Dubai, the land of luxury located in the Persian Gulf is growing rapidly and is home to about 6 million people. The emirate is made up of mostly foreigners and is quite culturally diverse. Dubai is not your stereotypical place in the Middle East. There are many interesting attractions and things to see in Dubai that will likely surprise you.
1. Fashion Forward
Dubai has already taken over the fashion world of the Middle East. Now, they’re ready to play with the big boys and influence fashion across the globe.
Designers from Dubai have appeared on catwalks in New York and Paris. Dubai’s designers typically design more conservative pieces than are usually seen in the West, but a lot of people do prefer to dress more conservatively than what’s trendy.
2. All-Female Police Squad
Dubai has done amazing things for Muslim women. One of the most notable being their creation of an all-female police task force. They deal with theft and fraud around Dubai as well as handle sensitive issues in which a female officer is more appropriate.
These women all previously worked as officers around Dubai and speak both Arabic and English.
3. Celebrities Visit Dubai
Dubai has really done well to make itself quite the attraction in recent years. A-list celebrities like George Clooney and Kim Kardashian couldn’t resist seeing the city for themselves.
The first skyscraper in Dubai was built just 32 years ago in 1979. It’s pretty incredible to see how fast Dubai has grown.
4. Patrols With Swag
Did you recognize them? We did not. You may be surprised to see that the police officers of Dubai drive luxury patrol cars like the Aston Martin.
The laws in Dubai are very strict which keeps the crime rate very low. Dubai is the 9th safest city according to Number’s World Crime Index.
5. Striking Diversity
There aren’t many places you can visit with such diversity. There are certain non-family beaches where you will find both many women in bikinis as well as many women in traditional Islamic clothing.
We should always make every effort not to disrespect a culture as a visitor, however, Dubai welcomes foreigners and is known to be very tolerant of them.
6. What to Wear
Unlike other Islamic countries, the dress code is much less strict. Foreigners can wear typical Western clothing and women only cover their heads if they want to.
You do want to try not to show too much skin or the police may ask you to change clothes. There are, however, different rules if you wish to visit a mosque.
7. Growing Fast
Looking at pictures of Dubai, it’s really hard to believe this was little but an empty desert wasteland just a few short decades ago.
Many had doubts when they heard about plans for a city called Dubai, but they obviously were wrong to doubt it. They didn’t just build any old city either, it’s quite an impressive feat.
8. Outdoor Air-Conditioning
They really stopped at nothing to make Dubai one of the most luxurious cities in the world.
Dubai has enclosed air-conditioning pods outside, for example, at the bus stop. If you get too hot, you can just cool off for a few minutes and you’re good to go. This is great considering temperatures can rise to over 120 Fahrenheit here.
9. Gold Galore
What a photo! It looks special and expensive. Dubai is home to the world’s biggest gold market, and they’ve become experts at working with gold there. Did you know that? They’ve incorporated gold into their architecture and have skilled craftsmen that can gold-plate just about anything you could imagine. Read more about Dubai.
10. A Thousand Feet in the Air
Dubai features a number of engineering marvels besides the city itself. Dubai hosted the Dubai Duty-Free Men’s Open for tennis in 2005. The court was temporarily suspended 1,000 feet off the ground.
It made for a great publicity stunt and photo-op but has been converted back to a helipad now.
11. Robots Riding Camels
You might be surprised to discover that in the Dubai sport of camel racing, human jockeys have been banned.
In 2004, robots were put in place of human jockeys. Human jockeys were banned because of the risk of child slavery. It’s common knowledge in any riding sport, you want the jockey to be as lightweight as possible, but forcing kids to do this is not okay.
12. Dubai Does it Big
That’s a motto for Dubai: Dubai does it big. As we know by now, Dubai loves to show off. The tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa is 2,722 feet high. You can also find one of the world’s largest malls featuring the world’s largest indoor ski facility here. Read more.
13. Families Only
Dubai has beaches that are safe and family-friendly. Women must be fully covered at these beaches to be respectful of the traditional culture. The people of Dubai feel this is the most appropriate dress code for a family beach.
Single men are not allowed at these beaches. These beaches are strictly for women and families.
14. PDA Prohibited
Public displays of affection are entirely frowned upon in Dubai. Physical contact between two people of the opposite sex, especially kissing, is highly offensive. We definitely advise you to be aware of this and refrain from doing it. Just save it for the hotel.
A married couple may hold hands, but this is all that is permitted. You should also not try to shake a woman’s hand unless she’s the one who initiates the handshake.
15. Is that a Monkey?
Exotic animals are expensive to own and care for so you can be sure to find them in Dubai. It’s fairly popular to own baboons, chimps, cheetahs, and even lions.
These animals are often viewed as a symbol of status. The trend became so popular, the government stepped in and made the decision to ban the right to own any exotic animal back in 2017. Hefty fines and even jail time will be given for violating this law.
16. Construction Zone
Coming in ahead of Sydney, Australia, Dubai owns roughly ¼ of all the construction cranes in the entire world. It’s starting to make sense how they managed to build the city so fast.
The city in the US that houses the most construction cranes is actually a bit of a surprise. It’s Seattle, Washington.
17. Indoor Ski Resort
We mentioned this before, but Dubai has an indoor ski resort. Seriously. We thought the outdoor air conditioning was cool, but skiing in the desert is something we certainly did not expect to see.
The slopes in the park are for a variety of skill levels and they also have a snow park and even a penguin exhibit. A pass for the day will run you about $83 and they do have package deals for families.
18. Need Gold Right Now?
It isn’t much of a surprise anymore that you can find just about anything in a vending machine. We’ve also mentioned a few times already that Dubai is known to be obsessed with gold.
Knowing these two bits of information, it’s almost a given that there would be gold vending machines in Dubai. You can purchase gold in various sizes and every 10 minutes, a computer will update the prices so you’re always paying the market value of the gold.
19. Camels, camels, camels.
From camel milk to racing camels, camels are part of the culture in Dubai. Camel safaris deep into the desert are very popular.
If you end up going on such an excursion, you might find yourself camping in the desert making bread. These trips are less luxurious than the city, of course, aimed at giving those who partake a taste of what real life out in the desert is like.
20. Man-Made Islands
Something about Dubai that is truly incredible is the artificial islands. There are two of them made in the shape of palm trees.
Dubai also previously began construction on an ambitious project which would include 300 artificial islands that form a map of the world. It was put on hold in 2008 due to the economic crisis.
21. Traffic Jams
On this photo you can see how many cars there are in Dubai, With rapid growth beyond what some might’ve expected, it makes sense that traffic congestion has become a bit of an issue for Dubai. The government continues to move quickly developing new infrastructure to solve this problem. Read more about Dubai.
22. Gold-Plated Everything
Dubai is luxurious and that’s how they want it. So there is Gold everywhere also on cars or buildings. We mentioned this before, but seriously, they like to gold-plate everything here. From accessories to cars, gold-plating is for anything and everything. Read more in the next point about the People in Dubai.
23. People of Dubai
Dubai’s population is composed of roughly17% citizens and 83% immigrants. People come mostly from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India to work and are referred to as Expats. The locals are referred to as Emirates. Anyone from one of the seven Emirates would be called an Emirate. Read more about the free Food in Dubai.
24. Free Food
It’s part of Dubai’s culture to be charitable. Ramadan, the holy month, is seen as an occasion to be extra charitable.
Free food can be found around the city at the many malls and other places during this time of year for anyone to come in and take at no cost to them.
25. World’s Largest Mall
Dubai has plans to create the Mall of the World coming in at roughly 8 million square feet. This is massive and will include hotels that are expected to serve 80 million guests every year.
The project is expected to be completed in 2024 and will give tourists yet another reason to visit the city.
26. World Record Flag Skydivers
There is actually a record for who can skydive with the largest flag. Skydivers for the United Arab Emirates dove with a 4,886-meter flag over one of the palm-shaped islands.
They broke the record by an impressive 2,000 square meters larger than the former record holder. Read more about the Starbucks in Dubai in the next point.
27. Is this a Starbucks or a Palace?
The Starbucks located inside Dubai’s Ibn Battuta Mall might be mistaken for a palace. It is the fanciest we’ve seen.
Dubai takes everything up a notch, even the famous coffee chain. The Persian architecture featured here is like no other Starbucks in the world and the chandelier is just stunning.
28.Crazy Price Tag
Do you have too much money and don’t know what to spend it on? Just head on over to Dubai and you will surely find something expensive that you need like a solid gold phone with a 6 digit price tag!
You’ll definitely want to put a screen protector on that thing.
29. World’s Longest Zipline
Dubai has the fastest, largest, shiniest of everything, even the world’s longest zipline!
Riding on the zipline, you’ll hit speeds of 50 miles per hour. You might be going too fast to take pictures in the air, but your helmet’s camera will of course capture the entire experience for you.
30. Butterflies in the Garden
In the middle of massive skyscrapers, the Miracle Garden beautifully covers 2,000 square meters of land.
If you’ve ever had a garden, it is sort of miraculous or difficult to believe that they were able to grow such a garden in the sweltering hot desert. If that were not enough, the garden is home to the world’s largest indoor butterfly garden as well.
31. World’s Largest All-Indoor Aquarium
This looks fantastic, such a big aquarium. Yet another world’s largest and a must-see if you visit Dubai is the aquarium. This aquarium is not larger than some indoor/outdoor aquariums but is the largest that is completely indoors and holds 10 million liters of water, another world record. Wow! It sounds fantastic, you should go there.
32. Water in the Air
The Dubai Mall wouldn’t be complete without the world’s largest dancing water fountain. This fountain puts the Bellagio in Las Vegas to shame as water plumes 500 feet in the air across a 900-foot-long fountain which has many different lights and just looks unreal. You have to see it yourself to believe it.
33. King-Size Jeeps
Sand dunes and vehicles go hand in hand and in Dubai, there’s plenty of both and gas is cheap.
They get really creative with their off-road vehicles, even crafting new ones like a double-wide jeep! It’s big enough that the entire family can ride through the desert in one vehicle.
34. A Unique Recipe
There’s not much that Dubai won’t mix or cover with gold. For the Golden Phoenix Cupcake, only the best ingredients are used. The vanilla beans come all the way from Uganda and the cocoa from Italy.
Simply having the best ingredients though wasn’t enough, they had to add gold to the recipe. These cupcakes are delicious though and for $1,007, they sure ought to be.
35. Flying Taxis
Flying taxi drones are in the works in Dubai. Flying to your destination seemed like a great way to solve the problem of congested streets so of course, Dubai is working on it.
These drones would be able to carry a single passenger with light-weight luggage and are sure to attract tourists. Who wouldn’t enjoy a flight through Dubai?