Dubai is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world with an endless number of exciting things to do and see. It is mind-boggling to imagine how in a span of 60 years, Dubai has risen from a small pearl fishing town to the world leader that it is in business, banking, tourism, real estate, and shopping. There are so many indoor and outdoor adventures for singles, families, seniors as well as children in Dubai. This spectacular city is going to surprise you in many different ways. If you are interested in visiting Dubai anytime soon or just interested in knowing why it is so popular as a travel destination, the following are Dubai facts that will surprise you.
Dubai is home to the highest mosque in the world
Where else can this be than in the building that is three times higher than the Eiffel Tower? The highest mosque in the world is located on the 158th floor of the Burj Khalifa building.
You only pay VAT, but no income tax
There is no pay as you earn tax or income tax in Dubai. You get your full salary as it is. However, you will pay a 5% VAT on the products you buy. No income tax is one of the major Dubai facts many people do not know but it is the reason many people establish their businesses in Dubai.
The crime rate in Dubai is less than 1%
The crime rate in the city of Dubai is quite low. Any criminal activity can land you in jail. Year after year, Dubai has been ranked in the top ten safest cities in the world. This has to be one of the major Dubai facts that make many people move to Dubai for a safe lifestyle.
400 skyscrapers over 28 years
In 1991, there was barely a skyscraper to be seen anywhere in Dubai’s skyline. Today, everything is different. There are more than 400 skyscrapers designed and constructed to world-class standards. Today, this city is also home to the tallest building in the world. This one is never going to be Dubai fact someone won’t know because Dubai is most known for its skyline and tall buildings.
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world
That is right. Located in the Burj Park, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world with a roof height of 828 meters. This building is so tall that people on the highest floors have to wait for two minutes after every one to see the sunset. Tourists are allowed to till the 125th floor.
Dubai is not entirely an oil economy
Oil was discovered in 1966 in Dubai and most people think that Dubai is entirely an oil economy. However, there are limited oil deposits and so the rulers have turned to other industries to support the economy. Today, Dubai’s economy is built on banking, business, tourism, real estate and other industries.
Dubai once used the Indian Rupee as its currency
Bet you never knew this, but it is true. Dubai once used the Indian Rupee as their official currency before they evolved to using the Dirham. Even after adopting their own currency, the ties with India remain as strong as ever.
Abu Dhabi, not Dubai is the capital of the UAE
The UAE is a collection of seven emirates. Each Emirate has its capital and for the Dubai Emirate, the capital city is Dubai. However, Abu Dhabi is the capital of all of the UAE. Abu Dhabi neighbors Dubai and this could be the reason why many people think Dubai is the capital of the entire UAE.
More than 15 million visitors every year
As of 2019, the population of Dubai was 3.137 million. However, the city receives more than 15 million visitors every year. You will no doubt realize this when you get there. Some of these are the expats while others are tourists.
Dubai Fun facts for Kids
There are no homeless people in Dubai
Amazing, isn’t it? There are no homeless people in Dubai because they are not allowed to live in the city. At the same time, foreigners are not allowed to live here if they do not have work. OK, you can live there without having work if you have the money and if you can afford a place to live.
The largest flower garden in the world is in Dubai
This is the Dubai Miracle Flower Garden. It covers an area of 72,000 square meters and is home to more than 100 million flowers.
Robots for camel racing
Camel racing is big business in the Arab world. However, for a camel to win a race, the jockey has to be of the minimum weight possible. This led to increased cases of child trafficking because only child jockeys could meet the weight requirements. However, that has since been declared illegal and today, people use RC robots to ride their camels.
Largest indoor aquarium in the world
That is right; the largest indoor aquarium in the world is located in the Dubai Mall. It holds 10 million liters of water and is home to 33000 aquatic animals.
The longest fully automated metro line
That is right; you get 75 kilometers of the driverless, fully automated metro system in Dubai. There are many stops along the route, and more keep coming up. This metro line has made it to the Guinness Book of Records as the longest automated metro line.
The Ruler of Dubai has the title of Emir
Emir means is a male title of nobility or office. It is interpreted to mean prince, commander or general. By 2019, the Emir of Dubai is Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Ski on snow in the desert
Trust Dubai to create what Mother Nature has not endowed her with. This is why they create islands. However, they have outdone themselves with a skiing resort bang in the middle of a desert. The Mall of Emirates is home to an indoor skiing facility owned by Ski Dubai. This is a snow park, with real snow. You gotta have a slope to ski, right? That is why there is an 85-meter high mountain and a 400-meter ski run. Then there is a 3000-meter snow park with a toboggan runs, climbing towers, icy slides, and ice cave.
Lions, tigers, and cheetahs have been kept as pets
Why keep a chihuahua when you can have a cheetah? Why keep a cat when you can have a tiger? The super-rich people of Dubai have kept these exotic animals as pets for a long time. Eagles are very common for hunting. However, trade-in wild animals is banned.
Interesting facts about Dubai
Low-income Emiratis are paid to get married
Fancy that! There are certain prerequisites that a couple must meet to get the 70K Dirhams for marriage. One of them is that they must be citizens, must be a lower income earner or you are on social welfare. This grant is paid in one lump sum to the qualifying couple.
