Dubai should be on your bucket list of go-to cities to visit before you die.
Located on the coast of The United Arab Emirates, the beautiful locale is a hot spot of touristy attractions, nightclubs, and glamorous people. But behind the glitz of the shimmering city lies misconceptions. Even though Dubai houses the famous and fortunate, it also carries a weighty public perception.
Sure, if you’re rich enough, you and your cheetah can sit side by side in a taxicab. And sure, if you work in law enforcement, you can drive in luxury automobiles, e.g. a Ferrari or Lamborghini. And yes, if you lose a pound of your own weight, you get a gram of gold in return (thanks to “Your Weight in Gold,” which encourages children to live a more active and healthier lifestyle).
However, Shakespeare penned it best: All that glitters is not gold.
No matter how sparkly Dubai seems, other “fun facts” of the bustling city are really just fiction. Don’t be too disappointed, though. You can watch robots atop of racing camels in one of Dubai’s streets to cheer you up.
15. Everyone’s Wealthy
In the same way that people view Hollywood in high esteem, they also look at Dubai through equally rose-colored glasses.
While the city plays house to rich men and women, the entire population (close to 3 million people) consists of more than just famous celebrities or oil magnates. The run-of-the-mill worker is subjected to harsh conditions and really long hours (14 hours, to be exact) for measly pay, and nobody seems to even care. The devastating poverty permeates throughout Dubai, which can parallel a city or two in the United States.
14. Everyone Lives Lavishly
As you already know, no metropolis can stay clear of poverty, not even the illuminating, illustrious Dubai.
Unless you make money through investment, you could probably barely afford to pay your rent. According to the friendly website Quora, one person informs, “Apartment Rent consume a major part of salary (30% – 50%).” To give more insight into the answer, for an individual to live there, she/he would have to pay about $900 in “monthly costs” (not even including rent). But you would probably need to shell out even more money.
13. Freedom Of The Press
As Americans, we take the simple pleasures of gossip rags, newspapers, and television shows for granted.
Even though we argue about whether “fake news” exists or not in the United States, it definitely does exist in Dubai. “The government blocks all web sites that it deems ‘offensive’ to the ‘religious, moral, and cultural values’ of the UAE,” according to one article. There really is no such thing as the consumer-friendly product of freedom of the press in Dubai.
12. A Bigger Party City Than Las Vegas
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Right? Yet, as much as the nightlife in Dubai is made out to be incredible, the saying would never apply to the nightlife of Dubai.
Even though Gucci Mane booked his personal flight to the appealing area, he probably brought his own beer, as well as a license…to drink. “Alcohol can only be served in hotels and a handful of private clubs. A person must own a liquor license to consume in the privacy of their own home,” an article reports. Basically, if you want to party and get drunk, then you should probably go anywhere else but Dubai.
11. The World’s First Aesthetically Pleasing Eco-friendly City
While Dubai looks like paradise, the man-made constructions make for one hell of an environment, literally.
“Coral reefs, sea grasses, and oyster beds that were once part of protected marine lands lie choked under a barrage of dredged up sea sand. Consider the waste that occurs from erecting buildings on top of these sand monsters and from the people that occupy them coupled with the lack of an effective recycling program and you have an environmental disaster on your hands,” an article states. Do we really need to say more?
10. The Hollywood Of The Middle East
One of the 21st century’s most iconic actors, Leonardo DiCaprio, just visited Dubai in early 2017.
However, his movies will probably never make their way to the shining city. “There are few satellite television operators. The movie channels play movies that are old and outdated. Many of them went straight to video back in the States. Every sitcom that failed in the US has been purchased and is played here. Old episodes of Knight Rider are advertised like it is the coolest thing since sliced bread,” an article states.
9. Lax Laws On Prescription Medications
Unlike the United States, the UAE, in general, frowns upon controlled substances. So, if you enjoy Xanax, Codeine, or Marijuana, take a trip to Florida or Colorado instead.
