Uncovering the Secrets of Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide


Dubai has lots of different kinds of people, about 6 million of them! The city has grown a ton since the 1990s and keeps getting bigger. Even though people talk about problems, Dubai is still a super cool place for tourists. After seeing some pictures, you might really want to visit Dubai!

Gold Vending machines

Cities are getting pretty creative with vending machines these days, but Dubai takes the cake with its gold vending machine. Need some extra cash or maybe even a gold bar while you’re in the UAE? No problem! They’ve got ATMs just for that. The machine probably isn’t made of gold, but it sure gives out gold like a regular ATM gives out cash. It’s like a gold mine in a vending machine!

You can use cash or a credit card to purchase 24-carat gold easily. Because gold prices change a lot, the computer updates the prices every ten minutes. This machine is super popular—it needs to be refilled twice a week!

Focal Point For Fashion

Dubai isn’t just getting bigger in terms of people—it’s becoming a fashion powerhouse! It’s keeping pace with top fashion cities like Paris, Milan, and New York City. You’ll spot all the major luxury brands everywhere in Dubai, and it’s common to see folks decked out in designer gear from head to toe. It’s almost unusual if your outfit doesn’t scream luxury and cost a pretty penny!

Even as Dubai delves into the fashion scene, it hasn’t lost sight of its roots. Fashion events here celebrate local designers who craft modest attire for more conservative individuals. Because, in the end, fashion is inclusive of everyone.

Camel Racing With Robot Jockeys

In 2004, Dubai transformed the age-old sport of camel racing by introducing robots to replace human jockeys. This shift came about due to allegations of human rights abuses, with many Gulf countries employing children as camel jockeys. The use of remote-controlled robots in modern camel racing aims to eliminate the involvement of children, ensuring a more ethical approach to the sport.

Qatar and the UAE, including Dubai, have banned the use of human jockeys in favor of robots. The UAE led the way by implementing this prohibition to combat child slavery and abuse, aiming to minimize the use of child jockeys. Despite this modern change, camel racing remains a significant industry, valued in the millions of dollars.

Mall Of The World

Dubai is aiming to level up its tourism game with ‘The Mall of the World,’ spanning 50 million square feet and featuring a climate-controlled setting. If you’re a fan of shopping marathons, wandering through malls for hours, and emptying your wallet on fabulous finds, this place is made for you. It’s the ultimate shopping haven, and Dubai might just keep expanding its malls as time goes on!

The mall is set to incorporate 20,000 hotel rooms, offer parking for more than 50,000 vehicles, and will be a paradise for avid shoppers!

Migrants Make Up 83% Of Dubai’s Population

Dubai is a vibrant city with a rich mix of cultures, but it might surprise you that only 17% of its residents are native Emiratis. The majority, around 83%, are immigrants primarily from places like Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, drawn to work opportunities. This mix brings a significant wealth disparity—while the well-off foreigners and local citizens enjoy luxury and high incomes, many immigrants live in challenging conditions without the same benefits.

It might not be entirely unexpected given the global trend, yet in a place renowned for its affluence, some tourists might not anticipate the existence of a less privileged population in Dubai.

Zero Debt Acceptance

In Dubai, they really don’t like owing money! They have a rule called ‘zero debt tolerance’ that tells people not to get into debt if they can avoid it. If you don’t pay what you owe, you could go to jail or be sent away from the city. This rule is serious and makes everyone try hard not to owe money so they can stay out of trouble.

Dubai offers lots of cool stuff, especially for people from other countries. But if they start spending more money than they have, they might end up leaving suddenly or getting sent back home.

Fastest Growing City

Dubai is growing really fast, but some smart people worry it might cause money problems later on. They’re concerned because the city is expanding so quickly, and they’re not sure if it can keep going like this without having some money troubles. The leaders in Dubai are trying to handle this growth carefully to make sure the city stays strong and successful in the future, but some worries about money problems stick around.

Constructing Dubai’s Metro system, which has 42 stations, was an incredible feat completed in just 18 months. Additionally, the thriving trade and tourism industries contribute significantly to Dubai’s success and growth.

Highest Tennis Court In The World

Imagine a really high tennis court that makes people super excited just because it exists! It’s on top of a really tall building and it’s a mix of sports and feeling dizzy. The court is a crazy 1,000 feet high, so players not only compete against each other but also have to deal with the scary idea of being way up high. It shows how creative people can be!

The tennis court sits atop the Burj Al-Arab Hotel, blending the beauty of the game with the thrill of being high up in the sky.

