Evolution is inevitable. Look back ten years or even fifteen years from now, many of us have seen the UAE and specifically Dubai lay the foundation of evolution in all aspects whether technological, architectural, environmental, biological etc. One cannot expect to stay on top of the hierarchy by working the same way or at the same level of expertise for decades. It`s all about progressing and keeping up with the rest of the world but in the case of Dubai, leaving the world far behind! The way this amazing city has changed is truly commendable because you don’t just see a metropolis being built out of sand dunes in a matter of a few decades every day, do you?
Let’s talk about the 10 ways Dubai has changed and evolved in a matter of a few years.
THE WORLD`S TALLEST, LARGEST, BIGGEST AND STRONGEST
All of the above are what come to mind when someone says Dubai. You google ‘the largest something in the world…. The tallest something in the world…. The highest something in the world….’ And the chances are that at least one of each would be in Dubai. You may as well call Dubai the ambassador of world records because this place doesn’t do anything short of that. The emirate literally believes in the phrase “the bigger the better”. You couldn’t have said that about Dubai a decade ago could you? So let us all get a pen and check the boxes of ways Dubai has changed and recognized today in the world.
- World`s Tallest Hotel – Gevora Hotel Dubai standing at 356 m.
- Longest Handmade Gold Chain (the City of Gold for nothing!) – 22k gold 5 Km long chain hosted by Deira Gold Souk.
- Tallest Building in the world (The most obvious….) – Burj Khalifa stand at a proud 828 m from the ground.
- World`s Highest Base Jump From A Building (That’s what tall buildings are for!)– Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet jumped off the tallest building in the world to achieve the record back in 2014.
- Largest water screen projection in the world – The Dubai Festival City features an 893 m2 light projection with a 360-degree
- World`s tallest chocolate sculpture – It is in the shape of the world`s tallest building and stands at 13.52 m
The boost in tourism is a result of the many ways Dubai has changed
Dubai and tourism are the two words that go together very well. One of the main ways Dubai has changed over the past two decades is through the gigantic boost in its tourism. From a barren desert with a low population to welcoming over 15 million visitors in 2018, Dubai has outdone itself. Vivid thinking and far-fetched vision is the reason behind Dubai’s extraordinary recreational and leisure destinations.
Let’s talk about a few more of this emirate’s world records and ways Dubai has changed from a few years ago!
An indoor ski resort inside a mall in a place that’s technically in the middle of the desert, Dubai Opera, Dubai Aquarium, Palm Jumeirah, IMG World of Adventures and Aquaventure WaterPark – there is nothing ordinary about Dubai, which also holds a spot in the world`s top 10 best places to visit. If you are travelling to Dubai anytime soon then don’t forget to check out the following most popular tourist attractions in Dubai:
- Dubai Desert Safari
- Dubai Safari Park
- Wild Wadi Water Park
- Ferrari World
- Dubai Marina
- The Palm Islands
- Dubai Miracle Garden
- Atlantis Palm Hotel
- Dubai Parks and Resorts
Ways Dubai has changed is incomplete without the mention of its MAN-MADE DEVELOPMENTS
Some make buildings, others make monuments but Dubai makes islands. That’s right if you don’t have one, just make one! There are many things defining this metropolis but its man-made islands are signature world-class projects. Built in the shape of a palm tree, the largest artificial man-made islands in the world are Dubai’s most ambitious development ventures. The Palm Islands are three so far; Palm Jumeirah, Palm Deira and Palm Jebel Ali. They feature exotic beaches, world-class hotels, luxury residential communities, marinas and entertainment centres and add to the list of ways Dubai has changed in a matter of a few years.
Apart from artificial islands, Dubai has also built an artificial canal city. Dubai Marina is the largest man-made marina in the world which was conceptualized by bringing in seawater from the Arabian Gulf. It features world-renowned beaches, tourist spots, restaurants, cafes, yacht docks, and numerous residential and commercial towers. Over 120,000 residents happily enjoy living the Dubai life here. To experience the marina living up close or secure a great opportunity for investment, apartments in Dubai Marina are one of the most desired areas of Dubai.
Other mention-worthy developments that magnify the ways Dubai has changed include:
- Bluewaters Island
- Jumeirah Bay Island
- Dubai Maritime City
- Pearl Jumeirah
- The World Islands
A GLOBAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
Are you one of those who instantly think “Wall Street” when you hear ‘financial centre’ anywhere? Well, adding to one of the major ways Dubai has changed, a decade ago nobody would have thought about a Middle Eastern city to be an investment hub. However, the tables have turned and Dubai is the front-runner in this race as well. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has proven to be a game-changer in this sector and today, there are over 2,000 companies registered at DIFC. The DIFC opened back in 2002 as a free zone just off Sheikh Zayed Road and acts as a financial district for Dubai.
This international financial zone has put Dubai on the 15th spot from 110 centres that were analyzed by The Global Financial Centres Index, produced by The China Development Institute and Z/Yen Partners. Dubai was also placed 9th for professional services, 8th for banking and 15th for insurance and investment management.
