Dubai World Records Offer a Tourist Trail of Adventure and Fun
Dubai World Records: If It Can Be More Extreme, You Will Find it in Dubai
Traveling to Dubai I entered a different world where the contrast of a modern affluent city, a conservative Muslim culture and the Arabian Desert collide to create a city aiming to be the best. Oil money transformed this once typical desert community to one which challenges all boundaries. In Dubai world records are achieved at every turn.
Initially striving to make a name for itself, the United Arab Emirates now boasts over 150 world records, many of which are in its largest city, Dubai. While some are one time accomplishments, many of the Dubai world records leave a trail for tourists to follow while exploring the city.
While I was looking forward to heading to the top of the world's tallest building, or seeing the world's largest aquarium, my girls were focused on getting some interesting treats at the world's largest candy store (photo to the left) and enjoying them whilst they ski down the indoor slopes at the world's largest indoor ski resort.
What ever your passion, Dubai has it. It's a modern city in the middle of the Arabian desert, a shopper's paradise, a place to rest or a non-stop tourist adventure.
Dubai Hosts the World's Largest Aquarium
With capacity to hold 10 million liters of water, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is the world's largest aquarium. We opted not to enter, but to enjoy the free display from inside the Dubai Mall. Following the conservative dress requirement of the mall, my daughter wears pants covering her knees, and has her shoulders covered despite the scorching outdoor heat. We are in the Middle East and this mall, while modern, is built up in the hot Arabian desert.
The World's Largest Candy Store is Located in the Dubai Mall
My girls were drawn to it like . . . teens to a candy store!
Located inside the Dubai Mall, Candylicious is the world's largest candy store in terms of physical size, spanning over 10,000 square feet. To be honest, both of my girls were quite a bit disappointed with this landmark. Looking forward to a unique selection of new and unusual treats, they felt let down to find piles of familiar candy and huge bins (photoed) that on close inspection turned out to hold candy only in the bottom portions, while the upper parts of each bin is simply an illustration (poster). Plus, the prices for familiar candy seemed higher than anywhere else, so they opted to save their money and buy the candy the know and love somewhere else.
I took the photo while standing in the mall, looking into the candy store, another of the Dubai world records.
Worlds Tallest Building - The Burj Khalifa in Dubai
We went to the top!
As we flew into Dubai, looking out the plane window, the Burj Khalifa is one of the first things we saw towering over the city. At 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) it holds the titles of:
- The tallest building in the world
- The tallest structure in the world
- The tallest free-standing structure in the world.
We had purchased our tickets weeks in advance to head up to the top just about 30 minutes before sunset. This allowed us to watch the day melt into night and our view completely change. As we stood looking out the windows it was surreal. We were so high, there was no fear. Like our view from the flight, it became very apparent that this modern city is smack dab in the middle of the Arabian Desert.
Our mistake, we opted to walk from the train station to the mall, it's simply too hot and you can see we are the only people on the streets.
You can see my photos from the top at: Burj Khalifa My Pictures From the Top of World's Tallest Building Located in Dubai
Dubai Had The World's Biggest Fireworks Show on New Year's Eve 2013
* A spectacular 400,000 fireworks brought in the 2014 year at The Palm and The World islands in Dubai.
* It also broke the record for the most attended New Year's celebration with over 1.7 million people
Have You Been to Dubai?
Have You Been to Dubai?
The World's Largest Dancing Fountain Comes Alive at Night - It's just outside the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building pictured above)
It was dark outside when we came down from the Burj Khalifa tower and we timed it perfectly to watch the world's largest dancing fountain. You can see how tall the water shoots up by looking at the people standing just in front of the fountain. Actually, the water reaches up to 50 stories high at times. The fountain dances for about 5 minutes on the hour and the half hour.
The Dubai Mall Attracts More Annual Visitors than New York City!
Dubai Mall - A Collection of World Records Under One Roof - Of course Dubai would build the world's largest mall
Dubai Mall holds several world records and many other interesting attractions Including:
- Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world in terms of area with over 13 million square feet.
- Became the world's most visited shopping and leisure destination in 2011. It draws over 750,000 visitors each week.
- In 2012 it broke it's own record attracting more than 65 million visitors.
- The entry point for the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building (see above) is in the lower level of the Dubai Mall.
- Home to the world's largest acrylic panel in the Dubai Aquarium (see photo above).
- Has the world's largest sweet shop (see photo above).
- Host the SEGA Republic indoor theme park, not a record breaker but it does occupy over 7,000 square meters.
- Features an Olympic size ice rink.
- A movie theater featuring 22 different cinema screens.
- 1200 shops and 120 restaurants and cafes.
Burj Al Arab is the World's First Seven Star Hotel
An iconic landmark in the Dubai skyline
We were never close enough to get a great shot of this self proclaimed seven star hotel and this professional photo came out better than mine. While I would have loved to go inside and see its majesty, that privilege is reserved for those who pay. The options are a very expensive meal, an afternoon tea at a cost of AED 220-350 per person or room reservation with the caveat of "if you have to ask the price you can't afford it."
*Afternoon tea conversion = Approximately USD $95 or NZD $110 per person (there are four of us).
But it is a lovely building, and although not an official world record, it deserves a spot here:
Dubai is Also Home to the World's Largest Indoor Ski Resort - Ski Dubai is Located in the Mall of the Emirates
Before you ask, yes, my girls went in, one skied, the other snowboarded. Keeping in mind they are both former national champions in their respective snow sport, we were not surprised to hear they were a bit bored. However, with 22,500 square meters of indoor ski/snowboard area, an 85-meter-high indoor mountain and 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty, I doubt the average skier would be bored. Ski Dubai even has a 400-metre-long run and the world's first indoor black run.
In the Gold Souk We Came Upon the World's Largest Gold Ring
Sorry, my photo quality isn't so great. It was not an easy shot through several layers of glass reflecting the crowd that seemed to gather around it, as if it were actually interesting. Sorry about my cynicism, but I really didn't see the point, as it's not functional as a ring, but rather just a display of round wealth.
UAE Holds Nearly 150 World Records
A few of the more obscure records include*:
Man jumping from plane with world's smallest parachute
World's largest medical marathon
World's longest bridal veil
Most people attending a swimming lesson
World's largest photo album
World's largest packaged food mosaic
*Not all Dubai, some in the other Emirates
Looking for More World Records?
Do you have the current issue of Guinness World Records? If you're a fan of the biggest, tallest, fastest, smallest or just weirdest, then this is the book for you. Of course you will read about Dubai's records, but there is much more. This edition features thousands of awe-inspiring people, animals and products, including new record-holders such as a skateboarding goat, a 15-meter-long robot dragon, and much more.
- We Went Snow Skiing in the Desert at Ski Dubai
We took our snow sport athletes to Ski Dubai, as they wanted to say they skied/snowboarded in a desert. Ski Dubai is about 4 times the size of Snow Planet (New Zealand) and much more eclectic in it's participants.
- Bastakiya and the Old Souqs - Finally, somewhere I like in Dubai
Bastakiya, finally somewhere I like in Dubai. We had a great guide in Bastakiya's narrow streets clearly show what Dubai was like prior to the oil money.
© 2014 Rhonda Albom