Dubai is a city that boasts many world records. From the highest building in the world to a seven-star hotel. But here are some Dubai fun facts that you may not know…

1. It’s a very young city

Man standing on top of a building overlooking Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world, and the Dubai skyline.

In the early 1700s, Dubai was just a small fishing and pearl-diving village. By the end of the 18th century, about 1,200 people were living there. Fast-forward to today, Dubai has a population of 3.3 million. Before the discovery of oil, pearls and gold were highly sought after trading items. Visit the souks and Dubai Museum to learn facts about Dubai and the Emirati civilization.

2. It’s a birder’s paradise

Sunny photos of flowered trees and bushes in Dubai's Miracle Garden.

Bird-watchers will be thrilled to hear that there are over 320 bird species that migrate between Europe, Asia, and Africa via Dubai. During the spring and fall, birds such as spotted eagles, broad-billed sandpipers, and greater herons pass through the city. They can be seen on a visit to Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, and a falconry safari is a must for bird-lovers young and old. Experience the traditional sport of falconry first-hand with a greater spotted eagle, Harris’ hawk, and desert eagle owl. 

3. Its tallest building is based on a flower

Picture of Burj Khalifa from below.

The world’s tallest building, at 2,716 feet, the Burj Khalifa needs no introduction. An icon in the Dubai skyline, this building should be on your Dubai bucket list. Zip to the 148th floor to see the city below, or chill in the lounge with cocktails on the 123rd floor. A fun Dubai fact is that the design of the building is based on a local desert flower, hymenocallis, also known as the spider lily. There are three feet or lobes which form the architectural base of the Burj Khalifa, which echo the shape of this flower.

4. Its cuisine is truly cosmopolitan

A middle-aged couple sitting in one of the Burj Khalifa restaurants overlooking Dubai. They are having a drink.

Being a trading center for centuries has meant that food from all over the world has influenced Dubai cuisine. Along with traditional Arabic food, you’ll find spices from India, ingredients from Persia, and eastern Mediterranean influences. Join a food tour to taste different cuisines and learn foodie facts about Dubai. For an authentic start to the day, join a traditional Emirati breakfast experience. If you feel like an adventurous and romantic evening, a dinner at a Bedouin camp is the real deal. 

5. Its art scene is flourishing

A woman standing in front of a small light up replica of Burj Khalifa

The annual international art fair, Art Dubai, features artists from the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Australasia. This cutting-edge event focuses on contemporary artworks that relate to cultural heritage. Visit the Dubai Design District to explore its galleries and shops, or take a personal gallery tour along Alserkal Avenue to see what’s happening on the local scene.

6. It has robots as jockeys

One of the most popular sports in Dubai is camel racing. To prevent children from being used for their small size to ride and race the camels, small robots are now the jockeys. While you won’t be racing a camel, you can go for a camel ride adventure in the desert.

Two buggies in a desert safari adventure.
Or dune bashing, if you prefer!

7. It has a museum dedicated to coffee

Coffee lovers need their cup of the good stuff to start the day, and the Arabic culture certainly delivers. Visit the Coffee Museum to learn about the history of this beloved beverage and see coffee artifacts from around the world. For a taste of tradition, take part in a Bedouin coffee ritual.

8. It has a UNESCO World Heritage Site

A couple standing in a location overlooking Burj Al-Arab.

Escape the appeal of Dubai’s bling and glamor to discover the historic Dubai Creek area. Walk in the small alleyways of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and explore museums, galleries, and local food. You can even cruise the river on a traditional abra boat. Take a tour with a local guide to learn facts about Dubai in this fascinating area.

9. It has a set of islands shaped like a palm tree.

A skydiver with a view of the Dubai Palm below them.

The Palm in Dubai is the world’s largest artificial archipelago. These artificial islands were created out of only sand and rocks. In fact, it took over 3 billion cubic feet of sand from the seabed and 7 million tons of rock from the Hajar Mountains. Explore it on a fun jet ski ride, or take to the skies in a thrilling tandem skydiving experience.

10. It has the world’s longest automated metro line

Boast that you’ve traveled on the longest driverless metro line in the world. Combine the red line (32.37 miles) and the green line (13.98 miles) and you’ve got a Guinness World Record. On this food tour, you’ll ride the metro to get you from one delicious tasting stop to the next.