America might be all about bigger being better, but for Dubai it’s all about decadence.
And while many know that the aptly named City of Gold is awash in opulence, said opulence is so extreme it’s often hard to fathom.
We’ve found 17 things that prove just how decadent Dubai is.
1. Dubai’s police drive $1.79 million supercars
Dubai’s police force drives cars most people can only dream of, like the Aston Martin One-77, which costs around $1.79 million, the Ferrari FF, which costs a cool half-million dollars, and the Lamborghini Aventador, which runs for approximately $397,000. Those cars cost more than you’ll spend sending your kid to college.
2. It’s home to the ‘World’s Most Luxurious Hotel’
The Burj Al Arab is often referred to as the world’s only seven-star hotel, and it calls itself the
“World’s Most Luxurious Hotel.” With 202 obscenely luxurious duplex suites, guest amenities like 24-carat gold iPads and private butlers, a helipad, four pools, and airport transfers in a Rolls Royce or helicopter, it’s not an overstatement.
The Burj Al Arab is called the “World’s Most Luxurious Hotel.”
3. The hotel is dripping in gold
Living up to Dubai’s nickname of the City of Gold, the Burj Al Arab is decorated with approximately 19,267 square feet of 24-carat gold leaf.
It even offers 24-carat gold plated iPads (as well as iPhones and BlackBerrys) to hotel guests to use free of charge. They are also for sale in the hotel’s boutique for around $10,000.
4. One night in a Dubai hotel suite costs more than most people’s annual rent
A night in the “cheapest” one-bedroom suite at the Burj Al Arab will set you back at least a cool $1,360 (or more than $2,000, depending on the season) — a steal compared to the $23,000 a night for its most opulent suite, the Royal Suite.
5. Brunch comes with butler service and endless bottles of super expensive champagne
Champagne brunch in Dubai is the real deal. Many of Dubai’s hotels, despite being a Muslim state, have decadent brunches on Fridays and Saturdays, with endlessly flowing high-end champagne — Moët, Bollinger, Laurent Perrier — alongside abundant buffets full of lobster and caviar.
The most decadent brunch is at The Royale Brunch at Imperium, part of the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, which costs $680 per person. You’ll be handed your very own bottle of Dom Perignon (which usually costs about $200 a bottle), as well as a private butler.
At the Madinat Jumeirah, however, you’ll be handed a map, as Friday brunch is spread over three restaurants and 37 cooking stations, covering the entire ground floor of the Al Qasr hotel. Brunch here, with free-flowing Moët, will set you back around $200 a head.
6. The city boasts the tallest building in the world — which in turn boasts four world records
Dubai is also home to the world’s tallest building. The Burj Khalifa is 2,722 feet tall (to put it into perspective, the Empire State is less than half that, at a diminutive
1,250 feet sans antenna) and boasts 160 floors. Its observation deck sits at 1,821 feet and is the highest observation deck in the world, giving the building its fourth Guinness World Record, along with records for the world’s tallest building, tallest man-made structure, and highest restaurant.
7. It’s also building the biggest airport in the world
Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport is undergoing a massive $32 billion expansion that will make it the world’s largest airport, at a whopping 54 square miles. The mini city is expected to be able to handle more than 120 million passengers a year once completed in six to eight years.
8. Dubai created its own islands with insane beachfront properties
Only in Dubai could someone decide to simply build a bunch of islands and then import enough sand to fill the Empire State Building 2.5 times — and that’s just the Palm Islands (on the left). Billed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” it is the world’s largest man-made island, cost $12.3 billion to build, and is made of 3.3 billion cubic feet of sand.
Even more outrageous is The World, an archipelago of islands that literally forms a map of the world, allowing the insanely rich to “buy a country.”
9. It’s home to the world’s largest shopping mall
With a total area of 5.9 million square feet, the Dubai Mall is the world’s biggest. It has more than 1,200 stores, a 22-screen movie theatre with 2,800 seats, a copy of London’s famous Regent Street, a giant aquarium, as well as an Olympic-sized ice-skating rink. It is also one of the world’s most visited shopping destinations
, having attracted a record
80 million visitors in 2014.
10. But it’s building an even bigger mall
Why have the world’s biggest mall when you can have the world’s two biggest malls? Since there’s no competition quite like competing with oneself, Dubai announced last year that it is building a huge temperature-controlled “city” of a shopping complex, said to house 8 million-square-feet of retail space once completed. Called the “Mall of The World,” the entire project will be 48 million square feet in size, and include approximately 100 hotels, a theme park, and medical tourism facilities.
11. It created a winter wonderland and a full indoor ski resort in the middle of the desert
Again, Dubai decided to make the impossible possible by building a ski resort in the desert. Ski Dubai inside the Mall of the Emirates has five runs — the longest one being a respectable 1,300 feet — and a freestyle area with jumps and rails. But it obviously doesn’t end there, as they have created a veritable winter wonderland complete with live penguins, tobogganing, and ice sculptures.
12. It’s also planning to build more insane developments underwater
Maybe winning above sea-level superlatives was becoming too easy, but Dubai has its sights set on developing what’s underwater. While it already has underwater hotel rooms, it has plans to build an entire hotel below the sea. The Water Discus Hotel, designed by Ocean Technology, would consist of two sets of discs, one above and one below the ocean. The underwater one will contain 21 hotel rooms, as well as an underwater dive center and bar. Also, plans for an underwater tennis court recently surfaced.
13. Its horse races feature multimillion-dollar prizes
Nothing in Dubai is half baked, and thus the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race, attracts racers the world over to compete for the grand prize of almost $10 million — and the total prize money of the day’s nine races is $30 million.
14. Spa treatments involve 24-carat gold and other precious metals
For only $540, extreme skin restoration can be yours. The “La Prairie Platinum Rare” facial at Jumeirah’s Zabeel Saray spa features infusions of pure platinum said to restore your skin’s balance.
And if gold is your precious metal of choice, the Raffles Dubai hotel offers a $266 “Moroccan Gold Hammam,” which involves a “rejuvenating gold clay body mask.”
15. There’s an $817 scoop of ice cream
Scoopi Cafe in Dubai has an ice cream called “Black Diamond,” which is made with Italian truffles, Iranian saffron, and 23 carats of edible gold. It costs $817 a scoop.
16. There are $1,000 cupcakes
Bloomsbury’s Golden Phoenix cupcake is one of the world’s most expensive sweets, clocking in at $1,000. Each cupcake is made with Italian chocolate, Ugandan vanilla beans, and strawberries dipped in 23 carats of edible gold.
17. And there are cocktails made with diamonds that cost thousands of dollars
The Skyview Bar of the Burj Al Arab hotel sells a similarly costly drink. Costing a whopping $1,347 per glass, the “Diamonds are forever” cocktail is made with L’Héraud Vintage Grande Champagne 1906 Cognac, as well as Comtes de Mazeray Brut gold-flake champagne. Oh, and it comes in a Swarovski cocktail glass made with a diamond-filled stem, which you get to keep. However, the most expensive drink on the menu is The Birth of an Icon, which is basically a daiquiri made with St. Lucia Distillers Nine Cask Founders Rum, aged Cointreau, and dehydrated gold dust that costs an inexplicable $4,083 per glass.
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