Always Stay Cool

Dubai takes care of its citizens with all the money flowing in. Unlike regular bus stops, they have mini buildings at each stop that are fully air-conditioned, keeping people cool and sheltered from the hot sun.

This was definitely Dubai’s most practical idea yet. In a desert setting, people could easily start sweating as soon as they step outside.

Luxury Cars Abandoned In Thousands

In many cities, luxury cars are rare sights. But in Dubai, you can find lots of high-end brands like Ferrari, BMW, and Mercedes left abandoned in the thousands. What a shame!

The main reason for this is the Sharia law. It says that if someone doesn’t pay for their car, they might go to jail. So, some people choose to run away instead of going to prison.

The World Islands

The World Islands are 300 small islands built to look like a world map. Each island represents a country, landmark, or region.

The islands sit 4.0 kilometers (2.5 mi) away from Dubai’s coast and are mostly made from sand taken from the shallow waters nearby.

Tourist Harbour

Dubai has definitely become well-known and attracts lots of attention, especially from celebrities. Its unique attractions draw tourists in like bees to honey. One of the notable celebrities who visited Dubai is none other than Kim Kardashian herself.

She came with her fellow KUWTK cast members to lead a makeup masterclass. During her visit, she explored the desert, did some shopping in different malls, and also visited a center for children with special needs.

Glittering Gold

Being called one of the most luxurious places in the world isn’t just for show. Dubai is home to the world’s largest gold market—a place that’s basically a gold mine waiting to be explored.

Having had gold around for so long, the locals have become experts in working with this metal. Gold plating anything is possible, but it comes with a big price tag. While Dubai may have a lot of gold, it’s also known as one of the most expensive cities.

Female Police Force

Dubai is focused on addressing gender concerns and has established a women’s police force. This unit handles issues related to gender, alongside dealing with fraud and theft in the city.

They choose officers from the pool of women already working in the police force, ones who have experience in stations, monitoring criminals, and safeguarding important individuals. These officers also need to be proficient in both Arabic and English.

Cultural Clash

In Dubai, modest dress is expected due to its Muslim culture, yet it embraces foreign cultures as well. The image below perfectly captures this cultural contrast: one woman sunbathes in a bikini while another enjoys the sun in a traditional abaya.

The city blends conservative Muslim values with Western beliefs. While it’s suggested to dress modestly to respect the local culture, some individuals prefer to express their own cultural norms instead.

Best At Everything

Dubai strives to surpass all other cities globally and aims for excellence in every aspect.

Whether it’s the Burj Al-Arab, renowned as the world’s finest hotel, the Burj Khalifa, standing as the tallest building, an enormous aquarium, or an extravagant ski park—Dubai aims to achieve it all.

Keeping Exotic Animals As Pets Is A Trend

Acquiring and housing exotic wild animals isn’t just risky; it’s also against the law. Yet, in Dubai, do buyers pay attention to these rules? Not really. Instead, there’s a rising trend of interest among people wanting to keep these animals as pets.

These animals come with a high price tag, often obtained through smuggling from their natural homes, and are then made available for purchase online.

Dubai Holds A Quarter Of World’s Cranes

Dubai hosts around 30,000 out of the world’s 125,000 cranes. Additionally, its 2017 budget for infrastructure spending hit a staggering $12.88 billion, marking the highest in the world.

Both construction and real estate industries are booming, leading to a surge in demand for construction-related machinery, vehicles, and equipment.

A Gold Covered Cupcake

In Dubai, even cupcakes shine with gold! This particular cupcake costs over $1,000 and holds the title for the world’s most expensive cupcake.

“The Golden Phoenix,” this incredibly expensive cupcake, is made with the finest Italian cocoa, Ugandan vanilla beans, and, of course, 23-karat gold. Before you indulge, consider that after tasting this, all other cupcakes might seem too ordinary.

Massive Oil Production

Dubai’s rapid growth has a clear reason: it’s among the few places that produce massive amounts of oil, ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 barrels daily. That quantity of oil could effortlessly fill 4 Olympic-sized pools.

It might be surprising, but back in 1991, Dubai was producing 400,000 barrels of oil per day. Nowadays, the reliance on the oil industry has lessened as trade and tourism have stepped in to share the workload.

No Proper Postal System

Due to its continuous growth, Dubai doesn’t use a fixed address system. Instead, residents can leave a specific location on the mailing label, either drawing a map or providing written instructions for deliveries.

Make sure to bring a map if you’re planning to visit the city—it’ll help you navigate and get around more easily.

