Looking for interesting facts about Dubai? Indeed, it is a fascinating place with many unique aspects and many different habits and traditions...
One of the most rewarding aspects of traveling is discovering new things. cultures and habits can know. It always amazes me that, in an age where the world has become a global village with the same shops and restaurants everywhere, the similarity stops at this visible surface. Ultimately, we are not all the same, we all have our own ways, traditions, points of view and perceptions of the world.
It's not because Arabs drink it. They visit a Starbucks Cafe in Dubai and share their experiences with the latest iPhones on Facebook or Instagram, losing their Middle Eastern identity. Nor does it mean that they identify with the way we think and live in the West... Not at all!
Even a very global city like Dubai is not as open and modern when you look beneath the surface. I'm not saying it's good or bad, it's just different. There are many things you should know about Dubai, even if you come here as a tourist.
Serious facts about Dubai, from local laws and customs, to surprising statistics - we have selected the most fascinating ones in this article. Find out!
Good to know: Dubai is modernizing and has recently changed some of its laws which are a bit unusual for a Westerner. Therefore, this Dubai data article has been updated to reflect these recent changes. We also keep the original information so you can see the changes.
Here are some interesting facts about Dubai and the United Arab Emirates:
1. Weekend in Dubai lasts 2.5 days
Dubai has recently changed its work/weekend schedule to better align with the rest of the world and international markets.
The weekend in Dubai now lasts 2 and a half days: half a day starting Friday at noon, plus Saturday and Sunday. The official opening time is 7.30am. from Monday to Thursday and from 7.30 to 12.00 on Friday.
Before there was a weekend in Dubai, there are no Saturdays and Sundays like in the West. But it wasn't even Thursday and Friday, as was the case in the past in most Muslim countries (and still is in some countries). A weekend in Dubai took place on Friday and Saturday.
Many Gulf states have recently changed this situation to better adapt to international financial markets, including in January 2022. Dubai did the same.
2. Twenty or 25 years ago, Dubai was essentially a desert.
When we see how far the city has come, we can't help but admire the vision of Dubai's leaders. It all started with Sheikh Rashid, who worried about the future of Dubai due to the end of oil. Sheikh Mohammed is the man who made Dubai the global city it is today.
Every time you visit Dubai, you will notice that the city has changed again. There is so much to do, so many new buildings, tourist attractions, etc. It truly is an ever-changing destination, with something new to offer every time you arrive.
3. Dubai has the tallest building in the world
In the United Arab Emirates you want to be the best at everything, the biggest, the tallest, the richest... The tallest buildings in the world, the centers commercial buildings, the largest and most expensive hotel rooms, the artificial islands... Just name it and they have it.
Burj Khalifa, the most tallest in the world (828 m (2,717 m) feet – 163 floors)) is located in Dubai. For comparison: the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris is 300 m.
In 2016, Dubai began construction of the Dubai Creek Tower. At 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) tall, it would be the tallest structure ever built by man, rivaling another project in Saudi Arabia (which would eclipse the Burj Khalifa) and holding the title of world's tallest building in Dubai .
But like the project in Saudi Arabia, the one in Dubai was also stopped. And then comes the pandemic, and the future of Dubai Creek Tower remains uncertain. The Burj Khalifa remains, at the moment, the tallest building in the world.
Skyscrapers of Dubai
Skyscrapers of Dubai, where it is located the Burj Khalifa located dominates all the others
4. There are seven times more foreigners than local residents in the UAE.
The latest statistics show that the percentage of foreigners in the UAE exceeds 88%. In the city of Dubai, this number is probably even higher.
Emigrants can only apply for citizenship after 20 years. Most foreigners in Dubai are construction workers from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
5. The population growth of the United Arab Emirates is one of the highest in the world.
In 1965, the total population of the Emirates was 150,000 inhabitants, in 2015 it was 9.26 million people. The largest increase occurred between 2003 and 2011 and has stabilized in recent years.
In 2022, the population of the United Arab Emirates will increase to 9.99 million inhabitants. More than a third of the total population of the United Arab Emirates (3.4 million people) lives in Dubai.
6. In the United Arab Emirates there are twice as many men as women.
The male/female ratio in Dubai is 7 to 3. This is mainly due to the fact that foreign workers do not travel with their families. Most of them come to the United Arab Emirates to work and earn money, leaving their families in their home countries.
69% of people living in United Arab Emirates In the United Arab Emirates they are men and only 31% are women. There are more than 2 men for every woman! And this in a region where it is not uncommon for a man to have multiple wives...
7. Sex before marriage was illegal in the UAE.
This is one of those facts in Dubai that caused a lot of controversy in the past. Fortunately, the laws have recently been relaxed and premarital sex is no longer illegal in Dubai.
In the past, in theory, you were not allowed to share a hotel room in Dubai with a man or woman you were not married to. This did not apply to immediate family members, so the brothers were fine.
It did not matter what their relationship was and whether they lived or not. . with their partners at home. If you have traveled to Dubai with your partner, you need to make sure that everyone thinks that you are married. Until nothing happened, no one paid much attention to it, but some foreigners got into serious trouble because of it.
One of the reasons the law is changing is to attract more expats and legalize what is already happening. All single foreigners living with their partner in Dubai can now relax without fear of anyone finding out that they are not legally married.
However, stay safe and listen . Please note that same-sex relationships are still illegal in Dubai.
8. Kissing in public is illegal.
Public hugs and kisses are still strictly prohibited and perhaps even illegal in the United Arab Emirates. Holding your husband or wife's hand is nice, but that's about it. Dubai is much quieter than other emirates, but it is much easier to respect tradition than to test the limits.
I have read disturbing reports about unmarried couples, women found guilty of public displays of affection or girls who are in trouble for having been raped.
Fortunately, some of the new laws have brought changes here too. . However, if the unthinkable happens in Dubai, it is best to contact your embassy before contacting the local police.
Facts about Dubai: It is illegal to kiss in public
Dubai has strict rules, so it's best not to show too much affection in public
9. There are no personal or income taxes in Dubai.
Here's your explanation for all expats and those growing up in Dubai! My husband (who is a tax professional) is already planning to move to Dubai. If it weren't for the extreme summer temperatures, we would probably be applying for a visa now.
10. In the recent past, there was no standard postal system in Dubai.
Until recently, there was no standard postal system in Dubai. They often used post office boxes, and the instructions on the envelope or package usually included an explanation of how to find the location. Something like "The second street on the right, behind the big mosque, the third house with a white door on the left."
This probably explains why most walk in Them The postcards we sent from Dubai during our trip in 2015 never reached their destination.
I don't know exactly how the British postal system works in Dubai. . But things seem to have improved recently, since Dubai started assigning unique codes to all streets and buildings to make them easier to identify. However, it is far from what we are used to in the West.
TIP: Here are some tips for travelers (besides not wasting money on cards) . and stamps)). If you book a stay at a lesser-known hotel in Dubai, print out a map to show the taxi driver where you want to go. The same happens with all newly built hotels: they grow like mushrooms after the rain and no taxi driver can keep up with them.