20 years ago, Dubai’s landscape comprised of miles and miles of sand. Today, it houses some of the most spectacular attractions and infrastructure that have left the entire world gaping at it with awe. Dubai has challenged all limitations and has come out on the other end victorious. The statement “the future is here” is nowhere more apt than it is in Dubai. Come take a look at what it is about Dubai that is so special.
What’s normal in Dubai? Having lions, tigers, leopards, camels and sharks as pets and taking them out for walks; a traffic jam filled with Ferraris; gold-plated cars, phones and iPads; gold dispensing ATMs; free food for the homeless in food malls; Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys and Aston Martin police cars (to chase the locals in Ferraris); people in short skirts and people in hijabs; Indians (more than 50% of everyone living in Dubai); cranes (Dubai is really developing its infrastructure); skyscrapers; and air-conditioned bus stops.
Dubai has brought in people from around the world because of its State of the Art infrastructure and is famed as a Global City. But that does not do it for Dubai as it bags most of the tallest, highest, biggest and richest awards. Sky is the limit (literally).
– Burj Khalifa itself is the world’s tallest building but also contains:
- World’s highest restaurant – At.mosphere (122nd floor)
- World’s highest place of worship (158th floor)
- World’s highest night club (144th floor)
- World’s highest observation deck – Burj Khalifa (148th floor)
- World’s most powerful and biggest automated fountain that can shoot water upto its 50th floor!
-World’s largest man-made archipelago – The Palm Jumeirah
-World’s largest shopping Mall – The Dubai Mall
-World’s tallest residential building – Princess Tower
-World’s longest automated rail network – The Dubai Metro system which consists of 42 stations and was made in only 18 months!
-The world’s richest horse race – The Dubai World Cup
-The world’s busiest travel retailer – Dubai Duty Free
… And there will be many more.
Souks, the speciality of every Middle-Eastern country has an aura of authenticity that is hard to ignore. However, the Gold Souk in Dubai has something even more astonishing. Gold jewellery is boldly and lavishly displayed here in display cases with only one layer of glass panel separating it from the street. This is the case even after hours unlike other countries where it would be safely deposited in 5 ton safe every evening. The laws are very strict here and the shopkeepers have full faith on their government. Nevertheless, the streets are patrolled by cops and there are cameras everywhere! Anyone who finds himself in Middle-East always returns home with some gold and this was evident in 2013 when the gold sold in Dubai was equivalent to 354 elephants or 40% of the total physical gold traded in the world.
As much as Dubai has charged forwards with its futuristic vision and solid infrastructure, one small detail is still missing here – street addresses. Yes, there are no street addresses in Dubai! Mail gets delivered to common PO Boxes unless someone has taken the pains to set up their own private PO Box. If people do want something delivered to their house, they draw a map or write instructions such as: “I live on so and so street, before the roundabout you will see a mosque where you have to take a U-turn and you will see my house 3rd from the right.”
MALL OF THE WORLD AND DUBAILAND
Dubai is busy constructing the world’s first climate-controlled city called Mall of the World that should be ready by World Expo 2020. Its area is 4.45 km2 and will be completely air-conditioned making it a year round tourist destination. It will feature 100 hotels and apartment buildings, world’s largest indoor theme park and shopping mall. Mall of the World will be able to accommodate 180 million visitors annually who can savour the sealed city for a week without finding the need to step outside. In a golf-ball shaped dome, there will be a cultural district where famous landmarks from around the world will be recreated and huge weddings, conferences and other celebrations will take place. The wellness district which will be 3 million square feet big will have all the modern medical facilities available. There will be internal trams for quick transport between the various districts and retractable roofs that will allow fresh air to come in when the weather is perfect outside. Dubai has taken care to be a world citizen too and this project will not leave a large carbon footprint.
Dubai is also building a gigantic entertainment complex (278 km2) that should be ready around the same time and will be the largest tourist draw in the world with 2,00,000 people daily. It will include zones such as “Attractions and Experience World,” “Themed Leisure and Vacation World,” and “Sports and Outdoor World.” There will also be a $1 billion replica of the Taj Mahal filled with hotels & shops which developers hope will become a major wedding destination. This entertainment complex is called ‘Dubailand Theme Park’ and came into being when Disneyland refused to create a theme park there as Dubai is “too small”. Dubailand Theme Park has signed contracts with Marvel Comics, Universal Studios and others and is going to be twice the size of Disneyland, Florida.
World, don’t mess with Dubai.
Dubai is an affordable world class tourist destination and people from all walks of life come here as tourists. Preparing for the World Expo 2020 will transform Dubai further and it will become more irresistible than it already is today. Do you have some more interesting stories about Dubai? When are you planning to visit this awesome place?
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide