The City of Gold: 9 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Dubai

The City of Gold: 9 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Dubai

The City of Gold: 9 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Dubai
4th April 2023

A modern city characterised by its iconic skyline and stunning beaches, Dubai is a popular destination for both tourists and business travellers. Labelled the ‘wealthiest city in the Middle East by Forbes, private wealth in Dubai totalled an impressive $517 billion in 2021. Economic institutions, such as the Dubai International Financial Centre, have also bolstered the city’s status as a global business hub.

Previously, we shared the five top things you need to know about Dubai before your trip to the cosmopolis. Now, what better time to uncover 9 unique facts about Dubai – read on to learn more.

The World’s Favourite Tourist Destination

In 2023, Dubai won the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice award for ‘Popular Destinations – World’ for the second year running. In fact, this recognition led Forbes to call the city ‘the world’s favorite tourist destination’. It’s easy to see why visiting Dubai is so popular – Tripadvisor alone lists over 4,000 things to do in the vibrant city!

Home to the World’s Largest Natural Flower Garden

Spanning over 72,000m2, the Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest natural flower garden in the world and houses over 150 million flowers. It features charming displays such as the Heart Tunnel, Sunflower Field, and Lake Park. Those visiting Dubai Miracle Garden can enjoy these views in its very own cafés and restaurants.

Facts about Dubai - Dubai Miracle Garden
Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest natural flower garden in the world

The ‘Middle East’s Art Capital’

Dubai has earnt international regard for its vibrant and long-standing arts scene, leading the BBC to crown the city as the ‘Middle East’s Art Capital’. Each year, the city hosts Art Dubai – the ‘Middle East’s leading international art fair’ – which showcases work from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

Another must-visit for art enthusiasts visiting Dubai, the Al Quoz neighbourhood (particularly Alserkal Avenue) is renowned for its thriving arts scene – home to galleries, pop-up painting classes, independent film screenings, and more.

A Bird Haven

Birdwatchers travelling to the city will be particularly happy to learn this next fact about Dubai. As a popular spot for birds migrating between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai is home to around 480 species of bird. Those visiting Dubai could observe a wide range of birds during their stay, such as spotted eagles, flamingos, and herons.

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary houses tens of thousands of birds – such as osprey, egrets, and sandpipers – and is a great way to see Dubai’s wildlife up close.

Facts about Dubai - A Bird Haven
Ras Al Khor Sanctuary houses a variety of birds, including flamingos

Exotic Pets Are Banned

Although a select few of Dubai’s elite gained worldwide publicity for owning exotic animals like cheetahs, tigers, and lions to demonstrate their status, this practice has been banned in Dubai since 2017. In fact, those who disregard this law can face imprisonment or a fine of up to 700,000 Dirham (almost £155,000).

Those visiting Dubai with domesticated pets such as dogs also have strict guidelines to follow – for all you need to know about Dubai’s pet requirements, click here.

Unique Malls

Known as the ‘Shopping capital of the Middle East’, Dubai is renowned for its luxury retail scene. If visiting Dubai’s iconic malls is on your itinerary, make sure to check out these rather unique options.

Located in Jumeirah, Mercato Shopping Mall takes visitors back to Renaissance-era Italy, due to its distinctive architecture and interior. The Mall of the Emirates is also a popular and well-known shopping centre in Dubai – but did you know it also contains Dubai’s first indoor ski resort?

Visiting Dubai's Unique Malls
Mercato Shopping Mall has a distinctive Renaissance-era interior

View the Palm Islands from Space

There are many interesting facts about Dubai’s impressive Palm Islands. Palm Jumeirah itself is four times larger than London’s Hyde Park and expansive enough to cover 600 football fields. The iconic island – which houses luxury residences and hotels – even makes an impression from space. In photographs captured by the International Space Station, its palm-tree appearance makes it a stand-out feature of Dubai’s stunning coastline.

Facts about Dubai - You can see Palm Jumeirah from space
Palm Jumeirah's iconic palm tree appearance can even be seen from space

Adventurous Architecture

With towering skyscrapers and innovative buildings, Dubai has created an impressive and instantly recognisable cityscape. Over 240 skyscrapers have been built in the city, including the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa. For all you need to know about Dubai’s iconic skyline, read this article.

Dubai has also had some rather adventurous architectural proposals that never made the cut. In 2004, International Chess City was proposed by Kirsan Ilumjinov – the village was to mirror a chessboard, with 32 towers shaped like chess pieces. More recently, the Dynamic Tower – a skyscraper with 80 individually rotating floors – was set to be built by 2020. As neither came to be, perhaps these proposals were a little too adventurous – even for Dubai!

Busiest Airport for International Travel

Dubai International Airport is the busiest international airport in the world, with 86.4 million passengers travelling through the airport in 2019. Its Terminal 3 is one of the largest in the world and has the capacity to serve 60 million passengers each year.

Landing in Dubai? Browse our range of serviced apartments in Dubai for a luxury stay in the city.

Want to know more about the city before visiting Dubai? Check out our blogs on relocating to Dubai and the top 6 restaurants in Dubai for a business dinner.

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