Dubai is one of the most advanced cities in the world. Decades ago, a complete desert, is now a city that has all the comforts and technological advancements. This global city is a treasury of some strange and curious facts.
The Palm Islands
Since Dubai is small at only 1,588 square miles, it obviously needs more land to fit the wealthy who flock to it. But who wants a view of the desert? That’s why they built more land, giving residents their own personal beachfront at what’s called the Palm Islands since the whole thing looks like one.
His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Sheik Mo, for short – has a simple motto for his country – build, build, build. So they did just that. There’s the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world at 2,717 feet with 160 floors, the Cayan Tower at 1,004 feet designed by the very people who thought up the Burj Khalifa, and the Burj Al Arab Hotel – the world’s only 7-Star hotel because it’s just so luxurious… all guests are picked up by a Rolls Royce!
Gold ATM counters
Need gold? Then head on over to the Emirates Palace Hotel and make your way to the gold-plated ATM machine. Stick your money, credit, or debit card in then choose from up to 320 gold products – from gold bars to gold coins in varying weights and purity.
Air-conditioned bus stops
Like all deserts, Dubai is extremely hot. For those who can’t afford to stand in line at the gold ATM, and instead stand outside waiting for buses in the burning sun, the city’s got them covered with air-conditioned bus stops.
Biggest Mall in the world
The world’s biggest shopping Mall resides in Dubai – the Dubai Mall. In 2011, it became the most visited in the world because it’s also home to the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Center. In 2012 alone, it hosted over 65 million visitors. To put that into perspective, New York City saw 52 million tourists in the same year.
Biggest snow park
Not to be outdone is the Mall of the Emirates, which hosts Ski Dubai. As its name suggests, you can ski in it. It includes an 85-meter-high mountain with five slopes and a 400-meter long run, complete with ski lift, and even a few real-life penguins – all to help you forget the desert outside.
Luxury car parade
In 2013, the city decided to host the proposed 2020 Dubai-Expo, and to make sure everyone got the message, it held a Luxury Car Parade. Around 500 private luxury/supercar owners joined the parade.
Luxury cars aside, Dubai hasn’t forgotten its ancient roots, which includes a reverence of camels – a traditional means of transport, food, and even currency. It, therefore, hosts a camel festival and camel races (even during the pandemic) complete with cash prizes. The city reserves parking spaces for camels.
Like all desert cultures, Dubai has a thing about water, hence the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in the Dubai Mall. Among the largest suspended aquariums in the world, it holds 10-million liters of water and is home to over 140 species. If you’d rather enjoy aquariums at your hotel, stay at the Atlantis The Palm – which sports a water park and even has aquariums in the restaurant lobby and some rooms.
Dubai Miracle garden
The largest flower garden in the world was opened in 2013 – putting the Dutch to shame. Over 150 million flowers call this garden home compared to the 7 million in the Keukenhof in the Netherlands. But it’s no ordinary garden as it’s made up of flower sculptures which include a replica of the Burj Khalifa.
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