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Dubai facts you need to know before you visit

One of the seven emirates of UAE, Dubai is the best example of the modern-day transformation of a fishing village into a global metropolis. 

Now Dubai is an incredible feat of human architecture and engineering. 

It is a city with marvelous architecture, vibrant tradition and a culture lined with luxury. 

If you are planning your 2023 vacation to Dubai, this article is all about dubai facts, history, culture, weather, local laws and more. 

This is your handy guide for your Dubai vacation. 

The history of Dubai

Dubai’s history can be traced back over 4,000 years, with evidence of human settlement in the region. 

One of the most interesting facts about Dubai is its transformation from a small fishing village to a leading developed city. 

Originally a small fishing village, Dubai became a flourishing trading hub in the 19th century due to its strategic location along the Gulf Coast. 

The city’s transformation began with the discovery of oil in the region in the 1960s.

This accelerated its economic growth and paved the way for remarkable modernization.

Culture of Dubai

Dubai’s culture is the unique blend of its traditional Arab roots and a modern cosmopolitan lifestyle. 

Emirati hospitality is renowned and visitors are welcomed with warmth and generosity. 

Islam is the dominant religion and the city’s architecture and cultural practices reflect this. 

The city’s diverse population contributes to its multicultural ambiance, with people from around the world calling Dubai their home.

Geography of Dubai

Located in the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is part of the Arabian Desert. 

The city is characterized by its vast coastline, beautiful beaches and stunning skyscrapers. 

Dubai has a unique geography that combines modern urban landscapes and desert dunes. 

This provides visitors with various recreational activities such as dune bashing, desert safaris and camel riding.

Currency used in Dubai

The currency used in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). 

It is denoted by the symbol “د.إ” or “Dhs” and is divided into 100 fils. 

It is advisable to exchange currency at authorized exchange centers or withdraw cash from ATMs readily available throughout the city.

Languages Spoken

Arabic is the official language of Dubai and the UAE. 

However, its diverse population makes English widely spoken and understood, especially in the business and tourism sectors. 

Additionally, you may also encounter a variety of other languages spoken by expatriates residing in Dubai.

Guided tours are Dubai are offered in various languages like English, Spanish, German, Chinese, French and more. 

Time Zone

Dubai operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), UTC+4. 

It does not observe daylight saving time, so the time difference might vary depending on your location. 

It is recommended to adjust your time accordingly when planning your visit or conducting business in Dubai.

Local Laws to Remember

While Dubai is an open and cosmopolitan city, it is important to respect the local laws and customs. 

Some must remember dubai facts and local laws: 

  • Wear modest clothes that do not expose your legs and shoulder.
  • Tourists should be aware of restrictions during the Ramadan month. 
  • Loud music is prohibited in Dubai tourists should know this. 
  • Casinos are illegal in Dubai. 
  • Consumption of alcohol while driving is prohibited. 
  •  Refrain from public displays of affection

Familiarizing yourself with the local laws will ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay.

Helpful Numbers

In case of emergencies or if you require assistance, it is essential to know some helpful numbers in Dubai. 

Here are some numbers you need to know while visiting Dubai: 

  • Police: 999
  • Ambulance: 998
  • Fire department: 997 
  • Coastguard: 996
  • Electricity failure: 991
  • Water failure: 992

Safety in Dubai

Safety in Dubai
Image: Facebook.com

Dubai is considered a safe city with low crime rates. 

The government places great importance on its residents’ and visitors’ safety and security. 

However, exercising caution and taking common-sense safety measures is always advisable, just as you would in any other major city.

 Keep an eye on your belongings, avoid walking alone in isolated areas at night and follow any specific safety guidelines local authorities provide.

Top 10 Facts about Dubai

1. Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa..
Image: Facebook.com

Dubai is home to the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, standing at a staggering height of 828 meters. 

Visitors can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from its observation decks.

2. Palm Jumeirah

Dubai is famous for its artificial islands and Palm Jumeirah is the most renowned among them. 

Shaped like a palm tree, it is a stunning architectural marvel and home to luxurious resorts, hotels and residences.

3. Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall
Image: Andrey Khrobostov (Canva)

The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world, offering a vast array of retail outlets, entertainment options and even an aquarium. 

4. Dubai Fountain

Located outside the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. 

It mesmerizes viewers with its spectacular water displays, synchronized to music and lights.

5. Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai.
Image: Facebook.com

Ski Dubai, located in the Mall of the Emirates, is an indoor ski resort that offers snowboarding a unique experience in the heart of the city.

6. Dubai Desert Safari

Experience the thrill of dune bashing, camel riding and desert camping with a Dubai desert safari

It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of the desert and enjoy traditional entertainment and cuisine.

7. The Dubai Frame

The Dubai Frame
Image: Photocreo (Canva)

This architectural wonder provides a unique perspective on the city’s past and future. 

The Dubai Frame is a massive picture frame-shaped structure that offers panoramic views of old and new Dubai.

8. Dubai Creek

The historic Dubai Creek is a natural seawater inlet that separates the city into two sections: Deira and Bur Dubai. 

Visitors can take a traditional abra (water taxi) ride to explore the bustling souks and soak in the city’s rich heritage.

