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5 Interesting Facts about Dubai

With many unique aspects, different habits and cultural traditions, Dubai is certainly an intriguing city. From flashy supercars to unusual ATM machines, here are 5 interesting facts to help you learn more about the popular UAE destination.

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1. It is home to a UNESCO world heritage site

Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) is the natural seawater inlet of the Arabian Sea that divides the city into Bur Dubai and Deira. The Ed-Dur Site that overlooks Al Beidha Lake has nurtured multiple civilizations like Obeid, the Bronze Age, Stone Age, Iron Age, and Pre-Islamic periods.

While the impressive growth of Modern Dubai spans over tens of kilometers along the seashore, the creek has remained the very "heart" of the city. Along the creek and shore, the traditional boat-building areas where large wooden boats are built, restored and maintained can still be found. In the present day, there is still plenty of activity ongoing on and along the creek, however this is no longer solely focused on commerce as tourism has taken an important role in the city's continuing development.

Dubai
Dubai

2. There was no address system (postcodes/area codes) until 2015

Due to the rate at which Dubai has been growing, the UAE city has never developed a standard address system.

Instead of an address line on a mailing label, there would be a blank space for residents to draw a map or write out specific instructions such as: “After you pass the white mosque, it’s the first street to the left, blue door.” It wasn’t until 2015 that Dubai started assigning “Makani numbers” (a unique 10 digit code) to all buildings to help identify them.

Post Office Box numbers are also used. These do not correspond to geographic locations, but numbered mailboxes to which mail is delivered and can then be collected by the person(s)/company using that Post Box.

Dubai
Dubai

3. There are ATMs for gold bars

While there are numerous regular cash machines scattered across Dubai for withdrawing real money (in the form of Dirhams), there are also a handful of ATMs that dispense gold bars made from real, pure gold! As about 40% of the world’s physical gold trade goes through Dubai, it is not surprising that this city has chosen to take their ATMs to the next level. 

There are currently 20 of the machines in operation around the world – 3 of which are in Dubai: at the Burj Khalifa gift shop in the Dubai Mall, on the 124th floor observation deck of the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and in the Atlantis Hotel on The Palm’s man-made islands.

Dubai
Dubai

4. Inhabitants of the Burj Khalifa’s highest floors break their fast four minutes later than everybody else 

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims break their fast exactly at sunset every evening. With the Burj Khalifa’s whopping height of 830m, people who live on the highest floors are still able to see the sun after it has set on the ground due to the Earth’s curvature. As a result, sunset occurs a total of four minutes later at the top of the building, meaning those living at the Burj’s peak must wait slightly longer to break their fast. 

Dubai
Dubai

5. All Police vehicles are supercars

The Dubai Police force has spared no expense in their efforts to stay one step ahead of offenders while ensuring they go about their business in the utmost style. At their disposal is an impressive fleet consisting of supercars such as Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Mercedes and Bugattis, with the fastest vehicles capable of reaching up to an astonishing 407 kilometres an hour! Used for patrolling heritage sites and tourist areas, this flashy selection of police vehicles definitely adds to the glitz and glamorous nature of Dubai.

Dubai
Dubai
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