Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world. It used to be a quiet village with rural homes built of coral and gypsum by the Persian traders and palm huts housing Bedouin fishermen and pearl hunters. Nowadays the mosques and towers of Old Dubai cast their time-worn reflections in the shiny facades of modern skyscrapers.
The hot dry climate mellowed by the breezes coming from the Gulf, the mystique charm of surrounding deserts, great beaches, and the chance to immerse oneself in Arabian culture, combined with some of the most ambitious infrastructural and luxurious building projects in the world, are what transforms Dubai into the Pearl of the Persian Gulf.
Dubai boasts with one of the tallest buildings in the world – Burj Khalifa, which is seen from over 95 km away and has 163 floors. The building is so tall that for those who live over the 150th floor sunset comes 2 minutes later!
In addition, the desert city hosts the biggest Mall and the largest indoor ski resort in the world. Ski Dubai located within Emirates Mall is equipped with a couple of ski slopes, lift, real snow, even live penguins. The indoor slope is supplied with 6000 tons of snow on a daily basis. Thus even though Dubai is amidst the heart of the desert and does not have mountains of its own, winter sports’ fans can still enjoy their favourite activity.
Dubai is also home to one of the most impressive attractions worldwide: The World is an astonishing archipelago consisting of 250 man-made islands arranged in the shape of the world’s globe. Three artificial palm-shaped islands stand nearby as well.
Foreigners constitute approximately 80% of Dubai’s population – coming not only from Europe and North America, but also from the whole of Middle and Far East. This is the reason why Dubai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Not surprisingly the number of people choosing Dubai for more than just a tourist destination is on the rise; the city is widely famed as one of the safest places to live. Percentwise, crime rate is virtually zero. Dubai is subject to 24/7 CCTV surveillance, with more than 40 000 cameras installed throughout the city.
Have you ever wondered what type of cars do policemen drive in one of the richest cities in the world? Dubai’s police forces have an extremely high budget and one could spot many police cars more expensive than your average house – such as a Ferrari for over 500000 USD, several Lamborghinis costing 400000 USD each, even an Ashton Martin for the mind-blowing price of 1.79 million USD.
The expanse of the building projects in Dubai is astounding. According to statistics, around 20% of all tower cranes in the world are currently located in the Gulf city.
Not so long ago, in 1968 there were only 13 cars in the whole of Dubai; in comparison, the current traffic situation is so bad, that the city authorities started building multilevel roads.
Dubai’s subway is also impressing in its own right. It consists of 42 fully automated stations, some of which are true works of art with their light installations, paintings and murals. The whole network was built from scratch for an extremely short amount of time – only 18 months from start to finish! Its official opening took place at 9 a.m., on September 9th, 2009.
Dubai strikes its visitors with futuristic design and modern megalopolitan vision. In the past, its trade relations spanned from Western Europe to Southeast Asia and China. The result is one of the most diverse societies in the world. There are still Bedouin herders roaming through the desert; at the same time, present-day Dubai host many international tennis and golf tournaments.