Here are the most interesting facts you need to know about Dubai! 10 – Gold ATMs The Gold to Go ATM is an ATM designed to dispense items made of pure gold. Is it just me or does that sound crazy? The first gold-plated vending machine, located in the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, dispenses 320 items made of gold, including 10-gram gold bars and customized gold coins. Talk about last minute gifts!
The vending machines are covered in gold leaf, and include a touch screen, cash and credit card slots, and a lighted display showcase. Users have to scan their ID for large purchases and users may only access the system three times in one day before an enforced 48-hour break! Yep, you guessed it, it’s to prevent money laundering. The machines are supposedly fitted “like an armored vehicle” and tested with explosives to prevent theft.
And of course, there’s 24 hour surveillance that records all transactions. The vending machines update their prices to gold’s market value every ten minutes. Well, whenever you’re in Dubai and you want to exchange your cash for something a little more economically-stable, you’ll be able to hit these ATMs up all over the place! 9 – Addresses Because of the rate at which Dubai has been growing, the city never developed a standard address system. Instead of an address line on a mailing label, residents would apparently draw a map or write out specific instructions such as: “After you pass the white mosque, it’s the first street to the left, blue door.” Uh……this just seems insane to me. It wasn’t until 2015 that Dubai started assigning so called Makani numbers, which are unique 10 digit codes to all buildings to help identify them.
Makani is essentially “my location” in Arabic. Now the city has 14 districts and the Makani system is being constantly updated and improved. The smart system was shown to cut arrival times of ambulances, taxis, and delivery vehicles anywhere from 20 to 50 percent. 8 – Alcohol One of the big misconceptions about Dubai is that you can’t drink. And if you do, there are strict repercussions. But, this isn’t the case at all.
The city of Dubai is the hub of tourism for the United Arab Emirates. For this reason, and because of the large population of expats living in Dubai, drinking is allowed for non-Muslims. Tourists are permitted to drink in licensed restaurants, hotels and bars attached to licensed hotels.
But, it’s unacceptable and punishable to drink in public places. This is still a Muslim city that follows Sharia Law, which is the religious legal system for Muslims. So while Dubai tolerates alcohol consumption by non-Muslims, there are still strict rules in place. To purchase alcohol at a store, or even to drink at a bar, both residents and tourists require a license to drink! 7 – Zero income tax Dubai is a popular destination for expats from all across the globe, not just for the opportunities it promises but also for the lure of living a tax-free life.
The UAE is known as a tax-free country. Hold up, did someone really say tax free?! The UAE Federal Government doesn’t impose income tax on companies and individuals in the UAE.
Contrary to some reports, the ruling family of Dubai has indicated that Dubai will never resort to taxation as a way of getting revenue, so it’s unlikely that residents of Dubai will see any income tax levied, as long as the oil revenue still keeps rolling in. The trick is essentially becoming a resident of Dubai. If you’re earning an income in Dubai, but are a tax resident of another country, you still have to report your income and pay taxes to that country. For example, if you’re a tax resident of England and you own a rental property in Dubai, you’re still required to declare the rental income on your British tax returns and pay appropriate taxes on that income. 6 – Artificial islands One of the most impressive things about Dubai are the city’s man-made archipelagos, all in various stages of completion.
The artificial Islands consists of Palm Jumeirah (mee-rah), Palm Jebel(jible) Ali, Deira Island, The World Islands, and Bluewaters Island. The islands are made by a process called land reclamation, which involves dredging sand from the Persian and Arabian Gulf’s floors. The sand is then sprayed and “vibro-compacted” into shape using GPS technology for precision and surrounded by millions of tons of rock for protection.
Perhaps the most recognized of the bunch, Palm Jumeirah is shaped like a palm tree and surrounded by an almost 7-mile-long crescent-shaped island which is home to many luxury hotels and resorts that are on the archipelago. The project was kicked off in 2001, and ultimately added 40 miles of coastline and beaches. Today, travelers can access Palm Jumeirah from mainland Dubai via a monorail, and an underwater tunnel connects the topmost frond to the crescent. Anyone of you guys ever been?! Let us know how it was!
5 – The Burj Khalifa The Burj Khalifa is a megatall skyscraper in Dubai. Oh yeah, it’s also the tallest building in the world! With a total height of 2,722 feet, the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure in the world since 2008.
Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed five years later in 2009. Outside, the Dubai Fountain was designed and built at a cost of 217 million dollars! Well…..I guess that’s just the going price for the world’s largest choreographed water show. Illuminated by sixty-six hundred lights and 50 colored projectors, the fountain is a little over 900 feet long and shoots water 500 feet into the air. Did I mention there’s music in the performance as well? Anyways, back to the building itself.
Here’s something not many people know – the Burj Khalifa wouldn’t have been completed without the financial help of Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s neighboring emirate. Dubai was suffering from a financial crisis, but the government was bailed out by Sheikh Khalifa. Abu Dhabi and the federal government of UAE lent Dubai tens of billions of dollars so that Dubai could pay its debts.
Until just before it opened in January 2010, the tower was actually named the Burj Dubai, but it was renamed in honour of Sheikh Khalifa, for his help to Dubai during the middle of their economic crisis. 4 – Cranes of Dubai At the peak of the building boom in 2006, it was estimated that Dubai had between 15 to 25 percent of the world’s cranes. Some reports stated that there was as many as one tower crane for every 44 residents. While many industry experts argued that they were unlikely to have ever been true, there’s no doubt that there were an awful lot of cranes rising from the city’s skyline. Dubai has been building so much that cranes are easily a part of the Dubai story, a symbol of its ambitious growth. During the boom years there was a heavy demand for cranes and contractors were willing to pay top dollar.
The Burj Khalifa alone needed three tower cranes with a maximum lifting capacity of 25 tons each. However, Dubai’s property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008 and in 2009, following the financial crisis. However, a recent boom has made Dubai a top destination for all the cranes of the world once again, with many cranes taking up space all over Dubai.
3 – Dubai police cars In a city where it seems like everyone has a Bentley or Rolls Royce, it almost seems normal for the police force to have a fleet of supercars at its disposal as well! It’s probably safe to say that nowhere else in the world is there a police force that’s likely to have a Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari FF, or Lamborghini Aventador. Yeah, this would be a police force I’d like to a part of for a few months, just because of its fleet of 14 supercars!
The fleet includes a bespoke Aston Martin One-77, of which only 77 were ever built, two BMW i8s, and a Bentley Continental GT as well. Dubai is situated in the southern Persian Gulf, considered as one of the leading cities in the world. It is so developed and sophisticated city of United Arab Emirates. Here are 10 interesting facts about Dubai. However, the flagship of the fleet is the Bugatti Veyron, with its crazy top speed of 253 mph.
Its 16-cylinder engine produces 1,000 horsepower, sending it from 0 to 60 in just two and a half seconds. In fact, the police force has actually been presented with a certificate by Guinness World Records for having the world’s fastest police car in service! The Dubai’s police superfleet isn’t used for high-speed chases, or very many normal police duties at all for that matter. The role of the fleet is to break down barriers between the police and the public according to Major Sultan Al Marri of Dubai Police. They’re mainly trying to show tourists how friendly the police is here in Dubai, and apparently, the supercars help them connect with people all the time. 2 – Dubai and immigrants It’s estimated that around 15 percent of Dubai’s 2.7 million population are Emiratis, while the other 85 percent are expats.
Most of the workers building Dubai’s hundreds of skyscrapers immigrated to the United Arab Emirates from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As a result, it’s estimated that they now comprise about 50% of the city’s population. The class divide is big.
Human rights organizations have complained about violation of human rights in Dubai. Dubai is well known for their immigrant workers living and working in terrible conditions, while native Emiratis have their rent, education and medical bills paid for. However, there ARE many upper class foreigners that earn high salaries. 1 – Camel racing Camel racing has been around for thousands of years, and it’s still popular in Dubai. “The Sport of Sheiks” almost exclusively used small children, usually boys around the age of four, to ride and direct the camels. Many of the boys used for the races were illegally bought by race organizers or camel owners.
Often, the boys would be starved to be as light as possible, as bad as that sounds. However, The United Arab Emirates was the first to ban the use of children under 15 years of age as jockeys back in July 2002. So without small kids to use as jockeys, what was the solution?
They came up with the solution of robot jockeys! Robot jockeys are now commonly used on camels in camel racing as a replacement for human jockeys. Developed since 2004, the robotic jockeys are slowly phasing out the use of human jockeys. It really should go without saying that this has been a great development for any kids that would have been involved.