Dubai is a mesmerising city that's full of surprises. It's known for a lot of things including gold, futuristic skyscrapers, world class shopping, scorching sunshine, luxury hotels and pristine beaches. However, the real appeal to Dubai goes far beyond its wealth and five star hotels. Whatever you have heard about this Middle Eastern gem, reserve judgement until you get to see the city for yourself.
Dubai has grown at an astonishing rate since its humble days as a fishing village in the 18th century. The population has doubled since 1995, and now 80% of the population is foreigners. Dubai is now an extremely popular holiday destination, and it's not hard to see why.
It offers the usual sun, sand and sea, but with a fantastic array of exciting attractions. You certainly won't run out of things to do on your holiday, no matter where your interests lie. Dubai boasts amazing shopping, fascinating culture, lavish hotels and action packed activities.
There are lots of interesting facts about Dubai. The country has 0% tax, you aren't allowed to kiss in public, they have a graveyard for luxury cars and there are gold vending machines. However interesting these facts may be, they won't have a significant impact on your holiday. We have come up with five surprising things about Dubai you might not know, and you may be interested to learn before you book your trip.
It's one of the safest cities in the world
You might not know that Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world, and it's probably thanks to its extremely strict laws, and the high morality of residents. In 2015 it was ranked the 25th safest city, and in 2016 it climbed to 23rd place. It's also the safest city in the region, which certainly puts holidaymaker's minds at rest.
The police are regarded highly here, and even have top of the range cars including Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Ferraris and McLarens. So even when there is a crime, the criminals don't have much of a chance of getting away. It is however, important for tourists to be aware of the strict laws in Dubai. Here's an up to date list of laws you need to know about.
You can go skiing in Dubai
When you think of Dubai, you picture a huge city filled with skyscrapers, situated within reaching distance of a vast desert. With temperature averaging 36 degrees in August, Dubai is hardly somewhere where you expect to be able to go skiing. Yet mastermind developers and architects have made it a possibility. You might not know that Dubai actually has an indoor ski resort, situated inside the Dubai Mall.
Moreover, it's also the largest indoor snow park in the world covering an area of 3,000 square metres. One thing you will quickly learn when you visit Dubai is that the city doesn't do things in half measures, everything goes above and beyond your expectations. So if you fancy a break from the extreme heat, you can cool off and test out your skiing or snowboarding skills on the slopes of Dubai's indoor ski resort.
It's home to the world's biggest artificial island
When the Palm Jumeirah was built, it was the largest artificial island in the world. It has 28 hotels, is 5.4 kilometres long, is built in the shape of a palm tree, and it can be seen from space. It's a big tourist attraction and a must visit place in Dubai, the city previously called it the eighth wonder of the world. Two more islands have since been created, and they're' even bigger. The biggest of the three islands is the Palm Deira.
It's an adrenaline junkie's paradise
A lot of people don't realise just how many action packed and adrenaline fuelled activities Dubai offers. There's the fast rides of the amazing theme parks, and the collection of heart pounding desert activities.
You can do all sorts of fun physical activities in and amongst the sand dunes of Dubai including desert boarding down steep dunes, dune bashing which involves meandering up and down dunes in a jeep type vehicle, dirt bike riding and quad bike riding. Then there's the theme parks, which offer some of the fastest rides and rollercoasters in the world.
There's a thriving culinary scene
You may not be aware that Dubai is fast becoming a haven for foodies. Quite a few world class and celebrity chefs have opened restaurants in the city, including Gary Rhodes, Jason Atherton, Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsey and Heinz Beck.
As so many foreigners live in Dubai, there's an eclectic mix of cuisines on offer. You can try dishes from all over the world. What is particularly refreshing about the restaurant scene in Dubai is that it is constantly changing and evolving.
Each time you visit new restaurants will have popped up and you can sample new menus. Top chefs are competing for customers in some of the most prestigious culinary locations in the city. You can also eat out on a budget by sampling some of the more local eateries.
Dubai is so much more
These facts about Dubai show that it's a city with much more to offer than you might think. It's easy for destinations to be presented as places that tourists will enjoy, but sometimes the real appeal of a location gets lost in translation. It's best to reserve judgement and go and experience a place for yourself, then you can truly identify its attributes. Book a trip to Dubai and find out for yourself just how surprising this Middle Eastern gem can be.