Crazy & Interesting Facts About Dubai

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Last month I spent a few days in Dubai. It was my third trip to this Emirate and I have to say, the more I get to know it, the more enjoyable I find this place.

Yes, it’s artificial, over-the-top and a bit strange to see such a modern, air-conditioned city in the middle of the desert.

But, spending some time in Dubai with a friend who lives in the city made me see much more of it than just the tourist attractions and I have to admit, it is a city where you could lead a very comfortable life!

Dubai, a small desert town only 50 years ago, has developed into a vibrant city that is a business and cultural focal point in the Middle East and a popular tourist destination.

Also Read: Things to Do in Dubai – A Travel Guide With Insider Tips

What is Dubai Known For?

Dubai is known for luxury shopping, modern architecture, and a lively nightlife scene.

Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline.

Real Estate and tourism drive the economy, and there seems to be a never-ending development of innovative and over-the-top projects.

Dubai is unique and therefore I wanted to share some Dubai facts and information with you.

Let’s start with some interesting and crazy facts about Dubai to show you just how different this place is…

Facts About Dubai – From Funny to Crazy & Shocking!

1. the Burj Al Arab Hotel Uses Enough Gold to Cover the Mona Lisa Painting 46,265 Times

Facts about Dubai: Burj al Arab, Dubai
Source: wikipedia.org – Facts about Dubai

The interior of the Burj Al Arab is decorated with around 1,790 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf.

With that, you could cover 46,265 Mona Lisa paintings!

2. Dubai’s Artificial Palm Islands Use Enough Sand to Fill 2.5 Empire State Buildings

Palm island in Dubai seen from the sky during construction
Picture by Richard Schneider – Dubai facts

Constructing Dubai’s Palm Islands required 94 million cubic meters of sand. The Empire State Building is only 37 million cubic meters.

In fact, the amount of rock and sand used here could form a 2 meter wide (6.5 feet) wall that would circle the globe three times!

Click here for more information

3. The Police Force in Dubai Spends More on Each of Their Super Cars Than It Costs to Send a Child to College in the USA

interesting fact about Dubai: police cars
Police car in Dubai – Interesting fact about Dubai

An interesting fact about Dubai: Dubai’s police force uses supercars to impress tourists and show how “classy” the city is.

This includes cars such as the Ferrari FF (US$ 500,000), Lamborghini Aventador (US$ 397,000) and an Aston Martin One-77 (US$ 1.79 million).

And they hold a world record for the fastest police car; a Bugatti Veyron which they purchased for US$ 1.6 million!

In comparison, attending New York University, the most expensive college in the USA, costs about $248,000 for four years!

4. The Tallest Building in the World is Located in Dubai

the tallest building in Dubai

The Burj Khalifa, which can be seen from 95 km away and is 163 stories high, is the tallest building in the world.

With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft) and a roof height (excluding antenna but including a 244 m spire) of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009.

It also has one of the fastest elevators in the world which you can take up to the observation deck to enjoy an incredible view of Dubai.

5. 25% of All Cranes in the World Were Once Located in Dubai

Dubai fact: construction
There are still A LOT of cranes in Dubai – fact about Dubai

During the height of the property boom, Dubai’s skyline was filled with cranes.

Some say the city was home to almost 25 percent of the world’s cranes! But, this might be a bit of an urban legend as other sources only state 2 or 3%.

Nevertheless, the number of cranes in Dubai was and still is, crazy, and the city keeps developing.

6. Roughly 85 Percent of Dubai’s Population Is Foreign

Fun facts about Dubai: Dubai population
Dubai’s international population – Fun facts about Dubai

It is estimated that around 15 percent of Dubai’s population are Emiratis, while the other 85 percent are expatriates.

Most of the workers building Dubai’s hundreds of skyscrapers immigrated to the United Arab Emirates from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. As a result, they now comprise over 50% of the city’s population.

The class divide is big, with many of the immigrant workers living and working in horrible conditions while Emiratis have their rent, education and medical bills paid for and upper-class foreigners earn extremely attractive salaries.

7. In Dubai Robots Are Replacing Illegal Child Labor in Camel Racing

Fun facts about Dubai - Camel racing Dubai
Source: wonderfulengineering.com – Dubai facts

Camel racing is a very popular sport in Dubai, similar to what football is to the USA and hockey to Canada.

Given the camel’s size, only children can participate in racing them. Instead of allowing Dubai residents’ children to participate, 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.

Leave it to Dubai to come up with a solution. Now, child-sized robots are being built and are racing the camels. They cost anywhere from $300 to $10,000.

