Dubai has been one of the most exciting and volatile economic stories of the 21st century.
It's global, glitzy, and growing like crazy.
It also has a red-hot property market that has experts warning of a collapsing bubble. Related concerns have been tied to recent crashes in Dubai's stock market.
Still, the tiny economy has developed into a world city that is a business and cultural focal point in the Middle East, and it has the attention of the world.
Tourism and real estate drive the economy, and there seems to be a never-ending development of innovative and over-the-top projects.One out of every 4 cranes on Earth is located in Dubai.
Dubai's real estate is growing so fast, that 24% of the the cranes on Earth are located in Dubai.
Source: Gulf News
Dubai's artificial Palm Islands imported enough sand to fill 2.5 Empire State Buildings.
The construction of Dubai's Palm Islands required 94 million cubic meters of sand.
The Empire State Building is 37 million cubic meters.
Source: Palm Islands Impact
The Burj Al Arab uses enough gold inside to cover 46,265 Mona Lisa paintings.
The interior of the Burj Al Arab is decorated with approximately 1,790 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf. The surface area of the Mona Lisa is 0.3869 square meters.
Source: Burj Al Arab, Jemeirah
Dubai's police force spends more on each of their super cars than it costs to send a kid to college.
Dubai's police force uses super cars in order to impress tourists, and show how "classy" the city is. Including cars like the Ferrari FF ($500,000) and Lamborghini Aventador ($397,000). They even have one Aston Martin One-77 ($1.79 million).
NYU, the most expensive college in the U.S., costs $247,908 for four years.
Approximately 85% of the population is foreign.
It is estimated that "10 to 15 percent of Dubai's population" are Emiratis, while the other 85% are expatriates. The majority come from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in order to work in the still-booming real estate market.
They do find jobs, but human rights groups and trade unions call "for urgent reforms" because they live in "substandard conditions", and are "deported for striking over pay and conditions".
In Dubai, $300 robots are replacing illegal child labor in camel racing.
Camel racing is an industry that is estimated to be worth "hundreds of millions of dollars", although there is no exact number. Because children are small enough to be camel jockeys, the sport led to a boom in child trafficking from "impoverish[ed] communities in South Asia and Africa" in the past.
Robots from $300 to $10,000 are now used in order to curtail the problem of child trafficking.
Source: The Daily Beast
The Burj Khalifa is so tall that some of its residents need to wait longer to break fast during Ramadan.
The Burj Khalifa is approximately half a mile tall and has 160 residential floors. Those who live on the 150th floor and higher live so high up that they see the sun longer than other inhabitants of Dubai. Consequently, they could not break their fasts at the same time.
Source: The Guardian
If the Burj Khalifa was in Freiburg, Germany, you would still see it from Strasbourg, France.
You can see the Burj Khalifa from 95 km away.
The distance between Freiburg, Germany and Strasbourg, France is 86.4 km.
Source: Jennifer Dombrowski's Travels
Forty percent of physical gold traded in 2013 occurred in Dubai. All together, it weighed more than 354 elephants.
In 2013, $70 billion of physical gold traded and it weighed 2,250 tonnes. That's equivalent to 2,250,000 kilograms.
A male African elephant weighs between 2,268 to 6,350 kg. (We used the upper margin of 6,350).
Source: Arabian Money
Dubai is building a climate controlled "city" 2.25 times as big as Monaco.
Dubai is planning to build a climate controlled "city", which is slated to be 4.45 km2 with air-conditioned boardwalks connecting the various sections of the vacation spot together. Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2.
Source: Yahoo News
In 2013, there were more tourists in Dubai than people living in Shenzhen.
Dubai is transforming itself into an city that runs on tourism. In 2013, Dubai had over 11 million tourists check into hotels.
The population of Shenzhen is approximately 10,357,000. It is the 12th most populated city in the world and the third most populated city in China.
Source: Gulf News
Thirty-nine percent of the famous Burj Al Arab hotel is uninhabitable and completely "wasted" space.
The Burj Al Arab, considered to be a "7-Star Hotel", is the fourth tallest hotel in the world. However, 39% of the hotel is uninhabitable — which just shows that there is a lesser emphasis fitting as many people into a building as possible, and more of an emphasis on architectural vanity sizing.
What's more, the Royal Suite of Burj Al Arab costs approximately $20,000 per night. With that money, you could buy 10 15-inch MacBook Pro's.
Source: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Dubai produces enough oil to fill approximately 4.5 Olympic swimming pools per day.
Dubai produces between 50,000 to 70,000 barrels of oil per day, which is roughly 11,000 m3. This is enough to fill 4.4 Olympic swimming pools.
And that's not even that much. During its heyday in 1991, Dubai produced 400,000 barrels per day.
The net worth of the four listed billionaires is roughly the GDP of Honduras.
According to the IMF, the GDP of Honduras is roughly US$ 18.8 billion.
The four men officially listed as Dubai billionaires are Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Majid Al Futtaim, Khalaf Al Habtoor, and Abdulla Al Futtaim. According to Forbes estimates, their total wealth is US$ 18.7 billion.
Dubai is building an entertainment complex. The cost is 150,000 times the Susan G. Komen foundation's revenue in 2012.
Dubai's own entertainment complex, Dubailand, is estimated to cost around US$ 64.3 billion.
The total gross revenue of the Susan G. Komen foundation in 2012 was $428,897.
Source: Dubailand, Property Index
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