai extremely different. Unbearable heat during summer months, traditional and age-old customs and diligent religious rituals are the main factors that bothers them initially.
86. In spite of featuring a typical male-dominated society, Dubai is way progressive than other Middle East countries in terms of ensuring better workplace for women. Women employees can be seen across every professional field and industry.
Travelling Facts About Dubai
87. Certain nationality passport holders need to arrange their visa for Dubai before visiting UAE while others can secure visa upon arrival. Check which group you belong before the trip.
88. Israeli passport holders are not allowed to visit UAE but if your passport shows an Israeli stamp on it from a recent visit, then it’s not a problem. Dubai Expo 2020 is going to create an exception for this rule. Any Israeli residents who wish to visit the Expo are allowed to do so.
89. Dubai follows Sharia Islamic Law just like rest of the country does. Therefore, display of affection at public places can raise many eyebrows. Kissing in public may enrage local people and may slap you with obscenity charges along with monetary fine. Dancing in public is also a crime in Dubai.
90. Islam also tells its women not to show much skin in public and dress modestly. It doesn’t include non-Muslim women but when you are visiting Dubai, don’t don dresses flashing too much of skin. Hotels, restaurants and bars are absolutely fine with any kind of clothing style.
91. You must cover your head and upper body while entering a mosque or any other religious places in Dubai.
92. Photography is prohibited at most of the religious places of the city. If you can’t decide whether to click some snaps or not, look around for sign-boards. They will guide you what to do.
93. Don’t click photos of random people without asking them for the permission. Local people of Dubai are very sensitive when it comes to maintaining their privacy. Invading their privacy is enough to infuriate them.
94. Islamic law prohibits Muslims to sell or consume pork. If you love to eat pork, then you have to be a non-Muslim. Pork is available at bars and restaurants but try to avoid eating it at open spaces surrounded with too many locals. This is disrespectful to their beliefs.
95. Ramadan is the holy month when Muslims fasts for almost a month before celebrating Eid. Fasting starts with the sunrise and ends when sun sets. As guests above 80th floor of Burj Khalifa receive more daylight, they have to keep fasting longer compared to the ones on the ground.
96. Thanks to well-planned highways, it takes just an hour to cover the entire length of Dubai but that doesn’t mean you can do it in reality. Peak hour traffic in this city is pretty frustrating which forces you to spend hours on the roads while travelling from one part to another part of the city.
97. Dubai is a part of UAE, an Islamic country but when you look around, you will see all sorts of foreigners from Europe, USA, Australia, Asia and Africa. More than 85% of Dubai’s population is made of expats. Locals just make the rest 15%. So, there is nothing to worry. You will always have someone around from your native place.
98. Dubai manages its extremely hot summer climate very efficiently. Forget about the homes, offices and malls; they even make their bus stops fully air-conditioned. They keep their swimming pools chilled during summers so that you can beat the heat effortlessly.
99. Unless you have a credit card with unlimited budget, price-tags of all those designer clothes, luxury handbags, expensive watches at shopping malls may feel intimidating. Dubai is undeniably one of the best shopping destinations in the world but the experience doesn’t come cheap at all.
100.Dubai is ‘Shopper’s Paradise’. It is really hard to decide what to take as a worthy souvenir from this city. The best souvenir of Dubai can be found at its “Souks” where incense, excellent pottery, perfumes and exotic spices are waiting for you.
Hopefully these 100 facts and findings have entertained you a lot but believe us, there’s a lot more are waiting for you there. So, plan your trip and visit the fascinating lands of Dubai soon.