Due to it's rapid expansion, Dubai has perhaps the most interesting recent history of any city on Earth. Some of the things you hear about Dubai can be hard to believe but we assure you that the following 20 fun facts are all true:
One theory about the meaning of the word ‘Dubai’ is that it means “money,” coming from an old Arabic proverb “Daba Dubai” which means “they came with a lot of money”.
However, another theory is that it means “baby locust”, as locusts were a very common species in the area before the first settlement.
Arabic is the official language of Dubai, though English is widely used through the city and the wider United Arab Emirates.
Dubai has one of the lowest crime rates on the planet at less than 1%. Some people claim that the figure is “virtually 0%."
Dubai seems to be happy with this 0% theme as that is also the rate of income tax.
The lack of income tax may explain why on average one in every one hundred citizens of Dubai is a millionaire in US Dollars, one of the highest rates in the world.
The highest recorded temperature in Dubai was in July 2002, when it got to 52.1 °C.
In 1991 there was only one skyscraper in the whole city, the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Two decades later, the city now has over 400 skyscrapers.
Dubai is home to the largest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which has 164 floors (and one incredible view, we imagine).
It is so tall in fact, that people on the 80th floor and above actually get more hours of sunlight per day than the people at street level.
7 of the 10 tallest hotels in the world are located in Dubai which includes the iconic Burj Al Arab, which is designed to look like the sail of a ship.
The police force in Dubai includes multiple supercars including a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Bentley which helps them to catch speeding drivers.
This is especially impressive when you consider that in 1968 there were only 13 cars in the entire Emirate.
Less than 20% of the population in Dubai are natives, with most of the people there being immigrants and tourists.
“The Mall of the World” is a 50 million sq ft indoor city that is being built in Dubai. The mall will be climate-controlled and will take inspiration from London’s Oxford Street and New York’s Broadway. It has not been confirmed whether or not the name is a dig at The Mall of America.
On the coast of Dubai lies the Palm Islands, which are two artificial islands. One of these islands, Palm Jumeirah, features residential properties and its very own monorail.
To construct The Palm Islands, 5.5 million cubic metres of rock was brought over from 16 quarries and 94 million cubic metres of sand was brought from deep sea beds.
Despite the assumption that the UAE make all their money from oil, oil only actually makes up 6% of Dubai’s GDP. The real money makers are real estate and tourism.
And finally, because Dubai is developing so fast and there is so much construction going on, it is estimated that 1 out of every 5 cranes on earth are located in Dubai.