05 Dec 9 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Dubai and the UAE
9 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Dubai and the UAE
Dubai is the city of dreams, and certainly not your average city. Once a desert with fishing as the main source of income, it quickly rose to become one of the wealthiest places on Earth. Whether you have set foot here or not, this is one region you will surely have heard of. Some of what you might have heard is true; other things are an exaggeration or understatement. Either way, the fact is that the UAE has a lot to offer the inquisitive traveller.
Would you like to know more about the city? Read the top 9 things you didn’t know about Dubai. You will be fascinated!
1. Dubai police cars include Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys
In no other place on Earth does a fleet of police cars consist of Bentleys, Ferraris, and a Lamborghini! Only in Dubai is this a reality. The city’s police department holds the Guinness World of Record for having the fastest cars. This may sound outlandish to some, but it is in line with the ethos of the region.
There are several reasons for this. For starters, the city of dreams is a hub for a host of people that own high-end cars like these. To keep up with the enthusiastic speeders, the officers had to upgrade their own vehicles.
The fleet is also necessary for breaking down barriers between the public and the Police. They are not just interested in showing off the cars. Their interest is to display their friendly nature off to tourists. The purpose of these efforts is to connect with people and the kind of lifestyle they envision.
Alongside these flashy cars, the city is proud to showcase its gender equality credentials by ensuring that the majority of the drivers are women. “Our Bentleys, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis are driven by women” notes the leader.
2. Honesty is valued and rewarded
If you ever doubted the richness of Dubai’s residents, have a look at its lost-and-found data. A little research goes a long way to show you that the locals are extremely wealthy. We must, however, applaud those who find lost property and return it to its rightful owner. Recently, a police officer returned a whopping AED210, 000 to a resident! Such honesty helps Dubai truly stand out.
Perhaps the most mindboggling incident was the one involving a taxi driver in 2016. In this case, the man came across gold worth AED3.5 million that had been left in his cab. He found a way to reunite with the owner and ensure that all the gold was returned in full!
3. Home to the world’s first underwater hotel
Dubai is a city that finds new, innovative and exciting ways to defy the limits of science fiction and reality. The city’s designers stayed true to this fact while developing the Underwater Hotel Dubai, Hydropolis. It is the first of its kind, whereby, most floors are underwater but not the whole hotel.
The Underwater Hotel is the place to be if you are interested in seeing the most exciting and thrilling views. It offers world-class accommodation, the kind that is not easy to find around the world. Even though it is quite costly to stay at the hotel, the experience is very memorable and is sure to stay with you for the rest of your life. The menu design is equally something to marvel about, offering cuisine that rivals the best restaurants in the world.
The land station is a distinctive feature that sets apart the hotel. It is a vast tunnel linking to the hotel’s main area. Guests board a soundless train in this area which descends to the hotel. It is also destined for the warm reception of visitors as well as giving them a chance to utilize features like conference facilities, a plastic surgery clinic, marine research laboratory, and even a theatre.
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4. Some UAE ATMs dispense gold bars
A conversation about the UAE is not complete until you mention gold. The people’s love for jewellery, more so gold, is insatiable. To keep up with this lifestyle, Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Hotel has installed a machine that presents customers with up to 320 items to choose from. Among the items that it dispenses are gold bars of about 10 grams and gold coins.
The machine features an in-built computer linked to an online gold dealer that regularly updates the gold rates. You have the option of feeding notes into the machine. There are plans to also integrate the whole system with credit cards in the near future.
This was the first gold machine ever. Since its installation, more regions across the world have copied its idea. At the moment, there are a total of six similar machines across Europe and Peru. More are sure to come in the near future.
5. UAE boasts a dynamic multicultural society
UAE is a country that is home to cultures from all over the world. Statistics show that a total of 200 nationalities live in the UAE. Every year Dubai invites people from all over the world to visit Global Village, which blends cultures from across the globe, giving visitors an unforgettable shopping experience. The world’s largest themed mall – Ibn Battuta – is divided into different countries, giving people a flavour of each culture and heritage.
Simply put, UAE is home to one of the largest populations of immigrants in the world, all of whom live in harmony with the local Emiratis. The country’s liberal society makes it attractive to its neighbours and people from all over the world, including western countries.
6. Robots are used for camel racing
The UAE became the first nation to ban using children aged 15 and below as jockeys for this much-beloved sport. The ban was introduced in 2002. By 2007, robots had emerged as the most effective way to perform camel races.
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Even though it is a norm today to have robots facilitate camel races, this is a project that started back in 2001. At that time, the government tasked experts with developing such machines. The first successful model was tested in 2003. However, these were quite heavy and hence were ruled out. Development of new models soon began, this time around using Remote Keyless Systems (RKE). The fact that they were light and could be remotely controlled made them more appealing.
Ever since the UAE initiated their usage, more countries have caught up. This has grown into a multibillion dollar industry that mixes tradition and modern technology. In order to keep up with the region’s rapid economic growth, the winning camel is awarded no less than AED 7 million. The price of a bull camel is also something to marvel about, totalling up to AED 35 million!
7. Dubai has a 75 km long metro, the longest self-driven automated metro in the world!
This inter-city and intra-city transport cover the most visited landmarks of Dubai, making it easier for the general public to commute on a daily basis. The rich modern architecture and infrastructure of Dubai metro make it an experience to remember. It helps reduce traffic congestion, supports the climate by making it less polluted, and reduces travelling time.
It also provides a comfortable journey as it passes from one end of the city to the other. The metro is yet another example of Dubai’s luxury and exuberant lifestyle.
8. UAE residents don’t pay personal tax
Who wouldn’t like to earn 100% of their salary, tax-free? The city of dreams gives you that opportunity. Its tax-free living is something that has always attracted visitors. The notion of working hard and having the chance to grow your wealth without incurring tax deductions is highly appealing.
One might wonder how the government is able to run its daily operations given this zero-income tax policy. The no-tax policy is meant to attract diverse global companies and skilled ex-pats. These further enrich the economy.
9. The home of mindboggling skyscrapers
Dubai’s skyscrapers are a thing to marvel about. They shimmer like a mirage as you approach them from the desert, solidifying Dubai’s position in the architectural books of history. This is one of the things that has helped portray the Emirates as a modern city and world-leading commercial centre.
The city is currently the proud home of the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa – 828m). It also has the tallest residential building and the tallest hotel. At this moment, there is an ongoing project to create the world’s highest structure, named The Dubai Creek Tower.
This will rise to over 1.3 kilometres in height, towering above the Burj Khalifa and will mainly be used as an architectural structure. It is also expected to act as an observation deck, as well as hold restaurants and hotels.
There is no doubt that there are many other interesting things to admire about Dubai. This is not a surprise given that the Crown Prince is an action man. He attracts the respect of both the ex-pats and nationals due to his friendly nature. Having such a charismatic leader, you can only expect the city to continue growing, creating more surprises along the way!