Incredible Things That Can Only Be Found in Dubai

Dubai isn’t your ordinary modern city. It’s a mixture of tradition and novelty. It’s a city where you can own both a diamond-encrusted Bugatti and a camel. It’s a city where people praise technological progress and eat cupcakes made out of gold but still wear their traditional Arab garments.

A dessert with edible gold on chocolate, a cupcake, and strawberries / A girl holding a tiger cub

Source: Twitter / Instagram

In Dubai, the abnormal becomes the normal. And there’s really no reason to settle on one thing when you can have both. You can walk around a shopping mall AND an aquarium at the same time. You can ride a motorcycle AND a horse simultaneously, and if you can’t decide between a motorboat and a car, you don’t have to!

Take a look at some of the most incredible images that can be seen only in Dubai.

Paddling It Out in Traditional Thawbs

For most of us, entering the water equals = bathing suits (because who likes to wear soggy clothes that weigh you down?) But these guys don’t look worried at all. Either they’re super confident they won’t fall, or they don’t mind swimming in long robes.

Two men on paddleboards standing up rowing in full dress

Source: Pinterest

This picture is a perfect example of Dubai’s unique atmosphere. On the one hand, you have incredible skyscrapers and advanced technology, and, on the other, traditional thawbs and keffiyehs. It looks like the Arabs in Dubai remain loyal to their roots even as they paddleboard!

A Rush Hour Like No Other

In Dubai, rush hour is horrific, especially during its peak hours (from 7 to 10 a.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m.). The roads are fully congested, full of upset drivers dying to get to their destinations. So, if you want to cruise smoothly through the city, your best bet would be to get on the road between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Nice Cars lined up in traffic on a residential road

Source: Instagram

But if there’s one entertaining thing about Dubai’s rush hour, it’s that it often looks like a runway show for luxurious cars. Whether it’s a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Jaguar, or Chrysler, many lucky residents own at least one expensive car.

SUV Surfing

For some people, driving fast cars isn’t enough of an adrenaline rush. They need to get on top of their fast cars to really feel alive. So, don’t be surprised if you run into people on the freeway riding their SUVs like surfboards.

A man standing on top of a car driving on its two side wheels

Source: Imgur

It’s one thing to climb on top of your car, but it’s another to do so while the driver pulls a full-on wheelie! We wonder if the two SUVs in the back were scared for the guy’s life or felt inspired to do the same…

They Live High Up in the Clouds

Dubai is home to the tallest structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa. With over 160 floors and a total height of 2,716 feet, Dubai’s famous skyscraper is basically in heaven. So, if you want to know how it feels to live high up in the clouds, one visit to Dubai will settle that.

The Dubai skyline sticking out of the top of the clouds

Source: Pinterest

Lucky citizens living in tall penthouses often drink their morning coffees with a thick, white blanket surrounding their balconies. Can you imagine what it’s like waking up in a cloud? It seems like a perfect way to start the day (unless you’re scared of heights).

They Have the World’s Fastest Ambulances

In addition to regular ambulances, Dubai’s hospitals are equipped with the latest sports cars that can speed their way across the city in a matter of minutes, which is exactly what you need when you’re attempting to save someone’s life.

Two photographs of a nice car with ambulance and first responder written on them

Source: Twitter / Pinterest

Dubai’s luxurious ambulances have a maximum speed of 300 km/hr. And they’re not only fast, but they’re smart too. They’re equipped with medical devices, alarms, audio-visual systems, and cardiac resuscitation units. In other words, you have little to fear when it comes to medical emergencies in Dubai.

They Have the Tallest Tennis Court in the World

There’s nothing scary or extreme about playing tennis, right? It’s not like driving a race car or skydiving. Expect that in Dubai, it kind of is. Here’s a perfect example of how Dubai turned a normal, low-to-the-ground sport into an extreme activity high up in the clouds.

A large round tennis court sticking off the top of a skyscraper hotel

Photo by David Cannon / Dubai Duty-Free / Getty Images

Dubai is home not only to the tallest building in the world but to the tallest tennis court in the world. This court was built on top of the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel. Towering 1,000 feet above the ground, this unique court attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Dubai’s Hotline Bling

While these phones seem like antiques, they’re no less expensive than any of our touch screen phones. If anything, they cost more. They’re decorated with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and real gold. Who knew an old Nokia phone could cost way more than the newest iPhone?

