Like an oasis in the middle of the desert, it rises up as a city of record figures. The biggest, the highest and most expensive have all been built here.
One out of every four cranes in the world can be found at work in Dubai. It pays a constant homage to vertical architecture, with over 500 skyscrapers. The culture of success and ostentation reaches its zenith in this desert paradise. It is ‘The City of Guinness World Records’, where you will find the most spectacular monuments, which are so big that they seem to be from another planet.
At the cutting edge of luxury, it is home to the only seven-star hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab Hotel, which boasts rooms of up to 780 square metres covered in Statuario, the same marble as used by Michelangelo for his David. The services that it offers include a butler at the service of guests 24 hours a day, transport in a Rolls-Royce and an underwater restaurant.
The Armani Hotel occupies the first 37 floors of the 163 in the Burj Khalifa skyscraper.
Photo: Ilona Ignatova / Shutterstock.com
The efforts made by this metropolis to become a strategic international tourist point are beginning to pay off; in 2014 it attracted 13.2 million international visitors, which rose to 14.3 million in 2015.
Dubai includes the five highest hotels in the world, but the star of the city is the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, which is the tallest building in the world (828 metres) and which was where Tom Cruise hung from in ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’. However, Dubai could be considered the ‘Record City’ for other reasons. It has the largest flower garden in the world, the Dubai Miracle Garden, which with its 9,090 square metres and 45 million flowers is one of the most exotic landscapes in the Arab Emirates. However, being in the middle of a desert does have some disadvantages. From June to September this idyllic location remains closed, as this is the hottest season.
The concept of a traditional shopping centre is left behind when we enter the Dubai Mall. With its 502,000 square metres and sixteen floors, it is the biggest in the world. At this shopping mecca you can find everything your heart desires in its over 1,200 shops, admire its aquarium which includes over 33,000 species or skate on its Olympic-sized ice rink. Its endless range of leisure activities means that over 80 million people visit it every year.
The other well-known shopping centre in Dubai is the Mall of Emirates, which contains its own ski resort.
These figures will seem insignificanct when the construction of the ‘Mall of the World’ is finished. With four and a half million square metres, over 100 hotels, an indoor theme park and the largest shopping centre in the world, this commercial site intends to attract 180 million visitors every year. An investment of seven billion dollars is planned for the project over the next ten years, when they hope to build seven kilometres of indoor streets, which will mean that not even high temperatures will slow down the pace of development.
The Dubai Miracle Garden has the largest flower wall in the world at 800 metres long and three metres high.
Photo: Rebius / Shutterstock.com
However, before this project is finished, Dubai will be facing the challenge of hosting the Universal Exposition in 2020. With the slogan “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, the city will be backing sustainability and the financing of solar energy projects, which seem to mark the future direction of Dubai.