9. Luxury Hotels

Luxury Hotels
Image: Leonid Andronov, Fokke Baarssen from Fokke Baarssen (Canva)

Dubai boasts a collection of world-class luxury hotels known for their grandeur, luxury and innovative designs. 

From the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab to the palatial Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai offers unparalleled hospitality experiences.

10. Global Events

Dubai hosts many global events and festivals throughout the year.

It ranges from cultural celebrations like Ramadan and Eid to the Dubai World Cup horse race and the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Dubai – FAQs

1. What are three interesting facts about Dubai?

Here are three interesting facts about Dubai:

Dubai has the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa at 828 meters (2716 feet) and 163 floors.

Dubai has an indoor ski resort – Despite being in the desert, Dubai is home to an indoor ski resort called Ski Dubai with five ski runs and penguins.

Dubai has a man-made island shaped like a palm tree -it is home to luxury resorts, residential buildings and various entertainment and dining options.

2. What is Dubai most known for?

Dubai is known for its modern architecture, luxury shopping and vibrant nightlife. 

The city is home to some of the world’s tallest and most innovative buildings, such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab. 

It is also known for its shopping malls, including the Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest malls. 

Dubai has a thriving nightlife scene with various bars, nightclubs and entertainment options. 

The city is also known for its desert safaris, luxury resorts and world-class dining options.

3. What is unique about Dubai?

Dubai is unique in several ways, including:
Innovative architecture: Some of the world’s tallest and most iconic buildings are located in Dubai, such as the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab and the Dubai Frame.

Artificial islands: Dubai is home to several artificial islands that have been created using state-of-the-art technology, like the Palm Jumeirah, the World Islands and the Deira Islands.

Indoor ski resort: Dubai is home to the world’s largest indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai, which is located in the Mall of the Emirates.

Diverse culture: Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, with over 200 nationalities living and working in the city. 

Growing economy: Dubai has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, with a thriving business and finance sector.

4. Why is Dubai so rich?

One major factor is its strategic location as a trading hub between Europe, Asia and Africa. 

The government has also invested heavily in infrastructure and developed a favorable business environment, attracting foreign investment and businesses to the region. 

Dubai has also focused on diversifying its economy beyond oil, investing in sectors such as tourism, real estate and finance. 

Additionally, Dubai has a tax-free system and offers incentives for foreign investors, making it an attractive destination for business and investment.

5. What are two famous things about Dubai?

One major factor is its strategic location as a trading hub between Europe, Asia and Africa.
 
The government has also invested heavily in infrastructure and developed a favorable business environment, attracting foreign investment and businesses to the region.
 
Dubai has also focused on diversifying its economy beyond oil, investing in sectors such as tourism, real estate and finance. 

Additionally, Dubai has a tax-free system and offers incentives for foreign investors, making it an attractive destination for business and investment.

5. What are two famous things about Dubai?

There are many famous things about Dubai, but two of the most well-known are:
Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at a height of 828 meters. 
It’s an iconic skyscraper that has become a symbol of Dubai’s modernity and ambition.

Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the world and a major tourist attraction. 
It features over 1,200 retail stores, an aquarium, an indoor theme park, a waterfall, and more.

7. What’s the best thing about Dubai?

Dubai offers a range of attractions and experiences, so it can be difficult to pinpoint just one “best” thing about the city. 

Dubai is known for its luxurious shopping malls, beautiful beaches, world-class dining and thrilling entertainment options. 

Another highlight is the city’s warm and welcoming culture, with a diverse population from all over the world, creating a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

8. Why do people go to Dubai?

Here are a few popular reasons why people go to Dubai:
– Tourism: Dubai is a popular tourist destination, offering a wide range of attractions such as luxury shopping, stunning beaches, world-class dining, theme parks, and cultural experiences. 

– Business: Dubai is a hub for international business, with a strategic location, modern infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce. 

= Employment: Dubai offers many employment opportunities across various industries, such as finance, construction, hospitality, healthcare and more.

– Lifestyle: Dubai offers a high standard of living, with modern amenities, excellent healthcare and a safe and secure environment. 

9. Is it expensive to live in Dubai?

Dubai is unique in several ways, including:
– Innovative architecture: Some of the world’s tallest and most iconic buildings are located in Dubai, such as the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab and the Dubai Frame.

– Artificial islands: Dubai is home to several artificial islands that have been created using state-of-the-art technology, like the Palm Jumeirah, the World Islands and Deira Islands.

– Indoor ski resort: Dubai is home to the world’s largest indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai, which is located in the Mall of the Emirates.

– Diverse culture: Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, with over 200 nationalities living and working in the city. 

– Growing economy: Dubai has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, with a thriving business and finance sector.

10. Is the cost of living in Dubai high?

The cost of living in Dubai can vary depending on housing, transportation, food, and entertainment factors.
 
Housing can be particularly expensive, especially in the popular and upscale areas of the city.

It is fair to say that Dubai is more expensive than many other cities worldwide.

Living there within a budget can still be possible, depending on your lifestyle and priorities.

11. Is Dubai safe for Americans?

Yes, Dubai is generally considered safe for Americans and tourists from around the world. 

The UAE has a low crime rate, and the government highly emphasizes security and safety for residents and visitors.

Photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash

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