What are some of the lesser known facts about Dubai? Here's all the fun and interesting tidbits about the world-record-breaking city you didn't know
29 October 2019| Last updated on 30 October 2019
Interesting facts about Dubai you can tell your friends
Despite being a fairly new city, Dubai has already made international headlines for its often-outrageous luxury, attractions, rapid development from a sandpit to a stunning skyline, and being home to some world-record breakers.
But like any other city in the world, Dubai has its own share of information that didn't make it to the front page. If you'd like to learn a little more about the City of Gold that you don't hear from tourist guides or news outlets, read on!
These lesser known facts about Dubai are fun tidbits of information you can tell your visiting friends and families, break the ice at a party, or just generally know about.
1. The Burj Khalifa can be seen from the desert
The iconic Burj Khalifa measures at an impressive height of 829.8 metres - and because it's so tall, it can be seen from up to 95 km away. If you're out in the desert for your next safari or camping trip, you'll might still just spot the record-breaking tower.
2. An estimated 20-25% of the world's cranes were in Dubai
Ever wondered why you see so many cranes in the city? During the construction boom, Dubai had around 20 to 25% of all the construction cranes in the world.
3. One hotel in Dubai uses enough gold to cover the Mona Lisa 46,265 times
The luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel has enough of the precious metal to fill up 7 full-sized tennis courts, or cover the Mona Lisa painting 46,265 times.
4. Dubai Police's spending on each of their supercars costs more than a college education
With all the supercars lining the city's streets, the local police will need something equally fast, if not faster, in order to catch those violating the law. Bentleys, Ferraris, and McLarens are just some of the ultra lux cars in the Dubai Police's fleet.
But as expected, those sleek supercars you may see around Dubai Mall and other parts of the city come with a heavy price tag. To paint the picture - some of the epic cars include a Lamborghini Aventador which is priced at US $ 397,000, and the Aston Martin One-77, priced at around US $ 1.79 million.
When compared to the cost of the most expensive university in the US, New York University, an average four-year education there would cost US $ 248,000 - more than a thousand dollars less than a supercar.
5. Camel racing is popular in Dubai, but it's not human jockeys who ride them
In fact, robot jockeys are used in camel racing.
6. Around 85% of Dubai's population aren't UAE citizens
Roughly only 15% of Dubai is made up of Emirati nationals, while the majority population comprises of expats.
7. The amount of sand used to build Palm Jumeirah is enough to circle the planet three times
Building the famous man-made island required 94 million cubic metres of sand. In fact, that's also enough sand to fill up the Empire State Building 2.5 times as the tower is 37 million cubic metres.
8. The Crown Prince of Dubai is like the stuff of action movies
Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum – or Fazza – is the ruler of Dubai's son. He is highly respected and admired by both the Emirati and expatriate population in Dubai. A man of action, you will find him on social media posting about his many hobbies, including skydiving, falconry, and photography. Prince Hamdan also publishes traditional Nabati-style poetry, with its historical significance dating back to the 16th century CE.
9. About 39% of the Burj Al Arab is empty space
405 ft. of the 7-star luxury building is unusable space.
10. The RTA metro is the world's longest unmanned railway network
Spanning 75 km long, the Dubai metro holds the world record as the longest fully automated train.
11. Dubai has no income tax
Dubai has no tax policy on income - making it one of the major benefits of living in the city.
At the moment, paying for goods and services in Dubai means only facing the 5% VAT.
12. In 1968, Dubai only had 13 registered cars
Compared to the present day where Dubai has nearly 2 million cars.