Known for its luxury shopping and its ultra-modern lifestyle, Dubai is a tourist’s paradise, with places like the Burj Dubai gracing its magnificent skyline. Along with having the world’s tallest building, Dubai also has the biggest flower garden and the largest aquarium of the world! Think that’s awesome? Wait till you read the following 12 facts about Dubai – you’ll be blown away!
1. The locals constitute less than 20% of the population there.
The reason for this is exponential immigration, which has led to the drowning out of the local Emirati population, making them feel like strangers in their own land, owing to Dubai being something of a melting pot of cultures and people from across the world. However, everyone gets along wonderfully well, and the city has an extremely low crime rate, with violent crimes almost unheard of, and a society that is relatively peaceful.(source)
2. As opposed to 1 skyscraper in 1991, Dubai now has over 400.
The only skyscraper in Dubai – the World Trade Center – now has company to boast of. Today, the Sheikh Zayed Road, where it is situated, has transformed into a Skyscraper Avenue, with both sides of the street lined by tall, majestic buildings, one of which is the Burj Dubai – the tallest building in the world.(source)
3. In Dubai, if you lose, you gain: the government pays its citizens 2 grams of gold for every kg of body weight they lose!
In a bid to encourage people to lose weight, the Dubai government awards its citizens 2g of gold for every kg they lose. Children between the ages of 2 and 14 are given 2g of gold for every kg lost, and only two children can participate per family. In 2013, the program, which then focused only on adults, paid out $762,340 in gold.(source)
4. In Dubai, you can get pizza delivered to your door by pushing a fridge magnet.
Suddenly crave a pizza, but too lazy to hunt for the number, or go online to order one? Looks like Red Tomato Pizza in Dubai may just have come up with the perfect solution: a fridge magnet. This magnet developed by the company is a pizza-shaped magnet that has a direct line to the pizzeria; all one has to do is tap it to be connected to the pizzeria online via Bluetooth, and place one’s order. Easy as that.(source)
5. Dubai is building an entertainment complex which will cost about 150,000 times the 2012 revenue of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Dubailand, as it will be dubbed, is said to cost about US $64.3 billion. To give you some perspective, the total revenue of the Susan G. Komen foundation in 2012 was $428,897.(source)
6. The Dubai police fleet includes a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, and a Bentley to allow them to catch speeding drivers who can outrun other cars.
It’s one hell of a police fleet that boasts a Lamborghini and a Ferrari, introduced in a bid to catch speeding drivers and curb road deaths and injuries.(source)
7. License plates in Dubai are a symbol of prestige and status, with them being bought and sold for over $14 million – with 1-digit-numbers being the most desired, followed by 2-digits, and so on.
We barely spend any time dwelling on our license plates. More often that not, we take what we get and make do with it. In Dubai, however, license plates sometimes symbolise your status, resulting in a large number of people going in for fancy number plates that signify something to them; the higher the number of digits, the cheaper the license plate.(source)
8. Some ATMs in Dubai dispense gold bars.
Yes, Dubai has an ATM that pays in 24-carat gold – be it bars, coins, or wearable jewellery. All that the customer needs to do is make their selection and pay via cash or credit card, and the machine – dubbed Gold to Go – spits out whatever it is that you want. Located in the Dubai Mall, the machine has become quite the sensation, so much so, that it needs to be replenished twice a week.(source)
9. About one-third of Dubai’s GDP comes from its airport, which contributes around $22 billion to its GDP.
Oil only constitutes 2% of Dubai’s GDP, contrary to popular belief; the bulk of its revenue comes from transportation, commerce, trading, financial services, retail, and tourism.
It does not come as a big surprise, then, that their airport – Dubai International, plays such an important role in the Dubai economy is an important contributor to the Dubai economy: it employs over 90,000 people, and supports over 400,000 jobs. Its total contribution to the economy stands at over US$26.7 billion, i.e., 27% of Dubai’s GDP, and 21% of the total employment of the city.(source)
10. Dubai is building a 50,000,000 square foot climate-controlled indoor city from scratch.
The Mall of the World, as it will be called, will be a giant, 50 million sq ft urban center is a climate and temperature-controlled environment that has taken inspiration from London’s Oxford Street to New York’s Broadway, all of which will be indoors, covered by massive domes. This ambitious project will allow 20,000 hotel rooms, parking space for over 50,000 vehicles, and house the world’s largest shopping mall, and is being developed in a bid to increase the tourist thoroughfare to Dubai.(source)
11. There are thousands of luxury cars left abandoned in Dubai.
It’s a pity: take a walk around Dubai’s parking lots, and you will see thousands of luxury and sports cars – from BMWs and Mercedes, to Ferraris and Porsches – lying in careless abandon. The BBC reported that a Ferrari Enzo worth more than $1 million was found abandoned in a parking lot of a Dubai airport. One of the central reasons for this is speculated to be the Sharia law, that states that if you fall behind on your car payments, you go to prison, and these abandoned cars were possibly the property of citizens who preferred fleeing the country over staying back and counting prison bars.(source)
12. Although illegal, keeping exotic animals as pets is something of a fashion statement in Dubai.
Yes, wild animals are scary, not to mention incredibly dangerous, but do buyers care? Not really. Buyers in UAE have always shown a growing interest in owning exotic pets such as tigers and cheetahs, all of which are, incidentally, illegal. Owing to the increased interest among people, however, these animals are easily available over the internet, after being smuggled in from their natural habitats. Talk about an expensive choice!(source)