Facts about Dubai Pin 1

If you’ve been looking for the best Dubai facts, I got you covered.

After having visited the city on numerous occasions, I’ve prepared 33 fun facts about Dubai.

From the world records of its ultramodern architecture to the most surprising historical Dubai facts, and from the weirdest rules to the most peculiar customs, every fact about Dubai has been carefully curated like a necklace of pristine travel pearls.

Read until the end to discover the craziest facts about Dubai.

Let’s explore!

Short on time? Book my recommended tours here:

📍 Burj Khalifa Dubai – visit the tallest building in the world.

📍 Dubai Helicopter Tour – experience Dubai’s skyline.

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Fun and Interesting Facts About Dubai

Dubai Roads and Tracks
Some of these interesting facts about Dubai might sound crazy, but you should still follow the rules

Some of the most amusing facts about Dubai are about certain customs, traditions, and rules. I allow you to laugh, but I still highly recommend you follow the dos and don’ts of the country. My favorite of these Dubai facts is the last one in this section 😉

  1. In Dubai, you’ll get a fine if you’re caught jaywalking, flower picking, or kissing in public. The fines are quite harsh, starting at over $250 for picking a flower. However, tourists get a second chance and don’t pay the first time they break the law. I still wouldn’t advise you to test the viability of this Dubai fact. If you’re planning on moving to Dubai with your better half, keep in mind that living without marriage is forbidden. If the authorities catch you, they’ll deport both of you.
  2. Most Emiratis work for the government on 6-hour days. Fridays and Saturdays are off days, while on Thursdays locals only work half-days. If that didn’t make you jealous enough, how about the following? Emiratis can get an interest-free loan from the state. Many take the loan, build a skyscraper, and rent it out. The rent pays back the loan and supports their cost of living. However, people who fail to return the loan end up in jail.
  3. Dubai’s jails are quite luxurious. The reason for the good conditions is that prisoners are not seen as “real” criminals. Most of them simply failed to repay their loans (see the previous Dubai fact). The crime rates in the Emirates are otherwise extremely low.
  4. Prisoners can reduce their sentences or even get free by learning the Quran. Here’s one of the most fun facts about Dubai: the sentenced have the choice to study the Quran. If they learn half of it, their sentence is reduced by half. If they memorize the whole Quran, they’re not only set free but also don’t have to pay the rest of their loan back. The catch? The Quran is 604 pages long and contains 77,430 words in 114 chapters. So, learning to recite even half of it will take several years and a great memory.
  5. More than 30 free-trade zones exist in Dubai. Within them, foreign investors don’t pay tax concessions and customs duties. Each zone is set for a different industry. Businesses can get a license to operate in a free-trade zone only if they work in their designated industry. Companies registered in the free zones can be 100% owned by foreigners. Some of the most popular areas are Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Internet City.
Dubai Knowledge Park
Dubai Knowledge Park is only one of the thirty free-trade zones in Dubai
  1. The tax-free Dubai Knowledge Park is a gigantic human resources hub. It’s a one-stop shop for education and training, featuring prestigious schools and universities from around the world. Over 400 companies and institutions in its area compete to hire the graduates. To me as a university graduate, this is one of the coolest Dubai facts.
  2. Outside the free-trade zones, you can own a maximum of 49% of your business. The rest goes to your Emirati partner. In addition, companies have to employ at least one Emirati citizen and pay him a full salary. He/she does not have to actually work. Now, you understand why Emirati citizenship is like the Holy Grail.
  3. Police officers in Dubai don’t take bribes. Not only because their religion forbids it but also because they have large families. So, if someone takes a bribe, people will know. The officer and his family will be disgraced. For officers of foreign descent, the fear of being deported is what stops them. They know they can’t find such a well-paying job in their home countries, so it makes no sense to risk being caught. I don’t know about you, but I regard this as one of the coolest facts about Dubai.
  4. The New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dubai break world records every year. Emiratis know how to welcome a new year with a bang. Among the records the city holds are:
  • The largest ever fireworks display. 479,651 shells were fired in just six minutes on New Year’s Eve. That’s a rate of almost 80,000 shells per minute and 1,332 fireworks per second.
  • The longest-running fireworks show. It ran continuously for 35 minutes. Fireworks launched from 16 towers.
  • The longest Girandola fireworks show in the world.
  • The highest flame projection in a music concert.
  • Most flame projections launched simultaneously in a music concert.

