Dubai is situated in the southern Persian Gulf, considered as one of the leading cities in the world. Only a century ago it was a sleepy desert town whose residents lived in coral and gypsum huts and were primarily Bedouin traders and pearl divers. Today science fiction skyscrapers stand alongside the mosques and windmills of Old Dubai.
An estimated $80 billion of real-estate projects are now underway in Dubai. Construction cranes dot the horizon like a flock of birds, and fancy sports cars are seen gliding down the ultra-modern highways alongside sand dunes where camels once trotted. Dubai has become one of the world’s most appealing places for foreign investments. Tourism and real estate drive the economy, and there seems to be a never ending development of innovative and over the top projects. We thought we would give you a little insight on Dubai with 10 mind blowing facts.
CRANE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Dubai was once home to almost 25 percent of the world’s cranes during the height of the property boom. One out of every 4 cranes on Earth is located in Dubai which gives you a rough idea of the amount of construction that’s going on over there.
DUBAI’s PALM ISLANDS
The Palm Islands are two artificial islands, Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali, on the coast of Dubai. The islands were constructed from sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf by the Belgian company, Jan De Nul and Dutch company, Van Oord. The Palm islands required 94 cubic meters of sand and it is said that you could fill up The Empire State Building twice with that amount of sand.
BURJ AL ARAB
Burj Al Arab is a luxury 5 Star hotel in Dubai. It has been called “The world’s only 7 star Hotel” and is the third tallest hotel in the world. The shape of the structure is designed to replicate the sail of a ship. The interior of the Burj Al Arab is decorated with approximately 1,790 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf. To give you an idea of how much that is, the surface area of the Mona Lisa is 0.3869 square meters.
DUBAI POLICE CARS
Dubai has not been afraid to flash its excess wealth from its unique architecture to its amazing skyline, and the same goes with its police cars. The amazing Dubai police car fleet means there’s absolutely no escape for a criminal on the run. The fastest and most expensive cars make up the Dubai police force. They spend more on each of their cars than it costs to send a kid to college. NYU, a top college in the US costs $247,908 for four years. Here’s a list of the cars that will be on your tail if you’re foolish enough to consider speeding in Dubai. A Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin One-77, Ferrari FF, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Mercedes SLS AMG, Bentley Continental GT, and Ford Shelby Mustang Roush Edition.
There are a considerable number of expatriates in the UAE. Foreigners are attracted by the employment and investment opportunities and the country welcomes this. As a result the Emiratis are outnumbered at a ratio of 11 to 1. They now only make up 9% of the population whereas foreigners make up 91%. Although foreigners come from all over the world, majority come from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. To attain citizenship, one has to have lived in Dubai for 20 years, never been convicted of a crime, and can speak fluent Arabic.
DUBAI CAMEL RACING
One of the highlights when visiting Dubai is definitely the camel race. This traditional sport of camel racing is a serious business in the Gulf. It’s a highly competitive sport with top class racing camels worth tens of thousands of dirhams. Since children are small enough to be camel jockeys, child trafficking became a big issue. Robots costing $300 to $10,000 are now used in order to control this problem.
The Burj Khalifa is a mega tall skyscraper in Dubai and is the tallest man-made structure in the world, at 829.8 meters (2,717 feet). It has 160 residential floors. Those who live on the 150th floor and higher used to break their fast later than the rest because they could see the sun longer.
HOW TALL IS THE BURJ KHALIFA
The Burj Khalifa is so tall that it is visible from 95 km away. If the Burj Khalifa was in Freiburg, Germany, you would still be able to see it in Strasbourg, France.
DUBAI GOLD TRADE
Dubai now accounts for approximately 25% of the world’s annual gold trade. The value of gold traded through Dubai stood at $75 billion last year, representing 40 percent of the world’s physical gold trade. The trade of 2,250 tonnes of gold in 2013 marks a 73 percent increase compared to the previous year. That’s 2,250,000 kilograms. To give you an idea, an male African elephant weighs between 2,268 – 6,350 kg.
DUBAI’S CLIMATE CONTROLLED “CITY”
Dubai has announced plans to build the first climate controlled city on the planet. The area, constructed under a huge glass dome to control the climate, will accommodate the world’s largest shopping center, over 100 hotels, and a wellness district for medical tourists. The project will feature the world’s larges mall and indoor park, as well as a theatre area. The city will be 2.25 times the size of Monaco.