8 Things About Dubai You Probably Didn't Know

You've probably heard about Dubai, but have you been? Dubai is one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is located in the southern Persian Gulf. As one of the fastest developing cities in the world, here are 8 fun facts about Dubai that you probably didn't know.


Camel Racing and Robot Jockeys


Did you know that camel racing is a traditional sport in the UAE? With the winning camel being able to take home $3 million, it is no surprise that the Dubai Camel Racing Festival is one of the most talked about days of the year.


As technology advances, Dubai has also started to replace human jockeys with robot jockeys (as shown in the photo below). The robots even have small hinged arms that can move to control the reins!


Income Tax, What Is That?


You may or may not know that anyone living in Dubai doesn't have to pay income taxes to the government. The catch? If you own a business, the government owns at least 51 percent of it.


Tea and Dates


As a part of the culture here in Dubai, it is customary for hosts to offer their guests tea and dates. Something interesting is that if the host pours the guest a full cup of tea, it is a subtle way of telling them that they have overstayed their welcome.


The traditional way to greet your guests is to pour half a cup of tea and offer them a date. The reason for pouring half a cup is because the cups do not have handles, and the tea is piping hot — and you don't want you to burn your fingers as you hold the cup of tea!


Bigger the Better


You may know that the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world at 828 metres. Dubai is also home to the world's largest mall, largest water fountain, and grandest indoor snow facility — you can ski, snowboard, snow tube, bobsled, pet penguins, and more at the Ski Dubai resort in the Mall of the Emirates.


And speaking of construction, Dubai is also known for the Palm Islands, the world's largest man-made island, built on The Persian Gulf. It actually took around 94 billion liters of sand!



Crazy for Construction


Speaking of which, did you know that Dubai has the most active cranes in the world? Good luck trying to take a picture of Dubai's skyline without getting a crane in your photo.


It is also known that Dubai is already planning to build another tower that will be even taller than the Burj Khalifa!


License Plates


When you're on the roads, take notice of the license plates of the cars around you. The lower the license plate number, the wealthier the owner of the car is. Last year, one wealthy bidder spent $9 million during a government auction for the "5" license plate.

Also, if you ever see a car with the license plate number 1, it belongs to the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai & vice president of the UAE.



No Security, No Problem


Security is not an issue in Dubai. It has been said if you can forget your phone on a table in a public place, you will be able to come back in a couple hours and find it in the same spot you left it. In fact, Dubai is so safe that even the sheikh goes out and about in Dubai without security guards!


Quality of the Food Industry


Did you know that in order to enter the food industry, business owners are required by the government to obtain a number of licenses that cost over $200,000? So trust me when I say everyone in the food industry has a well-thought out business plan! They know what they're doing, and they're pretty good at it.



Something else to know is that because they strive to be the best at what they do, many restaurants in Dubai fly in ingredients to ensure that they are serving people the best — especially when it comes to seafood and meat! If you see ceviche on a menu, you would be making a mistake to not order it.




One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Dubai was all the different ethnicities and accents. Did you know that only 8 percent of the people living in Dubai are Emirati? 92 percent of the population are expats from all around the world.


Because of this, the first question people typically ask is "Where are you from?" — and it isn't because they're being rude. Everyone is genuinely curious, because they are also not from the area. It's definitely an easy way to make new friends!