Historical Facts About Dubai and the Emirati Way of Life

Dubai Old Town
Dubai’s Old Town is an open-air museum where you can explore the past of the city

In its relatively short history, Dubai has managed to grow from a modest fishermen’s village to an important sea trading port. Then, it turned into a stunning, futuristic city. This section will show you the most fascinating historical facts about Dubai and its citizens.

  1. Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. It’s also one of the seven emirates that comprise the country. Interestingly, there are no formal borders between the Emirates. In the early days of forming the U.A.E., frontier disputes occurred often, but that’s been long forgotten. Despite not being the actual capital, many consider Dubai to be the commercial capital of the U.A.E.
  2. Until the 1930s, the pearl industry was the main source of income for the region. This is among the craziest facts about Dubai. The Great Depression and the cultivation of pearls completely destroyed this industry, though. Trading goods, especially gold, in the fast-growing Emirate became the new livelihood.
  3. There are several reasons for the nickname City of Gold. For starters, one of the most profitable industries in the Emirate has been gold trading. Later, the rapid growth – especially at the beginning of the 21st century – required enormous investments. And last but not least, Dubai is famous for literally displaying gold, luxury, and signs of wealth everywhere you look.
  4. Dubai’s wealth doesn’t come from oil anymore. In the mid-1960s, oil was found off the coast of Dubai. The fresh opportunity attracted workers from Asia and the Middle East. The city’s population skyrocketed and the infrastructure expanded greatly. Although the oil industry contributed enormously to the development of modern Dubai, the Emirate’s reserves were never as huge as neighboring Abu Dhabi’s, for example. However, the rulers of Dubai made smart choices and invested the oil and trading revenues in infrastructure and tourism. The first hotel opened in 1959, and more followed shortly after.
  5. Emirati citizenship is one of the hardest to receive. Most other countries in the world allow immigrants and expats to obtain citizenship after a certain amount of time spent living on their territory. The U.A.E.’s rules are much stricter. Men of non-Arabic descent can almost never become Emirati, no matter how long they’ve lived in the U.A.E. For women, the only way to obtain citizenship is after 7 years of marriage to an Emirati and giving birth to a child, or 10 years of marriage without children.

✔️Note: As of 2021, the U.A.E. has started granting citizenship by investment as well. You’ll have to buy a property for at least $1.36 million to qualify.

Dubai Mosque Monorail Atlantis the Palm
One of the craziest facts about Dubai is about the unbelievable number of mosques in the city
  1. Dubai boasts an impressive 2,059 mosques. The number is constantly growing. The authorities build a mosque every half a mile for the convenience of the Muslim population. The largest temples can accommodate several thousand people. Emirati are also tolerant to other regions. Non-Muslims may visit Dubai’s mosques, as well as build their own temples and practice their religion. This is among the most interesting facts about Dubai.
  2. Locals prefer to wear the traditional Emirati clothes. Men dress in kandura, an ankle-length white shirt from wool or cotton. Women clothe in abaya, a loose over-garment robe. Men’s clothes are white to reflect the light. Women wear black for two reasons. Firstly, black is non-transparent. Secondly, women are believed to be men’s shade.
  3. Dubai has one of the highest water consumption in the world. Due to the hot climate, Emiratis shower several times per day and change clothes just as often. Now, you’d think that’s crazy because the Emirate is in the heart of the desert, right? However, Dubai is also on the Arabian Sea coast. So, authorities use desalted water as tap water. What’s even crazier is that the city boasts tons of greenery and even features the largest garden in the world, Dubai Miracle Garden. The water for all the plants comes from treated wastewater.
  4. The city is built with imported sand even though it is in the desert. The reason for this interesting fact about Dubai is that the wind-formed desert sand is too fine for construction. Hence, the U.A.E. imports hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sand, stone, and gravel every year to keep up with the demand for building new record-breaking structures (see Dubai facts #21-33 below).
  5. Buying alcohol in Dubai is extremely difficult. It’s legal, but you’ll need a liquor license. Without it, you can only buy alcohol at the airport. You’ll find it in the duty-free shops. The amount of your purchase is limited to 4 liters of concentrate or 48 cans of beer. The good news is that ordering a drink at a bar or a restaurant doesn’t require a license. However, only establishments at chain hotels have permission to sell alcohol. This is among the most important facts about Dubai if you like drinking booze.

