Dubai. The destination that’s made headlines – time and again – for pushing the boundaries of possibility. A ski slope in a desert where summer temperatures can top 50°C (120°F)? A man-made island shaped to look like the world? All of these things are proudly displayed in Dubai!
It goes to figure that the world’s tallest building is in Dubai: the Burj Khalifa. And not just that; it dwarfs the competition! At 828m (2717ft) tall, it’s 196m (644ft) above the world’s second-tallest building, the Shanghai Tower in China at 632m (2073ft). The USA’s tallest building – the One World Trade Center – comes in at 541m (1776ft) and the famous Empire State Building, once the world’s tallest, clocks in at less than half that height: a mere 381m (1250ft).
Yes, there’s an indoor ski slope. Located in the Grand Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai has 22,500 square meters (5.5 acres) of ski slopes. While temperatures outside can hit 50°C (120°F), the park maintains a temperature of -1 to 2°C (30-36°F) throughout the year.
Dubai is also home to an indoor rainforest. Located at City Walk, Green Planet Dubai allows you to spend a night in a tropical jungle – while you’re in the midst of a searing, dry desert!
The famous palm-tree shaped artificial island, the Palm Jumeirah, is actually only one of three. Dubai has two more palm islands, as well as an artificial archipelago designed to resemble the world. With 5.6 square kilometers (1380 acres), the Palm Jumeirah is the largest man-made island in the world.
China recently stole the title of the world’s largest shopping mall, but Dubai is scheduled to reclaim that soon. The city has invested two billion dollars in the Dubai Square Mall, which will house streets, buildings, and its own miniature city. It will cover over 750,000 square meters, or 100 football fields, and dwarf the Dubai Mall (650,000 m2) and the South China Mall in Dongguan, China, which just squeaked past the Dubai Mall at 659,612m2.
Here are a few other random facts from Dubai that will blow your mind:
● 25% of the world’s supply of gold passes through Dubai. The WORLD’S supply. Meaning all of the gold in the world that’s ever found, including everything in Fort Knox. A quarter of it has passed – at one point – through Dubai.
● 85% of Dubai’s population is foreign. Of which, over 50% are from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
● The Burj Al-Arab hotel – Dubai’s most luxurious hotel – uses 1790 square metres (19,267 ft 2, or 0.44 acres) of 24-carat gold leaf in its interior decorating. That’s one-third of a football field covered in solid gold or enough gold to cover the Mona Lisa 46,265 times!
Absurd? Yes. Impossible? Seemingly. But always pushing the limits of what humanity can accomplish. That’s Dubai. Nowhere else in the world can you find a place quite like this! Enjoy.