Who doesn’t know about Dubai? We all know about it through the numerous world records that it has set. If not that, remind yourself about the endless movies that has been shot here (remember Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 4? Yeah!). This city of world records has undergone an unbelievable transformation since the discovery of oil in the 1960s. Its journey from a small Bedouin village into one of the biggest entertainment hub of the world is phenomenal.
The initial images that pop-up when you hear the name Dubai are of gold, luxury cars, shopping festival, world records, and Arabs. But there’s more to Dubai that you can imagine. Even if you think you know Dubai too well, these interesting and fun facts will surely surprise you.
Interesting, funny and quirky facts about Dubai.
1. Their pizza delivery guy comes in a fancy car (mostly a Ferrari)
Yep, you might find it astonishingly weird, but for the locals of Dubai it’s pretty normal. They don’t jump out of their seats when a flashing red Ferrari stops at their gate. Its for the delivery of the pizza you’ve ordered.
2. You park your car in the parking lot. People in Dubai park their camels.
Not that they don’t have cars, but their love for camels is overwhelming. Owning camels are a century old tradition in the rich Arab community. The average price that is paid to own a camel can actually feed full day meals to the entire population of a small town. Just like you pay a small fortune to buy your favourite luxury car, these oil rich Arabs pay millions to own these splendid desert beasts. So it’s quite obvious for them to take them out for a ride and park it in the parking lots meant for cars. They even take them for a walk.
Just like you take your dogs out for a walk, the Arabs take their camels for a stroll, and since they have desert in abundance; they prefer walking them on a desert. These habits may look larger than life for many, but in the rich Arab fraternity they are a status symbol.
3. Dubai has special free food vending machines for poor and unemployed people who can’t afford to buy essentials.
This is a gesture that restores your faith back in humanity and tells you that the people of Dubai are way more than just glittering skyscrapers and unaccountable wealth. These free food vending machines are installed at various places and gives access to basic food and drinks to the needy. Not only this, we all know that while oil is abundant in UAE, water is scarce, but still almost everywhere free water facility is offered with a smile. Not even the best of developed countries have free food vending machines. Do they?
4. You cannot carry fish inside the Dubai Metro
It sounds too weird when you hear it for the first time, but when you ponder a bit, it actually shows how much the authorities care about the convenience of the travelers. Since the metro is completely air conditioned and closed, the stink of fish can be extremely uncomfortable for the passengers. A rule is followed strictly in Dubai and if you know anything at all about the Dubai police, you would definitely not want to take the ‘no fish’ rule lightly.
5. Modern Dubai women who want to swim in public swimming pools wear BURKINI.
No, it’s not a spelling error, companies have manufactured a special swim wear known as Veilkini/ Burkini OR hijab Bikini for women who wish to swim in the public pools. This modest swimwear for women in Dubai gives them freedom to swim at public beaches and pools without violating their conservative Islamic traditions.
6. Think before you go inside the ATM Centre- Dubai ATMs dispense gold bars
In Dubai you never know when you feel the need for some gold bling. Don’t worry, all you have to do is go inside the Emirates Palace hotel lobby ATM and take out 24Karat gold in not one or two but 320 different forms. Yes, from wearable jewelry to gold bars and coins, this ATM spits out glittering gold in different weights, as per your requirement.
7. Even if you want to drink in your own house, you have to obtain a liquor license
So what you don’t want to disturb others and drink in the peace of your own home, as long as you are in Dubai, you have to be licensed. Drinking liquor is against the traditional beliefs of Islam and hence, you will have to be licensed by the authorities of Dubai. The liquor license is only issued to the resident Non – Muslims in Dubai.
8. There’s a road in Dubai, where guys and girls (occasionally) flirt with each other in Dubai style
The spot at the Jumeirah beach walk that’s lined with many eateries is almost always filled with young people. You can witness young guys and girls with their music turned on loud and the windows down driving back and forth to show off their cool car and style. Occasionally, they also exchange their numbers and even whistle. To exchange numbers they throw in napkins, cards and papers to them. But when the rich youngsters don’t find anything, you can see mobile phones flying through the car windows. Now that’s some show off, isn’t it?
Don’t be naughty and expect anything more, flirting in Dubai stops at this.
9. Having a dangerous and exotic animals as pets is a matter of status symbol
Now that’s something I won’t be proud of. Pets belong in the wild and they should not be chained and kept for our own pleasure. Having said that, although, Arabs keep wild beasts as pets; they treat them with utmost care and love. While the lions are fed with the Sharks as food, the cheetahs enjoy the boat rides and Camels enjoy walks in the desert. Along with Cheetah, lions, leopards, camels, and falcons, the list of exotic pets include the endangered tortoise, iguana, ball python, terrapin, non-venomous snakes, parrot, macaw, crocodile, cockatoo, and baboon.
10. Dubai has no zip codes or area codes and no postal delivery service
The obvious doubt: how do they send or receive correspondences? Well, everyone there has a Post box number. So the addresses are pretty basic, for example:
Mr. ABC P.O. Box no. ***** Dubai
Every once in a while, you will have to contact the Post office which has your post box and check for any posts that may have come. These post boxes can accept mails of all sizes. In case you don’t have a Post box number and are expecting a delivery from international couriers, all the correspondences are either sent to the office or maps are drawn to help locate the address, for example:
Mr. ABC, Suite no. 888 , XYZ Building, Gate no.3, Turn first right from the entry, Dubai
However bizarre it may sound, the postal system of UAE actually makes it incredibly convenient to deliver mails.
No matter how strange Dubai may sound to foreigners, it is undoubtedly one of the best cities to live in. Dubai is the safest city on the planet with an almost zero crime rate. Yes, women walk without any fear even at 2 in the morning. Achieving this in a city with 85% expats is no mean feat.
The way Arabs have channelized their wealth into building Dubai into a brilliant city of world records is inspirational.
Neha Singh is a postgraduate in Mass Communications, who loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing came to her naturally. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering. She loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”.