Dubai, located in the southern Persian Gulf on the Arabian peninsula, is both a city and an emirate in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Being strategically located, it has been an important trading hub since ancient times. An emerging leader in world economy, Dubai also has lots to offer to its tourists and is also a booming real estate market. Imposing architecture and sophisticated culture make Dubai one of the most beautiful tourist hot spots of the world.
Fascinating Facts about Dubai
Fascinating Facts about Dubai
- The word Dubai may have evolved from the word Daba, which means to creep, referring to the process by which the Dubai Creek slowly flows inland. Another interesting version is, the poet Ahmad Mohammad Obaid claims that Dubai got its name from the same word, Daba, which also refers to a swarm of locusts.
- Dubai had a flourishing pearl business, which collapsed with the advent of the First World War and the Great Depression.
- Dubai is a part of the Arabian Desert, but is topographically different from it. It is dotted with sandy deserts, where wild grasses and palm trees grow. To the east of the city lie the sabkha, coastal plains covered with salt, which see an abundant growth of desert hyacinths.
- Every year, in spring and fall, over 300 bird species migrate through Dubai.
- Dubai experiences extremely arid and hot climates, with the mercury shooting as high as 104oF. Average precipitation is not more than 140 mm annually. Summers are prone to severe sandstorms, locally known as shamal, which can last for days on end, and reduce visibility.
- The Al Maktoum dynasty has ruled Dubai since 1833. Dubai does not follow the federal judicial system of the United Arab Emirates.
- The culture and dress code in Dubai is much more diverse and liberal than the other emirates of the UAE. Though music, arts, and food have a distinct Arabic and Bedouin influence, the large influx of foreigners visiting and working in Dubai have left their indelible mark on the place, which is evident in the cosmopolitan culture of the society. Traditionally, men wear a kandura, a long white robe, that reached up to the ankles, and is either woolen or made from cotton. Women can be seen wearing the abaya, a black garment worn over the clothes.
- Dubai has stringent behavioral laws in place, and kissing and dancing in public is considered illegal. It is imperative that Muslim religious restrictions be obeyed by non-Muslims as well.
- Dubai has world-famous shopping malls, and tourists flock here regularly to enjoy the Dubai Shopping Festival. The Dubai Mall is the seventh largest mall in the world, and the city is called the Shopping Capital of the Middle East.
- On either side of Dubai Creek, lie commercial districts known as souk. These districts are traditionally famous for the exchange of commodities, which were brought in by Arabian cargo vessels known as dhows from east Asia. Visit a souk to get a feel of true Dubai shopping, where customers bargain heavily.
- Dubai is famous for its gold market, and the Gold Souk itself has over 250 gold shops! It is said that one in every five persons in Dubai buys at least five pieces of jewelry annually.
- Dubai is home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure on the earth, at a height of 2,717 feet. This towering edifice also currently boasts of the highest restaurant, highest mosque, highest nightclub, and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world! Quite a feat, isn't it? Wait, there's more. If you happen to visit Dubai on new year's eve, this hotel will put up a brilliant display of fireworks, the highest of its kind currently in the world!
- The tallest residential building in the world, the 23 Marina is also located in Dubai. The world's tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, is also found in Dubai, standing tall at 1,165 feet.
- The Burj Al Arab, built in the shape of a dhow sail, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, and the fourth tallest, is built on an artificial island, nearly 280 feet from Jumeirah beach. One of its restaurants, Al Mahara, features a massive seawater aquarium, made of acrylic glass. The entry to this restaurant is through a simulated submarine voyage. Another noteworthy fact, the lobby of this hotel is taller than the Statue of Liberty!
- The Dubai Mall, part of the Burj Khalifa, is the biggest shopping mall in the world by total area. It houses the Aquarium and Discovery Center, which has the unique distinction of holding the world record for the largest acrylic panel.
- The Mall of the Emirates features Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort, with an area of 22,500 square meters. There's also the Snow Park, the largest indoor snow park in the world, with an area of 3,000 square meters.
- Palm Islands, an artificial group of islands, are being constructed using land reclamation techniques, in Dubai. Once completed, these islands will be the biggest archipelago ever made and will house residential beachfront properties, luxury hotels, theme parks, entertainment centers, malls, sporting facilities, and much more.
- The Dubai International Airport is the 5th busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, and the 8th busiest cargo airport in the world. Terminal 3 of the airport is the single largest building, by floor space.
- You do not need to pay personal and income tax in Dubai!
- Interestingly, Dubai lacks street addresses!
- Over 80% of Dubai's population consists of foreigners.