Three cell phones covered in diamonds on display in Dubai

Source: Imgur

These crystalized phones are the perfect thing to go along with your dazzling car, your lavish penthouse, and your sparkling jewelry. Obviously, not every person in Dubai can afford to live this way. But it blows our mind to think that there are people who actually can.

A Special Compartment for People in Need

While some people in Dubai own diamond-studded phones, others are below the poverty line. Whether you’re unemployed or simply can’t afford to purchase your groceries for the week, feel free to grab what you need from the “Free Food” compartment.

A shelf of free food for people in need

Source: Pinterest

Not all supermarkets have free produce on their shelves, but it’s nice to know that some grocery stores do. If you decide to grab something, make sure you follow the rules—just one piece per person.

What Currency Does Dubai Use?

Apart from Dubai’s UAE dirham, some places only accept gold as a payment method. That’s why the city has Gold to Go ATMs. This vending machine is filled with coins and gold bars for you to withdraw whenever you desire.

An ATM which dispences gold instead of money

Source: Instagram

Gold to Go ATMs are usually refilled twice a week, meaning that there are plenty of people in Dubai purchasing piles of Burj Khalifa-emblazoned gold bars. With either cash or credit, you can purchase yourself pure and fashionable gold.

Forget Stables, Their Horses Live in Palaces

Humans in Dubai aren’t the only animals living in luxury. Horses, for example, live in actual palaces. Their stables have marble floors, painted ceilings, and flashy lighting. Horse racing is a popular hobby in Arab countries, so no wonder they’re treated like royalty.

A horse in a nice stable inside of a stable with a marbled floor

Source: Pinterest

Recommended stables in the city are the Winners Equestrian Club, Al Habtoor Resort and Club, and Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. All clubs offer an unforgettable horse riding experience and various facilities like spas and high-quality restaurants.

An Unconventional Passenger

You’re welcome to bring whatever animal you want on your yacht. Dubai doesn’t differentiate between dogs, tigers, lions, pumas, and domesticated cats. As long as your wild animal knows how to behave around water, bringing them along shouldn’t be a problem.

A tiger sitting in the back of a boat

Source: Pinterest

Unless, of course, there are other people with you on the yacht. Then that might be an issue. But there’s no need to disturb other people! Dubai has many private and spacey yachts with enough room for you and your big cat.

Skiing in the Desert

Who says you can’t ski in the desert? Ski Dubai is the largest indoor ski resort. And the best news? It’s open all year round. This means that you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Indoors, you have your winter wonderland, and outdoors, just across the street, you have a sunny, toasty beach.

The indoor ski resort in the Mall of Emirates

Photo by Markus Matzel / ullstein bild / Getty Images

If you’re not a fan of skiing but still want to enjoy your time in the snow, no worries. Ski Dubai’s snow park offers its visitors a guided walk with penguins, a cinema, Zorba balls, hot chocolate milk, and warm, comforting meals.

Blinding Cars

Can there ever be too much bling? In Dubai, apparently not. From shiny phones to shiny jewelry to shiny cars. And as you can tell by the picture, some people can’t make do with just a fast Mercedes. They need it to be covered in pure, 18k white gold as well.

A white gold Mercedes Benz

Source: Twitter

Our only concern is whether its reflection blinds the other drivers. Well, whoever can afford to purchase such an over-the-top vehicle can probably afford to have it sit around in their garage all day. Golden cars are worth millions—enough millions to feed the poorer population in Dubai for decades.

The More Turtles, the Better!

In Dubai, the more turtles you have, the richer you probably are. This might sound weird, but this pet is a sign of high status and wealth. Stacking up your exotic animal to make a tower means you have more than enough bling in your pockets.

A man stacking turtles one on top of the other, starting with the largest on the bottom

Source: Flickr

These desert turtles are rare and expensive, so creating an actual skyscraper out of them is impressive. That being said, pet turtles aren’t the easiest pets to have. There’s a strict hygiene protocol to follow if you want to ensure you’re giving your turtle its best life possible.

Their Public Bathrooms Are Heavenly

Public toilets aren’t always pleasant. In some countries, they’re RARELY pleasant. But in Dubai, they’re a lot nicer than the toilets people have at home. They’re shiny, clean, smell good, and some even have a shower and a jacuzzi. And to top it all off, some have a glass roof to give it that extra touch.

