Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for many reasons including countless tourist attractions, a unique blend of Islamic ideology as well as traditions with Western values, cultural diversity and fresh opportunities. Although these factors play a significant role in attracting people and raising the status of the city, there are other intriguing facts about visiting and living in this city, which you might want to read up before planning your trip to Dubai.
1. Minister for Happiness
Miracle Garden, Dubai
Believe it or not, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has assigned a Minister for Happiness who is responsible for ensuring happiness among residents in not only Dubai but also the entire country. The position was introduced by the UAE Prime Minister, and Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi was appointed as the first person to ever hold this title. Currently, UAE ranks 24th place in the World Happiness Ranking with a score of 6576.
2. The Coolest Police Cars
Dubai Police (source)
The Dubai Police has the most expensive and fastest fleet of cars in the world as more than a dozen exotic cars that most can only dream of, patrol the city day and night unlike anywhere else. Although police car-chases are a very rare scene in Dubai, these beauties would definitely render any wrong-doer’s escape plans hopeless. Here is to name a few from this luxurious collection:
- Bugatti Veyron;
- Mercedes AMG GT 63 S;
- Lamborghini Aventador;
- Aston Martin One-77;
- Bentley Continental GT;
- Ferrari FF;
3. The World’s Tallest Building
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
It has been some time since the United Arab Emirates took the lead in competition to construct the world’s tallest building. Burj Khalifa with 828 m height – 163 floors, remains undisputed as the tallest man-made structure in the world. Just to give you an idea, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is 300 m while the Empire State Building in New York is 443 m to the tip.
As if it wasn’t enough, Dubai started building the Dubai Creek Tower in 2016 which will be 1,300 meters high when completed, and it is competing with the Jeddah Tower (1000 m) that is being built by Saudi Arabia.
4. Rapid Population Growth
Dubai city at sunset
It’s no big secret that all nations in the world have experienced population growth thanks to humanity’s greatest achievements in recent history and the numbers increased many fold in most countries, however UAE’s numbers are rarely matched. Some sixty years ago the total population of the Emirates was about 150.000, and now according to statistics, its population has reached over 10 million, more than one-third of whom live in Dubai. That is what we call a real population boom!
5. More Foreigners Than Locals
Multinational group of people in Dubai
As I just mentioned above, the UAE’s population growth has been exponential over the last few decades and the reason may not be particularly what you think. Well, it isn’t exactly due to “love” anyways, rather the series of governmental policies that allow foreigners and businesses to relocate and provide them with security and opportunities. The results are astonishing! Almost 90% of the population is foreigners and this number could even be higher in Dubai. There is a catch to all of this though, if I may say, and that is expats only qualify for citizenship applications after 20 years.
6. There Were No Taxes in Dubai
No personal or income taxes till June 1, 2023
Even though The UAE introduced its first-ever corporate tax this year, which will be effective from 1st June 2023, individuals will still be exempt from employment, real estate, equity investments or other personal income taxes unrelated to a UAE trade or business. It was and it still is one of the main reasons why many blue-collar and white-collar workforce is drawn to this city.
7. No Kissing in Public
Practice of modesty in public is highly advised in Dubai
You heard it right! It’s not a very good idea to get too intimate with your partner in public as hugging and kissing publicly are considered an offense, and could have some unpleasant consequences for locals and tourists indiscriminately. It’s just a matter of laws and beliefs that must be respected regardless of which country we travel to. The UAE is no exception: it has its own unique set of laws, regulations and code of conduct that people are expected to follow when visiting Dubai.
8. Strict Regulations on Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is strictly regulated in Dubai.
According to the religion of Islam which is the official religion of The UAE, alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited, and therefore the authorities regulate and monitor its consumption while individuals under 21 years of age are not allowed to drink at all regardless of their religious beliefs. In the past, only tourists or resident foreigners were permitted to have a special alcohol license to purchase and consume alcohol in Dubai. Nowadays, residents no longer need to present the license to buy alcohol while it must still be consumed privately or in licensed public areas.
9. Gold ATMs
Gold Dispensing ATM, Dubai (Source)
Gold is one of the biggest commodities traded through Dubai, which accounts for approximately 40% of physical gold trade worldwide. To make the lives of gold buyers easier, gold dispensing ATMs have been serving the public since 2010. If you are a gold lover and would like to try it out, all you need is a credit or debit card, and transactions take place only in dirhams.
10. Thirsty City
A lot of water is need to run the city.
UAE’s water consumption is the highest in the world as it’s about 80% more than what people usually use in other countries on average. Although 550 liters of water usage is estimated per person daily, the cooling systems are responsible for most of it. Since temperatures sometimes go up as high as 50°C (120°F) or above, Dubai needs a lot of water to cool those massive structures such as malls, offices and residential buildings.
The CEO of RMC Asia, Mike addressing students at Mediterranean Bali Hospitality and Entrepreneur College
This was my humble attempt to mention a few facts about a beautiful city in the Middle East, and I have no doubt that I could barely scratch the surface. Dubai is brimming with countless surprises and I highly recommend you visit it at least once. Meanwhile, if you are an enrolled student or a recent graduate and have long-term plans to go and stay in Dubai, RMC Asia programs could be your best option as we provide internship opportunities in The UAE as well as other top destinations in Asia for young and adventurous individuals like you. Our programs not only serve as stepping stones to start a career in the hospitality industry, but also they become unforgettable experiences to last a life-time. If you are interested, you can learn more about our programs here, and you can also check out our latest internships available here.