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Dubai’s fascinating transformation from quaint fishing village surrounded by vast desert planes to a thriving cultural melting pot is one that many residents – and visitors – are well versed in. Dubai, a city of wonders, continues to stand out with its record-breaking engineering marvels. One could call it the world’s most “superlative-filled” town, boasting the world’s tallest building, the world’s fastest rollercoaster, the world’s longest zipline, along with many others.

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…

  1. The Burj Khalifa, can be seen from 95 km away and is 163 stories high, is the tallest building in the world. With a total height of 830 m the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its inception in 2009. It has as well, one of the fastest elevators in the world. It boasts more than 160 stories and seven world records. People living on the higher levels have to wait approximately two minutes longer for the sun to set before they can break fast during Ramadan.
  2. The Burj Al Arab hotel uses enough gold to cover the Mona Lisa Painting 46,265 Times. The interior of the Burj Al Arab is decorated with around 1,790 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf; that’s equivalent to seven (7) full-sized tennis courts! Dubbed the world’s first seven-star hotel, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab is located on its own private island, accessed via a private bridge.
  3. Dubai is developing a new skyscraper named ‘The Tower’ that’s inspired by the mythical hanging gardens of Babylon and will be taller than the current tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.
  4. Standing at an impressive 75 floors, the 4-star Gevora Hotel is the world’s tallest hotel; at a 356 metres tall i.e.  50 metres taller than The Shard in London, and 56 metres taller than Paris’ Eiffel Tower. JW Marriott Marquis is the world’s tallest five star hotel at 355 metres.
  5. Dubai’s Artificial Palm Islands use enough sand to fill 2.5 Empire State Buildings. Its construction required 94 million cubic meters of sand; whilst the Empire State Building only 37 million cubic meters. In fact, the amount of rock and sand used here could form a 2-meter wide wall that would circle the globe three times! Man-made Palm Jumeirah spans 600 hectares of land and is made from all-natural materials. The Palm Jumeirah can be seen from space.
  6. The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system; choreographed by the masterminds behind The Bellagio’s dancing water show in Las Vegas.
  7. Dubai Is Building the World’s Largest Retail and Entertainment Destination. The Dubai Square, 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’ Beverly Hills. Link:
  8. Dubai deepest swimming pool on the planet, complete with a “sunken city” for divers to explore. Deep Dive Dubai prides itself as the only diving facility in the world where you can go down 60 meters, 15 meters deeper than any other pool, as confirmed to Agence France-Presse (AFP) by Guinness World Records. The pool contains 14.6 million liters (3.8 million gallons) of fresh water, a volume equivalent to six Olympic-size swimming pools.
  9. The United Arab Emirates is considering proposals for an artificial mountain that could help increase the country’s rainfall. Researchers are exploring different approaches to creating more rain in the country, according to reports. One option is to construct an artificial mountain, which would increase cloud production and make it possible to create rain on demand. The UAE government spent a reported $558,000 (£400,000) on cloud seeding. The experiments are believed to have played a part in record rainfall, which was also accompanied by thunderstorms and strong winds.
  10. Dubai attracts a wealth of Michelin-star and celebrity chefs.
  11. 25% of All Cranes in the World Were Once Located in Dubai.
  12. Dubai Loves Gold: There are ATMs in Dubai that dispense gold bars! More than 25% of the world’s physical gold passed through Dubai. Dubai’s holds a world record for making the longest gold chain that measures 5,522 meters!
  13. Dubai is the fourth (4th) most visited city in the world after London, Paris and Bangkok.
  14. The Police Force in Dubai uses Super Cars, such as the Ferrari FF (US$ 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!
  15. Roughly 85 Percent of Dubai’s Population Is Foreign.
  16. In Dubai Robots are replacing illegal child labor in Camel Racing. They cost anywhere from $300 to $10,000.
  17. The Lost Chambers Aquarium – located in Atlantis, The Palm – is home to more than 65,000 marine animals and offers a host of interactive experiences.
  18. Dubai is always at the forefront of innovation, and that is further emphasized with the city’s new 3D Printing Strategy. The city aims to exploit 3D technology and says that by 2030, 25% of its buildings will be 3D printed.
  19. Dubai Water Canal is a 3.2km long waterway which winds its way from the creek through Business Bay. A top romantic spot, the canal includes a mechanical waterfall as well as five pedestrian bridges that offer great vantage points.
  20. Talking of breaking records, once completed, the Ain Dubai observation wheel is set to become the largest and highest in the world, taking Las Vegas’ high roller’s crown.
  21. Dubai Metro was the longest automated rail network in the world, but currently was demoted to third place.
  22. Dubai has been awarded more than 130 Guinness World Records. These include 3 for Dubai Miracle Garden; and no less than 11 for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Weirder and wonderful achievements include fastest police car in service, most people to parachute from a balloon simultaneously and longest underwater live radio broadcast.
  23. 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.
  24. You Pay No Income Tax in Dubai.
  25. Tourists can now apply for a licence to fly their drones around landmarks in Dubai. After registering online, tourists will receive a certificate that is subject to an in-house validation of their skills.
  26. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a dedicated Minister for Happiness, who’s in charge of (unsurprisingly) promoting happiness among residents in Dubai and the other six emirates that make up the UAE. Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi has held the position since it was introduced in 2016.
  27. In 1991, Dubai World Trade Centre was the only skyscraper in Dubai. Three decades later, there are 215 skyscrapers across the city.
  28. Fuel is only slightly more expensive than water.
  29. Dubai’s land area has increased. Dubai covered an area of 3,900 square kilometres, but due to land reclamation and the construction of man-made islands, the emirate has increased to a size of 4,114 square kilometres.
  30. There are no permanent rivers in Dubai.
  31. In 1968, Only 13 cars were registered in Dubai.
  32. Only non-Muslims are allowed to buy and consume alcohol and pork.
  33. Kissing or holding hands in public is illegal and can result in fines or deportation.