Situated in the east of the Arabian Peninsula and southwest of the Arabian Gulf, the city, is most renowned for its continuous sunshine, striking coastline, and vast deserts, among others.
Dubai is popularly nicknamed as a melting pot of cultures. When people of diverse ethnic groups come and reside in the city, they bring in their food, among other customs which makes the place so special.
Dubai has positioned itself as a tourist mecca, with the world’s largest and biggest attractions aplenty. Here are 10 curious facts about Dubai:
Some fascinating facts that made me want to visit Dubai even more
It literally sprouted out from dry desert land
Developing from the desert almost from scratch over the last 30 years, Dubai went from desert backwoods to the Manhattan of the Middle East – and the beauty of it all is that the entire city has a start-up approach, with hundreds of new businesses, sprouting all over the shore. It's widely known as the Middle East's epitome of excess; an emirate state where money and opulence are at its peak.
Pictures from as little back as to the 60’s show how quickly Dubai has changed – back then, you’d see desert land with Dhows lined up along the creek, as Dubai was the centre of the pearl trade. Now you’ll see skyscrapers, 5-Star hotels and mega malls, there is a lot more to the city than meets the eye, from a thriving art and design ecosystem, to a continuously changing food scene, there’s always something new happening.
What more, I love how this city is made up almost entirely of foreign expats, there’s a level of cultural diversity that is unrivalled anywhere else I’ve travelled.
It has a skyline is made up of pretty amazing views
So really, need I even mention this point? The skyscrapers of Dubai are something else. As I looked out of my aeroplane, I could see some of the best views already. But really it doesn’t matter which angle you look at the skyline from - whether you're Downtown around the Burj Khalifa (the tallest man-made structure on earth), or down at the Marina, home to 4 of the 5 tallest residential buildings in the world, you’re never too far away from a pretty amazing view. This provided me with the perfect opportunity to take some fabulous photographs in Dubai.
Your love for food is satisfied in every way in Dubai
With such a varied population, there is a remarkable variety of food styles accessible in the city. With hundreds of Emirati, Arabian, Lebanese, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, Italian, Chinese, American, French and British restaurants, you’ll easily find a budget eateries as well as the high-end ones. I’ve heard they throw some pretty mean food festivals too – although I’m yet to witness one - but they are meant to have a stream of pop-up eateries and it’s definitely something to coincide your holiday dates with if you’re a major foodie.
Sun, sea and sand guaranteed all year round
This is a draw for many visitors – I can’t think of a place which offers the best of both worlds, a city that offers paradise beaches, hot weather all year round, sea and the adrenaline filled activity sports, desert activities, ice skating activities, animal experiences, water parks – literally it’s the type of place where you can find almost everything you’d want from a holiday.
With 365 days of sunshine year round and over 1,000km of coastline, you’re never too far away from getting your tan on.
A new year means several new developments, restaurants, hotels and more
As mentioned before, Dubai used to be a backwater of creek and desert land which attracted only fishermen and pearl divers. Well now, rulers really do focus their economy on tourism and business, so therefore things have picked up pace. These days, new properties and infrastructure seemingly pop up overnight, and rarely a month goes by without an announcement of some amazing new project. The most spoken about project at the moment is Dubailand which will be the World’s largest retail and entertainment centre, said to be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort, which is said to be complete by 2020.
It is the Modern Art and Design capital of the Middle East
Dubai opera house offers a variety of performances including ballet, opera, musicals, theatre and more. They also have the Alserkal Avenue art area that has been developed in the manufacturing Al Quoz area in the last few years, to the classic art galleries scattered through the Financial Centre, you might not think it, but Dubai has a diverse art scene. The Dubai Design District has is a good place to visit too. These options show that there’s always something going on for the aesthetically minded.
Dubai offers retail therapy – at its finest
Dubai are proud developers of the biggest mall in the world (so much so, they creatively titled it Dubai Mall) and with high-end retail locations seemingly on every corner, it’s no surprise that visitors come to Dubai from far and wide for a bit of retail therapy. While we have January Sales after Christmas UK, Dubai has a month-long shopping festival known as Dubai Shopping Festival with concerts and prizes where shoppers can win supercars and expensive gold jewellery. It is always scheduled during the first quarter of the year, and attracts about 3 million people to Dubai.
A lot of Dubai-visitors love visiting the spice and gold souk in Dubai too – Albeit, a stark contrast to some of the huge mega malls of Dubai, I love the authentic feel of the souks. The Gold Souk, offers Arabian jewellery market located in the oldest part of the city. The souk has been a central area of trade in Dubai since the 1940’s and it’s estimated that, at any one time, approximately 10 tons of gold is present in the souk. Wow!
Dubai is a city full of interesting facts that drew me in and made me want to visit again and again
As I said, Dubai didn’t appeal to be around 5 years ago – but the more I learnt about the place and the luxury and variety the city offers is unrivalled. I can’t wait to visit again and discover what other developments have risen from the ground. The whole city is made for tourism and this is why it makes such a good holiday.
I love how Dubai have to have the best of everything – take the Dubai Fountain as an example. The Dubai Fountain is absolutely spectacular. Made by the same guys that created the iconic Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas. Dubai has some of the world’s best beach bars, night clubs, honeymoon suites – basically you name something, and you’ll be surprised not to find it in Dubai.