Crazy Facts About Dubai’s Record-breaking Achievements

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, makes the surrounding skyscrapers look small in comparison

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Dubai has experienced vertiginous growth. The result is an ultra-modern city of groundbreaking records. The following crazy Dubai facts about the city’s attractions will blow your mind.

  1. Dubai Expo 2020 is the first World Exposition to be postponed rather than canceled. The main site occupies a gigantic 438-hectare area, which equals about 14,600 tennis courts. This makes it the third-largest World Fair ever organized. 192 countries confirmed their participation. Тhe exhibition took place between October 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, because it was postponed due to the pandemic. The expo spaces revolve around a central plaza, surrounded by three large thematic districts. Each one is dedicated to one of the sub-themes of Expo 2020 – Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. 80% of the constructions will continue to be used after the event’s end.
  2. Dubai Metro has the world’s longest, fully automated, driverless train system. The tracks cover an impressive 46.6 mi (75 km). The subway has two lines, which run underground up to 98.4 ft. (30 m) deep, as well as on elevated tracks. It started operating on September 9, 2009, at 9:09 AM. The 200 million passengers per year can count on 99.9% punctuality and speeds of up to 56 mph (90 km/h). All trains and stations are air-conditioned.
  3. Burj Khalifa holds several records, not just for the tallest building in the world.  The 2,722-ft. (829.8-m)-high structure is the tallest freestanding building, the tallest skyscraper, and the building with the most floors, among others, making this one of the coolest Dubai facts. 57 elevators service the tower. They also hold several records – for the world’s highest elevator installation and the longest travel distance.

✔️ Tip: For the most breathtaking views of Dubai, visit the observation deck At the Top or stay at the first-ever hotel designed by Giorgio Armani.

🏨 Armani Hotel occupies the floors between 0 and 39.

🏨 The deck is at the 124th and 125th floors. You can get a special skip-the-line ticket, ride in an express elevator, and visit not just the 124th and 125th floors but also the 148th. Click here to check the availability.

Mall of the Emirates Ski Slope Dubai
Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates is the largest indoor snow park in the world
  1. You can ski all year round in the Mall of the Emirates. The gigantic shopping arcade features Ski Dubai – the first themed winter park in the Middle East. The ski resort is also the world’s largest indoor snow park. The temperature inside is constantly around the freezing point. What a huge difference from the heat in the surrounding desert! This is one of the most mind-blowing facts about Dubai!
  2. Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world by total land area. If the previous fact about Dubai impressed you, get this. Dubai Mall is double the size of the Mall of the Emirates! Apart from 1,200+ stores, it features an Olympic-sized ice rink, an aquarium, and an underwater zoo. Dubai Aquarium holds a mind-boggling 10 million liters (2.64 million gallons) of water and over 3,300 animals of more than 140 species. Automatic lights change the ambiance according to the time of the day.
  3. The Tallest Block in Dubai Marina holds the world record for the tallest residential building. Each new skyscraper pops up taller than the previous one to make sure Dubai keeps this record. The finished structures rise between 600 ft. (183 m) and 1,693 ft. (516 m) high. Concentrated on one block, they dominate the skyline and provide astonishing views of the city, the sea, and the desert.
  4. In Dubai, you can fly like Superman on the longest urban zipline in the world. The one-kilometer long rope links a 558-ft. (170-m) high platform in Dubai Marina with the Dubai Marina Mall. You’ll zip over the manmade harbor with a speed of about 50 mph (80 km/h). You can share the experience with another person as well, making it a perfect couple’s experience. You can book it here.
  5. In Dubai, you can overnight in the tallest hotel on the planet. Gevora Hotel is 1,169 ft. (356 m) high, which earns it the title of tallest hotel building in the world. The luxurious four-star hotel features 528 rooms spread over 75 floors, plus 5 restaurants, a SPA, and a pool. If you fancy waking up to the fantastic views of Downtown Dubai, you can book a room via this link.
  6. You can also visit the second-tallest hotel in the world while in Dubai. JW Marriott Marquis was completed in 2012. The 72-story skyscraper rises 1,165 ft. (355 m), making it just one meter shorter than the winner Gevora Hotel. However, JW Marriott Marquis holds the record for the tallest identical twin towers hotel in the world. The five-star gem offers 1,608 elegant rooms, 15 award-winning restaurants, several bars and lounges, a SPA, and a swimming pool. Sounds intriguing? You can book a night here.

✔️Tip: Interested in the city’s futuristic skyline? Read more about the tallest hotels in Dubai.

Dubai Miracle Garden A380
Some of the craziest facts about Dubai are about the stunning Dubai Miracle Garden
  1. Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden. This has to be among the top Dubi facts. Dubai – a city amid the desert – houses the largest flower garden in the world! The award-winning attraction occupies a whopping 780,000 sq. ft. (72,000 sq. m) and boasts 150+ million blooming flowers. The most popular sculpture in the park is the Emirates A380. The double-decker is a 1:1 model of the popular airplane. It’s covered with 500,000 living flowers and plants, and holds the world record for the biggest garden structure.
  2. Dubai is home to two manmade archipelagos. The Palm Jumeirah and The World Islands were created using land reclamation. They’re mainly composed of sand dredged from Dubai’s shallow coastal waters. You can reach The Palm via a driverless, 3.4-mile (5.4-kilometer) long monorail, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East. On the tip of the archipelago, you’ll find the jaw-dropping Atlantis Hotel.
  3. The City of Gold is a shopping mecca. Dubai – a city of approximately 3.5 million people – has 66 malls and 15 more are under construction. Moreover, two major shopping festivals take place each year. In January, you can attend the Dubai Shopping Festival, and in July – the Dubai Summer Surprises. You’ll enjoy great deals and hefty discounts if you decide to visit them.
Ain Dubai - Dubai Eye
The sight of the record-breaker Ain Dubai on Bluewaters Island is jaw-dropping
  1. Ain Dubai is the newest record-breaking structure in Dubai. It is the largest and tallest observation wheel in the world. With a whopping height of 820 ft. (250 m), it’s a whole 270 ft. (82 m) taller than the previous record-holder – the High Roller in Las Vegas. The Ferris wheel can carry up to 1,750 passengers at a time in its 48 luxurious, air-conditioned capsules. You’ll find the gargantuan observation wheel on the man-made Bluewaters Island, which is also quite impressive and worth checking out. Sadly, it’s closed for the time being.
  2. Dubai Global Village holds an impressive 25 world records. The unique attraction features 90 country pavilions. You can discover culture, shopping, and entertainment from across the globe. For its 25th anniversary, the village achieved its 25th record. Here are some of the most impressive ones:
  • Largest underwater mesh screen – 53,963.8 sq. ft. (5,013.4 sq. m) and 223,000 pixels.
  • Highest altitude skydiving firework display – 16,100 ft. (4,907.28 m).
  • Most LED lights on a car – 37,671.
  • Largest picnic table – 9.826 ft. x 18.048 ft. x 13.123 ft. (2.995 m x 5.501 m x 4 m).  
  • Largest flag number – 1,096.
  • Most nationalities waving simultaneously – 65.
  • Most letters to Santa, collected in 24 hours – 2,144.

Now You Know the Most Fun and Interesting Facts About Dubai

Dubai from the Desert
Which of the fun and interesting facts about Dubai did you like the most?

Dubai is surprising, trailblazing, and fascinating.

A city erected in the middle of the desert, it defies all odds and expectations, and manages to astonish and delight everyone who visits it.  

If at least half of these 33 facts about Dubai didn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what would 🙂

To get the full picture of what awaits you in the city on the Persian Gulf, I suggest you check out our Dubai travel tips as well.  

Start Planning Your Trip to Dubai with Our BEST Recommendations:

Top Tours in Dubai

📍 Burj Khalifa Dubai – see the city from the deck of the tallest building in the world.

📍 Dubai Helicopter Tour – experience the most exhilarating views of Dubai’s skyline.

Best Accommodations in Dubai

🏨 Armani Hotel – spoil yourself with a luxurious stay inside Burj Khalifa.

🏨 Gevora Hotel – if you love sweeping vistas, stay at the highest hotel in Dubai.

Easiest Transportation Options in Dubai

🚍 Dubai Hop-on Hop-off Bus – the best way to explore the city at your own pace.

🚍 Discover Cars – compare and find the best rates for car rentals in any destination.

Now, share in the comments below:

What were your favorite Dubai facts?


Svet has lived on three continents. He graduated from his Master’s in Belgium, did a Work & Travel program in the USA, and in 2015, spent several months working, traveling, and exploring the Chinese culture. As a result, he found how challenging yet fun it is for a Westerner to live in China. Fun fact: Svet loves doing push-ups in public places and has a crush on tractors.

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