A large bathroom lit up by an open ceiling

Source: Pinterest

One toilet in Dubai has broken the world record for “the most number of diamonds set on a toilet bowl.” Surprised? Probably not anymore. At this point on the list, it’s pretty evident that if something can be bedazzled, people in Dubai will bedazzle it.

Cheetahs Are a Status Symbol

Rich people in Dubai have either an exotic-looking car, an exotic-looking house, or an exotic pet like a cheetah or a leopard. Their unconventional pet usually has a diamond-studded collar and a dazzling leash to match. Owning a cheetah is considered a status symbol, although some sources claim it’s no longer allowed.

A cheetah on a leash standing in front of a nice black car

Source: Instagram

BBC News stated that “anyone who takes a big cat or any other kind of exotic animal out in public will face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 dirhams.” Well, I guess that just means that all exotic pets are hidden in people’s backyards.

They Offer the Most Luxurious Uber Rides in the World

If you can’t afford your own Bugatti, but you still want to ride in style, Uber in Dubai is the way to go. It might not be YOUR car, but you’ll still reach your destination and enjoy a comfortable luxurious ride in a fancy sports vehicle.

A gold sports car parked on the beach looking at a skyline across the water

Source: Instagram

According to Uber’s website: “Dubai is a city like no other. It was probably the only city in the world where more often than not, a Lexus arrives on Uber.” We’re mind blown! Asking someone else for a ride has never felt less poor.

Remote-Controlled Camel Races

Camel racing is huge in Dubai. And while it’s fun to ride the camel yourself, some people in Dubai prefer the thrill of watching the race from the side. In come the robot jockeys! Super lightweight robots that wear a helmet to give viewers the feeling that they’re watching an actual human.

Men racing on camels backs in the desert

Source: Instagram

They have small, hinged arms that hold on to whips, and some even wear hats and sunglasses. They look so realistic that from a distance, you can’t tell the difference! Operators alongside the race track control them.

A Bustling Metropolis

Dubai went from a desolate desert to a city where construction never stops. In 2008, the city experienced as much development as Shanghai. (Shanghai has 13 times its population!) The booming oil production has made it possible for Dubai to become a glorious metropolis.

A skyline view of Dubai with the sun shining from in between clouds

Source: Pinterest

The people working hard to build all those skyscrapers are mostly foreigners. Interestingly, out of 3 million people in Dubai, only 15% are nationals from the United Arab Emirates. Many are actually from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Speeding Across Waters

Why own just a yacht when you can own a water car too? As you can tell in this picture, in Dubai, nothing is out of reach. If you’re out in the water and miss your sports vehicle, have no fear, the invention of the water car is here!

A yellow car which is also a boat

Source: Flickr

Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum owns this car, the crown prince of Dubai. The prince owns six of these babies, which together are worth around $800,000. So maybe we’re not driving around in midair yet, but at least we have jeeps and sports cars to take us around the ocean.

The Most Expensive Dessert in the World

Golden cars, golden phones, golden toilets… It was only a matter of time before we would discover Dubai has golden food. And yes, you guessed it – it’s terribly expensive. Dubai holds the record for the most expensive cupcake in the world!

A dessert with edible gold on chocolate, a cupcake, and strawberries

Source: Twitter

It’s called the Golden Phoenix and is made out of Italian cocoa and Ugandan vanilla beans. But those fine ingredients aren’t what makes it the priciest dessert around (over $1,000!). It’s the 23k golden crust that makes it a record-breaking delight.

Only Families Are Allowed on This Beach

You’ll find luxurious water boats in the ocean in Dubai, but women covered from head to toe onshore. A strange sight, to be honest. But another perfect example of how Dubai keeps its traditions alive while still progressing with the rest of the modern world.

A sign for the beach mentioning that it is a family beach and men can only enter with family

Source: Twitter

Family plays a big part in their culture, and as you can tell by the sign, there are certain areas reserved for families only. Anyone who interferes and breaks the rules will receive a fine. We wonder if the women are fine with the harsh instructions. We can’t imagine what it’s like to sweat under all those layers.

No Room for Fishy Business

It’s not that people in Dubai don’t like fish. On the contrary, it’s one of the most delicious delicacies around! But carrying it on the metro is not allowed. Considering how hot Dubai is and how crowded underground stations are, it makes sense that they would ban smelly fish from public transportation.

