Shopping capital of the Middle East
The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping centre on the planet, but alongside the blockbuster brands are the emirate’s traditional souk districts on either side of the creek, where dhows used to deliver their wares. With more than 250 retailers in the Gold Souk in Deira, Dubai has earned the moniker “The City of Gold”.
Dubai will host the next world’s fair
In 2020, Dubai will become the first region in the Middle East to host the World Expo, which is expected to inject nearly $40bn into the local economy. The theme will be “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
Dubai has invested heavily in building the world’s largest solar-power project in time for the expo.
It’s almost never been cheaper to buy
Over the course of 2016, property prices fell 8.8 per cent, according to Cluttons, the estate agents. By the first quarter of 2017, prices were 28.7 per cent below their 2008 peak. But agents are confident the market will bottom out by the end of the year — off-plan transactions were up 14 per cent in the first two months of 2017, and Cluttons is anticipating an “expo effect” to boost prices.
World’s fastest police car
The Dubai police force has a 14-strong fleet of supercars, including a Bugatti Veyron, which can hit 253mph and achieve 0 to 60mph in 2.5 seconds. Apparently, the aim is to make the police seem approachable, and it seems to be working: people frequently ask to be arrested so that they can hitch a lift.
You can fly with falcons
If you are flying with Emirates from Dubai to Pakistan, or on almost any Qatar Airways route, you are likely to be sharing a cabin with a falcon. The ultimate status symbol in the Middle East, the birds can be worth up to $1m. Heady excess baggage charges apply.
Photographs: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images; Alamy; Dreamstime
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