Dubai needs no introduction. Once an insignificant little city in the middle of the desert, Dubai has experienced the most extreme makeover the world has ever seen. Check out these 15 shocking little-known facts about the city, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: It’s Made up of Expatriates
Only around 15-20% of Dubai’s population are local Emiratis. Most of the population come from other countries, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the E.U. Moreover, 69% of them are male, while only 31% are female.
Number Fourteen: The Dubai Police Force Owns Elite Cars
Everything in Dubai is extreme and over the top, including its police fleet. The city’s police luxurious supercar collection features Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Bugatti, Aston Martin and Porsche cars, among others. However, general duties are usually carried out on more affordable cars, such as Toyota and Nissan.
Number Thirteen: Its Population Has Tripled in Last 10 Years
Dubai’s population in 1995 was a little under 700,000—roughly Denver’s population density today. Dubai’s population now is 2,459 million, three times as much as it used to be. And it keeps growing at a 5% yearly rate. Researchers estimate that population will hit 3.4 million in 4 years, an increase of 2% a year.
Number Twelve: It Has a Smart Postal System
Dubai never had a proper addressing system, nor official street naming, until 2015, when city officials realized how much of an inconvenience this actually was. Dubai citizens had to drive to the nearest post office to check for letters and packages. Now, they have one of the first smart postal systems in the world. Christened “Makani”, it works through geo-localization via real-time GPS coordinates. The project is still in development in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Number Eleven: World’s Biggest Everything
Dubai is the most ambitious city in the world. We all know it’s home to the world’s highest skyscraper (The Burj Khalifa), but it doesn’t stop here: world’s largest mall, largest hotel, largest sweet shop, indoor ski resort, artificial island, residential building, airport terminal, choreographed fountain system… it’s all in Dubai.
Number Ten: Wild Animals Are Popular Pets
United Arab Emirates’ lifestyle is all about showing off; a dog or a cat just won’t suffice a real Emirati’s lust for power. Wild animals, such as lions, tigers and cheetahs, are symbols of status in the Persian Gulf region. Most of these animals are endangered species sold on the black market and brought to Dubai illegally.
Number Nine: Camel Races With Robots
Camel racing is a popular activity in most Middle Eastern nations. Dubai holds a yearly camel race deep into the desert, except no human participates in these competitions. Robotic jockeys have been in charge of riding the camels since 2007, drawing all sorts of attention from tourists and locals alike.
Number Eight: English Is the Most Spoken Language
Although Arabic is the only official language in the country, English is the lingua franca and the most widely used language in the city. Considering that the vast majority of the population comes from overseas, most expatriates don’t bother learning the language and everyone just communicates in English instead. Stay tuned for part two, coming very soon!