However, you can still take your prescriptions, but not without tearing through the red tape. “If you have been on a certain form of medication for any medical mental illness, you can visit a certified psychiatrist to explain your case. If the doctor deems fit, an approved prescription is given for you to obtain your medication based on the degree of your illness,” an article states.
8. Dubai, The Country?
When people think of Dubai, they may think the city’s a country. However, the urban area is just a city within the UAE.
“Surprisingly, a lot of people actually think that Dubai is a country. This couldn’t be more wrong! Dubai is just one among seven ’emirates’ of the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” an article states. Even though the place would make for a superficially awesome country, the city’s just another emirate.
7. Only Serves Meals Fit For A King
While Dubai promotes luxurious resorts, incredible man-made islands and underwater suites, not everything is expensive…or tasteful.
“It is easy for one to assume that livestock and crops cannot possibly grow in the arid desert climate of Dubai. Indeed, most foods in supermarkets are brought in from all over the world. However, there has been a significant shift in recent years towards more sustainable produce from local farmlands,” an article states. Imported food can be extremely expensive, so Dubai chose an alternative route.
6. A-List Actors, Models, And Moguls In Dubai, Oh, My!
Even though famous men and women travel to Dubai all the time, they keep a low profile during their trip.
While you may get lucky, the off-chance you would bump into Jay Z or Kim Kardashian is as likely as you winning the Powerball. “Yes, a number of celebrities have expressed their undying love for Dubai time and again. Some have even decided to move there, even if it was just for a short period of time,” an article confirms. With so many powerful people in such a powerful city, it’s easy to think that you’d run into the rich and famous.
5. Plenty Of Job Opportunities
Just like the United States, the UAE struggles to employ its citizens. According to Gulf News, seventy percent of them grapple with unemployment.
“In a survey conducted among 920 people in the UAE, 63 percent of the respondents said they’re struggling with their job search right now, as the environment of low returns and high volatility persists,” the newspaper states. From a policeman driving an Aston Martin to a golden weight loss initiative, you’d think that the UAE, particularly Dubai, would have the resources and resolutions for the unemployed.
4. Dubai, The ‘Adult Disneyland’
Coined by The Telegraph, the writer used the term “Adult Disneyland” to describe the mystical wonders of the renowned city.
However, she says that it’s the exact opposite of an amusement park. While the city raises its glass to impressive buildings, monuments, and other landmarks, the tourist attraction is rarely a pillar of man-made beauty. “Lurking behind the shimmering Burj Khalifa skyscraper and the ostentatious hotel lobbies is a growing community who represents the antithesis of the overindulgent Dubai – expats,” she relays.
3. Driving Under Incognito
Dubai places a heavy emphasis on a person’s socioeconomic status. In fact, their income is so important that it’s shown off on their license plate.
“The lower the number on a resident’s license plate, the higher his/her social status. In addition, members of the royal family and government can be instantly recognized on the streets because they tend to have very low license plate numbers while commoners’ license plate numbers tend to have more digits,” an article reports. There’s no privacy when you’re out in public.
2. Pigs Are Safe From The Slaughter
Any vegan, vegetarian, and animal rights activist will be disappointed to know that pork can be bought and consumed in Dubai.
Unfortunately, even the Emiratis enjoy the occasional slice of bacon. “Although Islamic teachings prohibit the consumption of alcohol and pork, it does not mean everyone in the UAE must abstain,” an article states. Even though booze and boar go against strict Muslim traditions, you can drink and eat in peace. As long as you’re not stumbling down roads in a blackout or covered in sausage links and pork rinds, you should be fine.
1. PDA Aplenty
While Dubai seems like the type of city to permit lavish intimate parties and gold-room clubbing, the reality suggests differently.
Since it’s situated in a predominantly Muslim country, certain laws restrict non-married couples from touching each other in public. “Displays of affection with someone to whom you are not married are illegal under the UAE penal law of 1987,” the article states. But a husband and wife can barely go crazy as well. While they can hold hands, they can’t really engage in anything else.
No matter how many racy outfits you see, modesty is still key.
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