13 Things You Didn’t Know About Dubai

Dubai hardly existed fifty years ago. This metropolis in the Persian Gulf was then just a simple fishing village. The disproportionate ambition of local politicians made it a city-world that became just as much!

Also Read: 26 Best Instagrammable Places in Dubai

Dubai is the city where anything is possible, the megalopolis of all records. It constitutes a tourist, economic and commercial center of the first order. This city of all records is full of crazy anecdotes than the next. To shine in society, we bring you some of the most incredible fun facts about Dubai. Surprises do not end here…

things you didn't know about dubai
Image: @Olgaozik / @Wphoto

1. The Palm Jumeirah is visible from space

Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago built off the city of Dubai. It hosts hotels and luxury residences for the wealthy. Its palm tree shape is obviously not obvious when you get there by boat … But seen from the sky, it is quite characteristic. And it can be seen from afar since sumptuous pictures have been taken from the ISS (the International Space Station).

2. 90% of its inhabitants do not have UAE nationality

Dubai is a metropolis populated by a lot of foreigners like the whole of the United Arab Emirates. Whether they come to work in tourism, construction, finance, or simply enjoy a golden retirement, they constitute the overwhelming majority of “locals”.

3. The metropolis is only 40 years old

The photographs taken in the 1980s speak for themselves! Dubai was built fifty years in the middle of the sand dunes. Before the oversized towers, there were only a few fishing huts here bordering the Indian Ocean.

Over the years, the government decided to pursue an aggressive urban expansion policy in order to attract foreign capital. It’s a pretty successful bet given the current result, isn’t it?

4. Crime (almost) does not exist

A set of very strict laws and regulations coupled with Islamic standards (still more or less in force) make the city of Dubai an extremely safe metropolis. We walk here without fear of being attacked, robbed, or swindled… because the penalties are very heavy for the culprits.

Take note that there is a bit of crime in Dubai, and you still need to be alert. But the residents here feel secure and safe generally.

Today, the UAE city is one of the safest in the world despite ostentatious wealth likely to arouse greed. Few tourist destinations can say the same!

5. It contains the only seven stars in the world

The Burj-Al-Arab is not officially a “seven-star”. That being said, it is considered the most luxurious hotel establishment on the planet. Its shape of a giant sail (321 meters!) Seeming to float on the Indian Ocean is recognizable among a thousand. A helipad and a panoramic restaurant stand at the top. The prices for access to the suites are staggering but the level of service promised is one of the highest on the planet. To take advantage of it, it is better to have some savings …

6. Police officers travel by supercars

Dubai is a city of eccentricity. Even the police force must live up to the reputation of the place. For this, they are equipped with luxury vehicles far removed from our European vans!

Lamborghini, Mercedes AMG, Brabus, Audi R8, and even Bugatti are among the brands used by the police. You will understand, if you commit any misconduct, it will be difficult to escape them …

7. There is no address or mailbox in Dubai

In the city of all excess, almost everything exists. Finally except … postal services, completely absent in Dubai. There are no postmen or letterboxes here. To easily have an envelope or parcel delivered, there is only one solution: have it delivered directly to your home by courier. It is also possible to use the poste restante or “PO Box” systems offered in certain shops.

8. At the distributor, you can withdraw … gold

These original distributors do not exist in Europe but flourish in Dubai. The “Gold to Go” ATMs, scattered in a few key locations, allow you to buy small bars and gold coins. The course is re-evaluated frequently and these devices are very successful. In this city-world where money is king, gold is a safe bet and a popular means of payment. Let’s be frank, who will be surprised?

9. The biggest shopping mall in the world is in Dubai

The Dubai Mall? 1,124,000 m², 800,000 m² of retail space accommodating… 1,200 shops. It’s easy to find: not only is it gigantic, but located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. Window shopping here is like a real marathon.

It would take days to find out everything! There is also one of the largest aquariums in the world and an Olympic ice rink. Children will be delighted to explore the 930 m² of the largest candy store in the world.

10. The Burj Khalifa is shaped… like a flower

Recognizable among a thousand, the Burj Khalifa is the skyscraper of all records. It is the largest on the planet with its 160 floors and it has the fastest elevator. Its construction, completed in 2010, required more than 12,000 people. What is less known is that its shape was inspired by a desert flower called Hymenocallis.

This 500,000-ton architectural masterpiece, all in metal and concrete, therefore includes a share of poetry. There are many rental villas and apartments in Dubai  providing a majestic view of the iconic Burj Khalifa.

11. We don’t pay income taxes in Dubai

Dubai, a metropolis of king money? Yes, that we will not teach anyone. What is less known is that in Dubai, taxpayers pay no income tax. Moreover, no corporate tax is required.

Although there is a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced recently, these are for commodities and services only. Salary is still not taxed in Dubai.

This obviously explains the massive influx of foreign investments in this economic heart of the Arabian Peninsula …

12. The Best times to go

The best time to visit Dubai is from November to March when the temperature ranges from 30° C to 12° C. During this time the city has beautiful clear, blue skies and the best beach weather. The weather is reasonably comfortable.

During the summer, Dubai is extremely hot, dry, and humid. You can skip your trip if planning to visit during the summer. Visiting Dubai in the month of April-October would be an uninformed decision.

13. We find abandoned luxury cars in the middle of the desert

Not only does money fall from the sky, but good sums literally rot in the middle of the desert. We explain to you: entrepreneurs who found themselves in default of payment fled the country, abandoning their luxury vehicles in the middle of the desert. The reason? The very strict laws which can send them to prison in the event of bankruptcy… The flight is more comfortable, even if it means losing your supercar.


Author Bio: Julien Chbib
Julien is the founder of Julius Homes. His interest in hiking, skiing, and adventure holidays made him bring together the choicest accommodations around the globe to make holidays relaxing and comfortable.