Dubai is a small city
Its reputation, industry, and economy is bigger than the city itself. Perhaps that is why the rich people of Dubai are obsessed with building vertically. You can drive across the city in one hour when the traffic is not heavy. Dubai is indeed a small city!
The police will race you to the end of the earth
If the Dubai police come after you, it will not be in a small engine Toyota car. They will come after you in a Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Murcielago or a McLaren. How far can you run on the highway? That is how some Dubai police officers roll.
There is only one 7-star hotel in the world and it is in Dubai
For luxury redefined, you can only get such an experience in the Burj-al-Arab Hotel, the only 7-star hotel in the world. This majestic building stands on a manmade island is 323 meters tall and in one of its restaurants, there is a huge aquarium.
Kiss, drink, and dance will take you to jail
Dubai may be quite liberal, but it is still a Muslim city and therefore it has very strict laws. For example, dancing, kissing and drinking in the public is illegal and it can land you in jail. Unmarried couples should not share a hotel room. Using vulgar language in the public will also land you in jail.
Roasting temperatures in summer
May through September, temperatures soar to up to 50°C! The residents of Dubai spend most of their time in summer indoors in air-conditioned spaces. Nighttime temperatures can also get as high as 30°C. Occasionally, there might be sandstorms too which can cover the city for hours or even days.
Dubai is a mix-pot of languages
Arabic is the official language of Dubai. However, English is the most spoken language any day. Expat communities living in Dubai also speak their own languages, which include Chinese, Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Malayalam and others.
Highest international passenger traffic airport
Emirates is one of the most respected and loved airlines in the world. It’s Dubai’s own airline. The Dubai International Airport is the busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic. Terminal 3 at the airport is the biggest terminal in the world. It is also the biggest single building in the world.
ATMs to dispense gold
In Dubai, when you want gold, you withdraw it from special ATMs made for dispensing gold. Referred to as Gold To Go ATMs, you can buy a minimum of 2.5g, 24K gold coin and 1-ounce bars in the ATMs located in the Dubai Mall. The ATMs are integrated with a system that tracks market movement to set the right prices.
There is gold mining in the interior of the Burj al Arab
This is the most luxurious 7-star hotel in the world. Its interior is lined with 24-karat gold. However, please note that this is not for the entire interior. About 1790 square meters of gold leaf have been used in the interior décor of the hotel.
The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world
The Dubai Mall is huge. It has 5.4 million sq.ft of retail area and the retail shops spanning the four stories are over 1200 in number. Collectively, this makes the mall the biggest shopping space in the world.
Lesser-Known Dubai Facts
Dubai does not bar you from following your religion
While the official religion in Dubai is Islam and faithful are called to prayer five times a day, there are other religions as well such as Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism especially for the people residing here for work purposes. You are allowed to follow your religion without any consequences.
There are more men than women in Dubai
Statistics show there is one woman to three men in the entire population of Dubai. The reason for this is that there are more expat men than women. Most of them are single or they have left their families at home to work in Dubai.
They have a Ministry of Happiness
Dubai has a Minister of Happiness whose work is to set up happiness offices and to oversee the implementation of the National Happiness and Positivity Program. At the same time, there is a Minister of Tolerance. He promotes understanding, tolerance and appreciation as important values since Dubai has people from all nationalities, faiths, beliefs and races.
There are 7 foreigners to 1 Emirati in Dubai
It takes a lot of manpower to run the city of Dubai. However, Emiratis themselves are less than 3.5 million. However, to every 1 Emirati, there are 7 foreigners. After 20 years, an expat may qualify for citizenship.
The number plate is a status symbol in Dubai
The lower the number of digits in your number plate, the more prominent you are. This is the reason why the digit 1 auctioned for more than ten million dollars. In a country that has more than 2 million cars, a unique car identity is very important. The car population has grown from 13 registered cars in 1968 to millions of cars by 2019. Thus, this is one of the interesting facts about Dubai that you any never heard of.
There is a 5km long gold chain in Dubai
Dubai has the honor of being home to the longest gold chain in the world. This chain is a product of the combined effort of 100 goldsmiths working for 45 days to get this chain ready. The 22-karat chain weighs close to 250kg. You already know Dubai loves gold and it is literally the symbol of Dubai.
The citizens of Dubai get paid in gold for losing weight
Thanks to the proliferation of western franchises for buggers, pizzas, fried chicken and chips, weight gain has become a “scourge” in the Arab world. However, the administration of Dubai has an unorthodox method to motivate people to lose weight. They are paid a little amount of gold for every kilogram of weight they lose. This has to be one of the Dubai facts that Dubai locals love the most!
Dubai was a pearl fishing center
Before the discovery of oil in Dubai, it was a pearl fishing town. However, when the world started manufacturing synthetic pearls, Dubai started looking for another source of income. The discovery of oil in 1966 was very welcome, but there weren’t enough deposits. Therefore, the administration branched to real estate and other industries.
Female taxi drivers for female passengers
You can recognize the female-driven taxis by their pink color. They have female drivers for the comfort and security of female passengers. This one of the cool Dubai facts many don’t know.