Muslims Are Forbidden To Consume Alcohol

Non-Muslims, particularly tourists, are permitted to consume alcohol, but only within licensed hotels, restaurants, and bars. Drinking in public places, including beaches, is highly frowned upon and can lead to punishment, even for non-Muslims.

Despite Dubai offering some of the world’s finest alcohol, both residents and tourists need a license to purchase liquor from stores.

Game Of Skyscrapers

Back in 1991, Dubai had just one skyscraper—the World Trade Center. Now, it’s surrounded by over 400 other towering buildings that enhance the city’s beauty.

Skyscraper Avenue, also known as Sheikh Zayed Road, is lined with impressive buildings, among which stands the Burj Khalifa—the tallest building globally.

Biggest Indoor Ski Park

The indoor ski park, located in the Dubai Mall, spans across an area of 22,500 square meters.

The Park feels like an indoor resort, offering numerous attractions. Among them is an 85-meter-high indoor mountain with five different slopes, including a 400-meter-long run referred to as the black diamond run.

Too Many Cars

Dubai’s growth has been incredibly rapid. From just 13 cars in 1968, the roads are now packed with vehicles, leaving almost no space to spare.

Dubai’s roads became so crowded that they had to construct double-decker roads to address the congestion problem.

Building The World’s Largest Theme Park

Absolutely! Dubai’s pursuit of being the best extends to planning Dubailand—an amusement park that aims to be twice the size of Disney World.

It anticipates welcoming 20,000 visitors every day due to the variety of attractions it offers.

Largest Aquarium In The World

The world’s largest mall, covering a massive area of 1,124,000 square meters, houses the world’s largest aquarium in its entire basement—Dubai Aquarium.

This renowned attraction offers a unique experience—a ride on a glass-bottom boat allowing you to observe over 33,000 aquatic animals. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try cage diving with sharks!

Long Lost Flourishing Pearl Industry

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, before the trade and tourism boom, Dubai relied solely on pearl farming as its main industry.

Several factors led to the downfall of the pearl farming industry in Dubai, including the impact of the First World War, the Great Depression, and the invention of cultured pearls by the Japanese.

Camels In Abundance

As a Middle Eastern city, Dubai has a considerable number of camels used for various purposes. These remarkable creatures play an essential role in daily life, from racing to producing food items like camel milk and meat-based dishes. However, it’s not common to find many restaurants serving camel meat.

Consider swapping out the ordinary chocolate for camel milk chocolate, a unique souvenir for your loved ones. For the daring adventurers, a memorable experience could be the camel desert safari located just outside the city. It’s an opportunity to witness and immerse yourself in the Bedouin way of life in the desert.

A Growing Mark

It’s impressive how Dubai transformed from a simple desert with a few buildings in 2005 into the vibrant and thriving city it is today.

Dubai today is truly incredible! The city is flourishing with its extraordinary attractions, towering skyscrapers, mesmerizing fountains, man-made islands, and a wealth of other fascinating features!

Infrastructural Growth

Dubai is a city constantly on the move, never halting its growth. It boasts an abundance of construction cranes, so numerous that they’re challenging to count, roughly making up around 25% of the world’s cranes.

Following Dubai on the list are Sydney, Australia, and then Seattle, NYC, and LA.

Free Food To The Poor

Dubai treasures its charitable spirit, particularly evident during Ramadan. Malls across the city often host scenes like the one below, where free food is generously distributed to the less fortunate and unemployed. Sadly, this level of community support isn’t as common in many other cities worldwide.

“We stock everything from Labaneh to fresh yogurt. We offer juices, water, Arabic bread, and ready-to-eat tuna meat or pre-cooked macaroni for anyone to come and take it for free,” mentioned a mall manager.


In contrast to the broader UAE, Dubai does reflect aspects of Western culture, but there’s a limit to public displays of affection, which is observed even within Dubai’s cultural norms.

In public, only married couples are permitted to hold hands; other forms of physical contact are discouraged. Additionally, it’s not customary to shake a woman’s hand unless she initiates the gesture first.

The Bigger, The Better

Dubai, known for its affinity for gold, seems to have no trouble constructing colossal skyscrapers with every new project it undertakes.

The city is known for having the largest of everything. From the towering Burj Khalifa, standing at a staggering 2,722 feet tall, to the biggest indoor ski facility and the largest mall in the world, Dubai doesn’t hold back on size.

Hottest Places On The Planet

January marks the coldest month in Dubai, with daytime temperatures averaging around 75°F and nighttime temperatures around 57°F.

Summers in Dubai can be incredibly challenging, reaching an average high of 106°F during the day and around 86°F at night, making the heat nearly unbearable.

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