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Ten interesting facts about Dubai

1. Dubai has a land area of 4,114 square kilometers. This makes the emirate larger than Singapore (687 sq km), Hong Kong (1,104 sq km), and Maldives (300 sq km) combined.

2. Half of the people living in Dubai are Indians or of Indian descent. Only 17% of the population is composed of Emiratis. The rest are immigrants and tourists from the rest of the world.

3. While Dubai’s economy was built on oil and natural gas, the emirate now relies on tourism, trade, and real estate to keep the money flowing.

4. Dubai is the jewelry trading center of the Middle East. To assert its reputation, the longest gold chain was made in the emirate during the Dubai Shopping Festival of 1999. The chain, valued at 22 carats, spanned four kilometers.

5. Despite Dubai’s hedonistic reputation, calls to prayers can be heard across the city five times a day. Be it at the mall, the market, or even the dance clubs, everyone pauses to say their prayers when the muezzin chants the Islamic call to prayer, the adhan.

6. Dubai holds the distinction of being the fastest growing city in the world. In 1990, there was only a single skyscraper in the city – the Dubai World Trade Centre. There are now over 400, and the emirate’s population has doubled as well. The construction boom continues to this day. Dubai currently holds the recognition for building the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

7. Crime rate is virtually zero across the city. Dubai is one of the safest places on earth, where racial tensions among different nationals are unheard of.

8. Global cities require street addresses for couriers to find their destinations. Dubai has none. Posts are instead delivered to PO boxes.

9. When oil was discovered in Dubai in 1966, an influx of foreign workers created a threefold increase in the city’s population.

10. Religious openness is practiced in Dubai. Christian churches stand a mere few blocks from Muslim mosques, Hindu temples, and even from Jewish synagogues.