Dubai is undoubtedly one of the best cities to live in. It is the safest city on the planet with an almost zero crime rate. But the place is larger than life, and what you don’t know about Dubai could fill up a book. So, here are some unusual facts about this city that you might find interesting.
- Dubai has special vending machines that provide free meals to the poor and unemployed who cannot afford to buy basic necessities. These vending machines are located throughout the city and provide basic meals and drinks to those in need. This is one of those things that restores your faith in humanity and demonstrates that the people of Dubai are far more than just glittering skyscrapers and unaccountable wealth.
- The Emirates Palace Hotel in Dubai has an ATM that dispenses 24-carat gold in not one or two but 320 different forms! Feel the need for some bling? Some jewellery or gold bars? Well, go to Emirates Palace. The ATM there spits out glittering gold in different weights, as per your requirement. Isn’t that cool?
- UAE is an Islamic country, and drinking liquor is against the traditional beliefs of Islam. So, if you want to indulge in some alcohol, even if it’s in your own house, you have to obtain a liquor license. This license is only issued to the resident non-Muslims in Dubai.
- In Dubai, having dangerous and exotic animals as pets is a matter of status symbol. Until a few years ago when a ban on keeping wild animals was passed, the list of exotic pets included animals like cheetah, lions, leopards, falcons, iguana, python, crocodile and baboon among various others. The Arabs took care of their pets but they also took them out in their cars or for walks on the beach. That’s why keeping such pets was later outlawed.
- One of the most bizarre facts about Dubai is that until recently the city had no addresses, no zip codes, no area codes, and no postal system. Everyone had a postbox number, which they had to check every once in a while for any posts that may have come. For international deliveries, maps were drawn to help locate the address. It wasn’t until 2015 that Dubai started assigning so-called Makani numbers (a unique 10 digit code) to all buildings to help identify them.
- The Dubai Metro doesn’t allow passengers to carry fish within its premises. This rule is strictly followed, since the metro is fully air-conditioned and closed, and hence the stink of fish can be extremely unpleasant for passengers. It’s little things like this that tell you how much the Dubai government cares about the comfort of its people.
- There’s a spot called Jumeirah Beach Walk in Dubai, where it is absolutely normal to drive back and forth on the road, with the music turned up and windows down, attracting the attention of everyone who is sitting peacefully and eating outside. Young men and women can be seen flaunting their cool car and style, occasionally whistling and exchanging phone numbers by writing them on napkins or cards and throwing them at each other. You might even catch a mobile phone flying through car windows, which is as unusual as it gets.
Dubai might be a strict rule-following city but it’s also fun and quirky. And even though it might be one of the most luxurious cities in the world, on the grass-root level it is fair-minded and cares about its residents.