Things you didn’t know about Dubai
Dubai is one of the world’s foremost cities and is developing all the time. Having taken a hit during the financial crisis, it’s now rebounding rapidly and has once again become the tourist destination in the Middle-East, with loads of cheap flights to Dubai. There’s a lot more to the city than just tall buildings, however, so here’s a quick guide to some of the things you didn’t know about Dubai.
5 things you didn’t know about Dubai
Dubai is one of the gold capitals of the world, and 1 in 5 people in Dubai buys at least five pieces of gold jewellery every year. There’s a gold souk (just next to Dubai Creek) which is a great place for tourists, and there’s even a cash machine that pays out little bars of solid gold! It also owns the world record for the longest gold chain, which checked in at an amazing 4.2 kilometres before it was broken up and sold off.
If you are planning on buying gold jewelry or diamonds, it pays to do your research beforehand. Here’s a great resource to check out before hitting the souk.
Skiing? Yes, Dubai has perhaps the only desert ski resort in the world. The Dubai Snow Dome is an enormous construction, even more incredible for the fact that it’s forty degrees outside and the middle of the desert. Shoppers at the Emirates Mall get the chance to take to the slopes whilst shopping (although, not actually at the same time).
Dubai has reinvented the standard safari by adding a lot of extra horsepower. One of the most popular tourist activities is to take to four wheels and go scrambling across the dunes, you’ll be amazed at how much life there is out in the desert, and at the angles that the cars end up as they’re coming down through the sand.
An enormous 80% of everyone in Dubai isn’t actually from the city. A lot of these people are migrant workers who come mostly from the Philippines and other parts of south-east Asia to work. However, there’s also a huge expat Brit community, and lots of business being done in the tall towers of the city centre, so in certain parts of the city you’re more likely to hear English than Arabic.
Nearly every building in the city has some form of air conditioning, in fact, it’s a matter of pride to have a building that’s cold, not to mention dry. One of the reasons for this is that outside it’s not uncommon to hit 100% humidity, which basically means that there’s so much water in the air, if there was any more, you’d be swimming.
There’s a lot more to Dubai than just a few facts, but hopefully these will have piqued your interest. It really is an unbelievable place in terms of ambition and scale, but also for the tradition and culture which is still alive and kicking under all the modernity. A holiday to Dubai is one you’ll never forget.