A sign mentioning you cant bring fish on the metro

Source: Twitter

Shoppers will have to find other ways to carry their fish from the market. How about taking a luxury Uber? Or maybe a water car? Trains stations in Dubai are clean and well-kept. There’s no reason to upset everyone by bringing in your fishy business.

Over the Top Dining

A birthday celebration of over $100,000? We wonder how many people sat at that table. They ordered 24 diet cokes, so we’re assuming there were more than 10. But in all honesty, even if there were 30 people, how in the world did they get to that amount?

A receipt for cake and alcohol

Source: Reddit

The cake was the cheapest thing on the list! Isn’t that supposed to be the highlight of the celebration? Sorry cake, you’ve been replaced with vodka bottles, red bulls, and a whole lot of Cristal (a kind of Champagne). We hope they had enough money for everything.

Criminals Don’t Stand a Chance

If there’s someone in need of speed (other than paramedics), it’s got to be the police. Is there anything more threatening than an officer in a Porsche? Trying to escape and outdrive him would seem like a ridiculous thing to do. Unless, of course, you have a newer Porsche.

A police car with female officers inside

Source: Twitter

Which doesn’t sound too ridiculous. If police officers, doctors, and many other residents have Bugattis, why wouldn’t criminals have them? They might be stolen, but they’re still Bugattis. Speedy police officers are probably one of the greatest things the city has come up with!

Just Your Average Golden Parking Lot

If you own a luxury car, that’s fine. It’s nothing too exciting, though. It means that you’re doing well and have enough money in the bank. But if you’re really rich, you’ll plate your luxury car in gold. That tells everyone exactly how wealthy you are.

Gold cars lined up in a parking lot

Source: Pinterest

As a tourist, not only do you have to get used to seeing luxury cars one next to the other in ordinary parking lots, but you also have to wrap your head around the fact that half of them are covered in gold! Can you imagine going to the mall and casually walking past a row of gold-plated Porsches and Ferraris?

Camels Are Still a Sign of Wealth

Today, modern cars and huge houses are a sign of wealth. But in previous times, camels were one of the most luxurious possessions a person could own. These animals were used for transportation, family negotiations, and storage.

A man feeding the camel from the window of his nice Mercedes

Source: Instagram

The more camels you had, the more respected you were. So today, many Dubai residents pay tribute to their rich ancestors by owning several camels themselves. A sheik with a Ferrari and a camel? That’s a sight you can only see in Dubai.

The Perfect Solution When You’re Stuck in Traffic

So, remember before when we mentioned that Dubai doesn’t have flying cars yet? Well, as you can see by the picture – they’re getting there. If you’re stuck in a traffic jam, you can always rent a helicopter to carry you to your destination.

A car being transported underneath a helicopter

Source: Twitter

The best part about it? Is that you don’t have to crowd together with the pilot on the helicopter. You can enjoy the view from above while sitting in your comfortable, luxurious car. I guess an excuse like “I’m running late because I’m stuck in traffic” isn’t really acceptable.

Sick Superstars

Sometimes, a person needs space. And sometimes, he needs to be carried around in an extravagant limousine, especially if he’s feeling under the weather and in need of medical assistance. The people in Dubai understand that.

A limo with ambulance written on it

Source: Pinterest

And that’s why they have elegant limos to carry you to the hospital! Talk about being in good hands, right? You’ll probably be carried to a hospital bed on a golden plated stretcher or a diamond-encrusted wheelchair. Who said riding in an ambulance can’t be comfortable and stylish?

Speedy Galloping Around the City

I think it’s pretty evident that in Dubai, you can have the best of both worlds. Why choose between your motorcycle and your horse when you can have both, right? The more extravagant in this city, the better!

A man on a motorcycle shaped like a horse galloping

Source: Twitter

We’re not sure if the person in this picture chose the color white because this horse is his favorite breed or because the color is bright and easily visible in the dark. Either way, his design is beautiful, elegant, and safe!

An Unforgettable Shopping Experience

The Dubai Mall is a breathtaking and dizzying spectacle. It’s the world’s largest shopping mall with over 1,200 stores. It’s also considered one of the most visited buildings on Earth. Now you’re probably wondering, how can shops create that much noise and commotion?

People walking through a tunnel aquarium in Dubai

Source: Pinterest

Well, that’s because the shopping experience in Dubai is like no other. As you walk around the mall, you’ll find yourself surrounded by over 300 ocean species looking at you. Yet again, Dubai proves that there’s no need to compromise or choose between two attractions. You have a shopping mall AND an aquarium in the same space.