8. Until Recently Dubai Had No Addresses, No Zip Codes, No Area Codes, and No Postal System

fun facts about Dubai
Dubai facts

Due to the rate at which Dubai has been growing, it never developed a standard address system.

Instead of an address line on a mailing label, there was a space where residents could draw a map or write out specific instructions such as: “After you pass the white mosque, it’s the first street to the left, blue door.”

It wasn’t until 2015 that Dubai started assigning so-called Makani numbers (a unique 10 digit code) to all buildings to help identify them.

9. You Pay No Income Tax in Dubai

Fun facts about Dubai: taxes
Interesting fact about Dubai

Apart from an often very attractive salary you also won’t have to pay any income taxes when you make your money in Dubai. 

This attracts a lot of people who come to Dubai with the idea of saving a good amount of money in a short amount of time.

Too bad it is also very easy to spend a lot of money in Dubai…

10. Dubai Loves Gold

Interesting facts about Dubai: Dubai loves gold
picture by Theodore Scott – Interesting facts about Dubai

Do you want to buy some gold? There are ATMs in Dubai that dispense gold bars! Or visit Dubai’s popular Gold Souk, a traditional market with over 380 retailers.

More than 25% of the world’s physical gold passed through Dubai.

But the funniest Dubai fact when it comes to their love of gold is that they hold a world record for making the longest gold chain. The chain measures 5,522 meters (18,116 ft 9.14 in)!

11. Dubai Is Building ‘the World’s Largest Retail and Entertainment Destination’

Things in Dubai always seem to have to be the biggest, the tallest or the most unique, so this latest development fits in perfectly.

Dubai Square, as it will be called, will be equivalent to the size of 100 football fields!

It is inspired by the world’s best shopping destinations such as London‘s Oxford Street and Los Angeles‘s Beverly Hills, but is said to become much more than just a shopping mall.

After reading all these other facts about Dubai I am sure you can expect this to have some unique, over the top features and be very entertaining!

More Useful and Interesting Facts About Dubai

  1. The total population of Dubai is 3.3 million.
  2. Arabic is the official language.
  3. The currency is UAE dirham (AED).
  4. The time zone is UTC+4 (GST).
  5. The country code / prefix is +971.
  6. Islam is the official religion.
  7. Only non-Muslims are allowed to buy and consume alcohol and pork.
  8. Kissing or holding hands in public is illegal and can result in fines or deportation.
  9. Weekend in Dubai is on Friday and Saturday.

Is Dubai a City or a Country?

Dubai is a city and not a country.

But, and this is where the confusion comes from, Dubai is also the name of the Emirate that the city of Dubai is the capital of.

The emirate of Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The emirate of Dubai is made up of several other municipalities and villages besides Dubai but Dubai is by far the largest and most important municipality in the emirate.

Generally, when you read about Dubai people are referring to the city.

The UAE is a country with Abu Dhabi being the capital but Dubai the largest city.

Is Dubai a State?

Yes, the emirate of Dubai is one of the 7 states that make up the UAE. So if you are referring to the emirate and not just the city then Dubai is a state.

I hope this clarifies things and I hope you enjoyed all these facts about Dubai!

Dubai is Larger Than Life

Dubai’s goal seems to be to constantly have the biggest and best of everything. Its hotels try to be the most luxurious on earth, including what’s said to be the best hotel in the world: The Burj Al-Arab.

And on top of that, the city has one of the largest indoor malls in the world, one of the biggest aquariums, the biggest automated fountain, the tallest hotel, and one of the largest indoor ski slopes…

If you ever get the chance to visit this truly unique city, go! Whether you end up liking it or not, it will leave a unique impression.

For More Information & Facts About Dubai:

Also read: In Pictures: Where to Travel to Next – The Perfect Travel Inspiration

 
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interesting facts about Dubai

 

Sanne Wesselman

Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing.
I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

21 thoughts on “Crazy & Interesting Facts About Dubai”

  1. I have been to Dubai twice, both times for a week and it was an amazing experience. But shopping took much of the time. I hope to go back and enjoy the recommendations. Your writing is so vivid. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Going through all the facts and comments about this amazing city really pushes a person to see the marvels of this wonderful city in reality, surely I will be there in the near future. Thank you for all the true facts about Dubai.
    Jacolyn.

    Reply
    • I stopped off in Dubai in June 2015 for 5 days. At home in the UK, things tend to grind to a halt when 1) it snows, and 2) the temperature plummets below 0 centigrade. Is it true that in Dubai when it hits 50-plus C, it also comes to a halt?

      Reply
  3. Dubai is another paradise on earth. I love to visit there. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. Very informative and very good pictures.

    Reply

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