14 Photos that Prove You Have to See Dubai to Believe It
Searching “Dubai” on the Guinness World Records website pulls up 145 results. That number should be a record itself. Although we likely won't splurge on the world's most expensive ice cream or longest gold chain when we visit Dubai, this land of impressive records, titles and firsts must be seen to be believed.
1. Second-Largest Artificial Island
Vying for the title of Eighth Wonder of the World, the Palm Islands are a series of man-made islands that can be seen from space. In the shape of a palm and the world, some of these private islands are up for sale -- if you're willing to spend $30 million. (Travelzoo Tip: Schedule a skydiving tour while visiting Dubai for incredible aerial views.)
2. World's Tallest Building
Towering to heights of 2,716.5 feet, the Burj Khalifa also contains the highest mosque, highest restaurant, highest outdoor observation deck and highest nightclub. Whew. We recommend buying tickets for the observation deck in advance.
3. World's Highest Hot Tub
Naturally the world's highest building would have the world's highest hot tub. At 96 stories high, this spot offers views of the city that are, well, hot.
4. First Gold Vending Machine
Glitz, glam and gold kick off the list with the first "Gold to Go" vending machine, established in Abu Dhabi and quickly followed in the Dubai Mall. Have your pick of 320 items made of 24-karat gold, with market prices updated every 10 minutes to make sure you're always on top of the game.
5. First Underwater Structures
First they built up; now they're building down. The most recent trend in Dubai is underwater architecture, including tennis courts, hotels and private villas. While these submerged structures are still under construction, the photos of plans have us awe-struck.
6. Most Expensive Ice Cream
For $817, you can indulge in the most expensive scoop of ice cream in the world, the “Black Diamond” with Italian truffles, Iranian saffron, and 23-karat gold flakes. The included Versace bowl and spoon ease the price point, at least a little.
7. Most Expensive Police Cars
With a fleet of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Aston Martins and Bugattis, Dubai police cars steal the show for a country that has the lowest violent crime rate.
8. World's Tallest Hotel
The world’s tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis, boasts 72 stories at a height of 1,164 feet. (Insider information: While it’s the tallest, it's not the most expensive.)
9. Most Extravagant Starbucks
This isn't your average neighborhood coffee spot. Located in the Ibn Battuta Mall, this Starbucks lies below a mosaic dome ceiling, complete with a chandelier.
10. Most Luxurious Hotel
The Burj Al Arab offers guests 24-hour personal butlers, joy rides in white Rolls-Royces and 24-karat gold-plated iPads. While their seven-star rating is self-proclaimed, we won’t dispute it. The hotel is open only to guests, but we've found that visitors can have a peek at the interior by reserving a table for afternoon tea.
11. Biggest Mall
When it contains the second-largest aquarium in the world, an Olympic-size skating rink, a full dinosaur skeleton and the world’s biggest indoor snow park, is it still considered a mall?
12. Largest Acrylic Panel
Although the Dubai Aquarium ranks as second-largest in the world, its tank holds the official title of the world’s Largest Acrylic Panel. For an aquarium that holds 2.64 million gallons of water and is home to over 33,000 living animals, second place isn’t so bad.
13. Longest Gold Chain
This handmade chain spanned lengths of 18,110.2 feet before it was separated and sold as pieces. Imagine the cost of the entire chain.
14. World's Largest Choreographed Fountains
Crafted by the same company that built the Bellagio Hotel fountains in Las Vegas, the synchronized lights, music and water of the Dubai Fountains finalize the city's over-the-top beauty.