A MASSIVE CULTURAL HUB
According to Daniel Brook`s A History of Future Cities, in comparison to New York`s number of 37% of its total population being immigrants, Dubai has around 88.5% of its population as expats. From a population of 2,446,675 permanent residents in Dubai, the number has significantly increased up to 3.137 million in 2018. Dubai`s cultural diversity is globally known with another world record of having the most nationalities singing the national anthem together. The record featured people from over 117 different nationalities. There is an open-mindedness in this city for giving every person the freedom to practice their lives the way they prefer.
Dubai`s skyline is best explained in the same book describing the city as “The instant global metropolis with a ‘skyline on crack’”. That’s right, if it’s a building in Dubai then the sky is the limit, nothing less than that. The biggest change the world has seen in this cosmopolitan is its breathtaking skyline dancing in the clouds and showing off its creative architecture. The talk of the town is not just the Burj Khalifa; If there is anything Dubai knows how to do best, it is to not remain monotonous.
Currently, there are about 22 incredible skyscrapers, over 300 meters tall, adding to the beauty of the city`s skyline and also to one of the many ways Dubai has changed. They are a mixture of hotels, residential towers, and offices. The first 150+ m building (Burj Al Arab) was constructed back in 1999 while there are a total of 190 completed 150+ m buildings in Dubai today.
In case your curiosity is getting the best of you, here are the most popular skyscrapers lining the city of gold.
- Infinity Tower (Dubai`s 21st tallest tower)
- Gevora Hotel ( Tallest hotel in the world)
- Emirates Towers ( 41st tallest building in Dubai)
- Princess Towers (414 m)
- Pentominium (471 m)
- Marina 101 (371 m)
- Elite Residence (381 m)
A MELTING POT FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND LEISURE FACILITIES
Dubai is well-known for its ‘luxury’, ‘entertainment’ and ‘relaxation’ as well. It seems as if this city never runs out of creativity because there is nothing mainstream about the concept of entertainment facilities in Dubai. From multi-award winning waterparks to large indoor theme parks, the city knows exactly how to stir your inner adventurer. These aren’t your ordinary theme parks because these attractions in Dubai rank among the world`s best. How about ziplining through the world’s largest man-made marina or fly over it with XDubai!
THE DUBAI METRO
When you imagine visiting the UAE, an Arabian night setting and travelling through cities draped with sand, riding a camel, must come to mind. Well, Dubai offers that as well but as desert safaris for entertainment and cultural purposes. The city doesn’t offer these as modes of transport anymore. The fully-automated and driverless trains are part of a rail network in Dubai launched back in 2009 by the Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Dubai Metro covers a route length of about 75 kilometres which was until 2016 recognized by the Guinness World Records as the longest driverless metro network in the world. Currently, the Green and the Red Line are operational while the third one is under construction. Dubai Metro has undoubtedly made public transportation easy for residents and tourists alike. It is affordable, fast and comfortable.
A HAVEN FOR SHOPPERS
That’s right, if you`ve seen the movie Shopaholic then you know how hard it is for shopaholics to avoid shopping and when we’re talking about shopping in Dubai, you literally have the world at your feet. From international brands to luxury designer boutiques, you will most certainly never have to say, “I couldn’t find what I was looking for in Dubai!” For buyers looking for a local and authentic UAE taste, there are numerous souks and local markets while the best souks in Dubai are Spice Souk and Gold Souk.
Here’s a list of some of the best malls in Dubai:
- The Dubai Mall
- Ibn Battuta Mall
- Mall of the Emirates (MOE)
- Dubai Festival City Mal
- City Centre Mirdif (MCC)
- Deira City Centre Shopping Mall (DCC)
In addition to the malls in Dubai, you can also pop over to the Global Village for some interesting arts and crafts from around the world, visit the Dubai Gold and Diamond Park to stock up on some bling or take a spin around the Souk Madinat Jumeirah for some traditional Arabic finds.
NUMBER ONE DESTINATION FOR FILMMAKERS
Did you know that over 1,000 movies were filmed in Dubai over the past year, another accolade and addition to the ways Dubai has changed? Gone are the days when production teams and directors headed to snow-clad mountains. Now they want actors jumping off Burj Khalifa and making their way through the endless sand dunes. Many Hollywood and Bollywood movies have used Dubai in their movies and utilized its natural deserts, luxury destinations and futuristic infrastructure.
Here’s a list of some popular movies filmed in Dubai:
- Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol
- Furious 7
- Star Trek – Beyond
- Happy New Year (Bollywood)
- Partner (Bollywood)
- Dabangg (Bollywood)
Dubai is proof that with a vision and a leader like HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, people and cities can remove the word ‘impossible’ from their vocabulary. All of the above are just some of the ways Dubai has changed. To experience the way this city has evolved over the years, a visit to the museums featuring these changes with pictures can give a better idea.
‘Dubai will never settle for anything less than the first place’ quoted by the visionary leader himself!