Extreme Activities to Do in Dubai

Dubai is packed with towering skyscrapers, making it one of the most attractive cities for daredevils. So if you’re feeling a bit dull and in need of a quick pick me up, just climb to the top floor of any building in the city and gaze out the window (or, if you’re brave enough, over the ledge).

A girl sitting on the ledge of the roof of a tall building looking out over the skyline

Source: Instagram

From such heights, the sights are breathtaking. If you’re super passionate about extreme activities, you can even make a jump for it with a parachute. You might land in one of the parks around the city or in someone’s backyard. Just make sure you don’t land on one of their cheetahs.

Vintage Golden Shoes

A French designer designed this shoe, but it’s sold only in Dubai. Because there’s probably no other place in the world that can appreciate such a creation, it’s both a shoe and a vintage cassette. And, of course, it’s gold. It has Dubai written all over it!

A red shoe with a gold heel in the shape of a cassette tape

Source: Twitter

We’re not sure how much these shoes cost, but we have a feeling it’s more than some people’s annual income. But hey, if you can afford it – go for it! It’s a great way to fit in with Dubai’s crowd. You’ll undoubtedly get several compliments wearing these beauties.

A Luxurious Game of Foosball

If you’re hosting a house party in Dubai, you better make sure everything in your home is bedazzled and ready to stun your guests, including your Foosball table. This picture shows a gold-plated table with sparkling crystals and diamonds encrusted into it.

A gold bedazzled foosball table

Source: Instagram

We wonder if the players of the game are also studded with diamonds. And what about the ball? It’s got to be one hell of a rock. Hopefully, guests don’t get too aggressive in this game, or else they risk kicking the diamond out of the field.

It’s the Eye of the Tiger, It’s the Thrill of the Ride

When dogs stick their heads out of car windows with their tongue flapping around in the air, it’s cute. If you see a domesticated cat sticking its head out of the window, it’s weird. But when you see a BIG WILD cat stick its head out of a car, it’s scary.

A tiger sticking its head and paws out of a passenger-side door

Source: Twitter

In Dubai, tigers peering out of car windows isn’t anything too bizarre. Exotic animals are a part of everyday life and, as mentioned before, a status symbol! Although these animals have been banned for a few years now, people still own them in secret.

Just Your Ordinary Pet

Just your average, little cuddle buddy, right? Why compromise on an ordinary cat when you can have the king of the jungle? This is a total myth, by the way, considering that lions don’t actually live in jungles. But that’s beside the point.

A girl holding a tiger cub

Source: Instagram

The point is that in Dubai, things that are usually abnormal become normal. This snuggly little cat will grow into a true lion king and spend his afternoons riding around with his owner in a luxurious, gold-plated car.

A True Lion King

Why drive your big cat around in your car if it could become the car itself, right? We have to admit, this is a pretty startling sight. We’re used to camel riding and horse riding, but this is something else.

A man riding on a lion

Source: Twitter

While most sports cars have an animal as their symbol (Ferrari has a horse, Lamborghini a bull), this guy decided to go from the symbolic to the literal. At least his ride is way more eco-friendly than polluting sports cars. Although we’re not so sure how animal friendly this way of transportation is…

Cool Off as You Wait for the Bus

Dubai is an incredibly hot place to live. After all, it’s a city in the middle of the desert. That’s why the government has been so kind as to provide its residents with air conditioners in bus stations. This cooling bus stop can be found near the Burj Al Arab hotel.

A closed-off air-conditioned bus stop

Source: Twitter

No more sweating as you wait for the bus! And no more smelly armpits and weird odors inside the bus. Seriously, the whole world should learn from Dubai. Cooling down commuters should be each city’s top priority!

A Jeep Big Enough for the Whole Family (Plus the Cheetahs!)

We’ve all seen long limos, but what about wide jeeps? That’s pretty rare. But as you can probably tell from this list, what’s rare in the world is common in Dubai. We’re not sure why the owner didn’t just buy two jeeps, but we’re guessing that they wanted to keep the family together at all times.

A two-sided Jeep with three passenger seats

Source: Pinterest

Oh, and who can forget the family’s exotic cats? That’s probably why they needed that extra space. This jeep has four regular tires and one driver. But it takes up both tracks on the road.