DUBAI – THE CITY OF EXTRAVAGANCE WHERE SUPERLATIVES ABOUND
Extravagant and glitzy Dubai is a city of superlatives and it is famous for braking records. With dizzying high-rises, designer shopping, plush interiors, it is a city that seeks to impress and a destination for those looking for some glam and luxury.
Dubai has undergone a dramatic transformation from a desert wasteland to a futuristic metropolis in that last 50 years. Its population has grown from 183,000 in 1975 to over three million in 2019, approximately 90% of which are foreigners. It is now the largest city in the United Arab Emirates and home to 20,000 millionaires. With its tallest skyline, the world's largest mall, the most luxurious hotels, ATMs that dispense gold bars, and every extravagant amenity imaginable, Dubai amuses a bored billionaire and a regular tourist alike.
Here are some of the experiences and superlatives that this extravagant city is famous for.
THE HIGHEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD - BURJ KHALIFA
The stunning Burj Khalifa, which has held the title of the world's highest building for ten years, rises 828 meters or 2,717 feet high and contains 163 floors.
Besides thousands of square feet of office space, the shiny structure also encompasses about 900 private residences, the 160-room Armani Hotel Dubai and the elegant Atmosphere, the world’s highest restaurant on the 122nd floor.
The Burj Khalifa Lounge on the 154th floor is the highest occupied floor in the building, 253 meters below the tip. It is also the world's highest lounge at 585 meters (1,919 feet). Read about the 154th floor VIP experience here: Burj Khalifa Lounge on 154th Floor: The New VIP Experience
There seems to be tough competition when it comes to the world's highest building. Once the Dubai Creek Tower and the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia are completed, both will be even higher than Burj Khalifa.
The second largest shopping mall in the world - Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is the world’s second largest mall with over 1,300 retail outlets as well as over 200 food outlets, and a total internal floor area of 548 thousand square meters or 5.9 million square feet. The mall receives over 80 million visitors annually, making it the most-visited retail and entertainment destination in the world.
The world's largest aquarium is located in the Dubai Mall. It holds 2.64 million gallons of water and is home to over 33,000 aquatic animals.
The Dubai Fountain in front of the mall is the world's largest choreographed fountain system in the world. Designed by the same company who designed Bellagio's fountain in Las Vegas, it is quite similar, but of course in Dubai it has to be higher, with more lights...and it cost five times more to build.
THE LARGEST INDOOR SKI SLOPE IN THE WORLD - SKI DUBAI
The Dubai Mall is not the only mall that offers extravagant entertainment options. The Mall of the Emirates has its fair share of activities, the most famous of which is Ski Dubai, home to the world’s largest indoor ski slope.
Sky Dubai with more than 22,500 square meters of snow-covered terrain offers downhill slopes, bobsledding, snow tubing, and more.
Even more extravagant is its very own colony of penguins that includes the daily March of the Penguins in the Snow Park.
The most luxurious "seven-star" hotel - Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab is the luxurious all-suite hotel with its own helipad that boasts a 24-hour butler service and the staff to suite ratio of 8:1. According to the urban legend, Burj Al Arab is the world's only seven-star hotel, a rating that does not actually exits. But, its whopping 1,790 square meters of gold leaf, 30 kinds of Italian marble, and amenities such iMacs, a 17-selection pillow menu and full sized Hermès toiletries in every room, as well as a large fleet of chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces, have a lot to do with keeping the seven-star myth alive.
The hotel's Skyview Bar serves one of the world's most expensive drinks, a $7,400 (27,321 AED) cocktail made with 55-year-old Macallan single malt whisky. It is served in an 18-carat gold glass that officially belongs to the customer once purchased. The cocktail's name "27.321" comes from both its price and location. The Skybar is on the 27th floor and the building itself is 321 meters tall.
The hotel's helipad has its fame as well. In 2005, Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played there in 2005, 1,053 feet high. The hotel can even arrange marriage proposals to be held on the helipad – complete with a helicopter-delivered ring.
It is only possible to visit the hotel if you stay there or have a reservation in one of the restaurants. Read more here: Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab
THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE ICE CREAM
For 2,999 AED or $816 a scoop, you can have the most expensive ice-cream in the world in Dubai. The "Black Diamond" ice cream served at Scoopi Cafe is made with vanilla bean ice cream from Madagascar, saffron from Iran, rare black truffles from Alba, and 23-carat gold flakes and powder.
This Café's signature dessert is served in a golden handcrafted Versace bowl and a silver spoon which the customer can keep. The regular ice creams are a bit more affordable at about $30!
Photo credit: http://scoopicafe.com/the-black-diamond/
THE WORLD'S LARGEST GOLD RING
The world’s largest ring, valued at 11 million AED or 3 million US dollars, is the 21-karat "Star of Taiba." It cost its owner $547,000 to make back in 2,000.
According to the certificate from the Guinness Book of Records, the massive piece of jewelry weighs nearly 64 kilograms (141 pounds) and is adorned with 5.2 kilograms of precious stones.
The ring is displayed at a store in the Dubai Gold Souk in hopes of promoting jewelry sales.
WORLD'S TALLEST FIVE-STAR HOTEL - JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS DUBAI
JW Marriott Marquis is the world's tallest five-star hotel, while the worlds tallest hotel is just two miles down the road, the four-star Gevora Hotel.
The luxurious JW Marriott stands at 355 meters (1,164 feet) from the ground level to the top of the mast, and both of its towers have 72 floors.
Read our "hotel insider" review here: Hotel Insider: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Photo Credit: www.marriott.com
Dubai has the world's most expensive spa treatment with 24-karat gold, the biggest burger, the largest Ferris wheel in the world. You will also find Lamborghini cop cars, you can dive among sharks at the Dubai Aquarium, stay at an underwater suite, or drive a Formula One car. It is the city of extravagance.