17 Things you can see only in Dubai and nowhere else

Throughout the years, Dubai gained a reputation as a playground. And to be completely honest, that reputation is well-deserved. However, that doesn’t mean that that’s all Dubai is. There are a lot of unique things to do in Dubai and this article will show you some of them. From futuristic hyperloops and flying motorbikes, to golden desserts and weird records, here are some things you can see only in Dubai and nowhere else on the planet.

Only in Dubai- experience the world’s longest urban zip-line

only in dubai

When talking about things you can do only in Dubai, one of the first things we should mention is the world’s largest urban zip-line. The zip-line stretches over almost 3 kilometers and glides 170 meters above sea level, as it passes along the Dubai Marina and gives you some of Dubai’s most magnificent views. The ride starts from Amwaj Towers near the marina to the Dubai Marina Mall. Look out for the Princess Tower and Cayan Tower on the way down! The solo ride costs around 650 AED and the Double ride costs 1200 AED.

World’s highest rope climbing platform

ain dubai wheel

Ain Dubai is one of the world’s largest observation wheels and since 2020, it also features the world’s highest rope climbing platform. The wheel is expected to be 80 meters higher than the one in Vegas and double the height of the London Eye. The wheel is so big that it would take approximately 30 buses to build only one of its legs! Hence, it’s no surprise that the wheel will have a capacity of 1,900 passengers but that’s not all. This impressive architectural achievement will also feature a 150 meters-tall rope-climbing platform. So, if you’re looking for an adventure, look no further.

Ski in the world’s biggest mall while it’s over 50°C

dubai skiing

Spreading across 220,000 square meters, the Mall of the Emirates is the largest mall in the world. It’s so large that it has an indoor ski resort inside. Here, you can indulge in skiing and other winter sports even when it’s 50°C outside. The resort is named Ski Dubai and is the largest indoor ski park.

Speaking of malls and other unique sights in Dubai, how about…

A nature-inspired mall

Cityland Mall

Cityland Mall is the world’s first nature-inspired shopping mall. The mall was opened in 2018 and features a 200,000 square feet Central Park with more than 300 retail outlets and 70 restaurants and cafes. Even if you’re not a fan of malls, this architectural masterpiece is one of the most grandiose things built by human hand and you should definitely not miss it while in Dubai.

If you didn’t get it by now, Dubai likes to show off. And speaking of showing off…

Heart-shaped love lakes

only in dubai lakes

The so-called “love lakes” near Al Qudra are man-made but that doesn’t make them any less spectacular. The two lakes interwind and if you look at them from above, you’ll see that they form a heart shape together. You can also see this on Google Street View. So, if you’re looking for a romantic place for your next Dubai trip, this is one place you shouldn’t miss. And if that’s not romantic enough…

You can stay in an underwater suite

dubai underwater suite

Atlantis Underwater Suite allows you to spend a night at their luxurious suite with an excellent view of more than 65,000 marine creatures all around you. You can choose between the two suites, Neptune and Poseidon and the price per night costs around 30,000 AED. But apparently, this isn’t enough for some of Dubai’s eccentric millionaires, so they have to go out and get…

Exotic pets

Some people that write about this might even try to tell you how cool it is. It’s not. There’s no way to justify spoiled millionaires that don’t know what to do with their money purchasing wild animals on the black market and trying to domesticate them. But yeah, when we talk about things you can see only in Dubai, this is, unfortunately, one of them.

Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes

only in dubai

The future is here and you no longer have to search for last minute cheap flights to get places. 2020 is a great year that will bring a lot of other unique things in Dubai. One of them is the long-expected hyperloop that connects Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes. Yes, that’s right. Hyperloops are a reality and something we’ll be able to see in Dubai very soon. The hyperloop system is designed for vacuum-sealed tracks that can travel with speed of up to 1,200 kilometers per hour.

Another thing that you might think belongs only in sci-fi movies but can actually be seen in Dubai is…

The driverless taxi

driverless taxi in dubai

Since 2019, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has been testing the world’s first driverless taxi. The taxis are autonomous pods that can fit up to 10 people and serve short and medium distances. They won’t be “flying” across the city, as their average speed is around 20 miles per hour but it’s a great start. It will surely help ease up Dubai’s notorious traffic and end the struggles of trying to get a cab during peak time.

Another cool thing that we’ll soon see on Dubai’s streets are…

Policemen with flying motorcycles

dubai hover-surf motorcycle

The hover-surf motorcycle is an all-electric vehicle that is set to join Dubai’s police fleet in 2020. These flying motorbikes can reach a speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour and climb up to 50 meters of height. Can you imagine getting pulled over by one of these?

Now, reading about all these fancy inventions, you might get a wrong perception about the people of Dubai. You might think that they like showing off a lot (which is kinda true) but there are also some humane things you can see in Dubai, like…

Free food for people who can’t afford it

dubai free food

There are numerous supermarkets and groceries shops where you can find shelves for people who can’t afford to buy food. This mostly consists of products with an upcoming expiry date, but it’s an example we can all learn from. There are also even some restaurants in Dubai that give some of their food away to homeless people. But there are still a lot more things for people who do have a lot of money, like…

Golden desserts

dubai golden desert

If you have money and are traveling/living in Dubai, there are a lot of ways to spend it. One example is a dessert made of edible gold but the luxuries Dubai offers don’t end here. Only in Dubai, you can also taste golden ice cream. It’s served at the Scoopi Café with a golden handmade Versace bowl and a golden spoon and it costs around 3,000 AED. No surprise, this is the most expensive ice cream in the world.

Emirates’ Swarovski-style plane

Did you ever look at an airplane and think “Hmm, this airplane looks alright, but it doesn’t have enough diamonds”? Honestly, neither have I but it seems like the Emirates’ marketing team did. The world lost its mind when they posted this photo of an Emirates airplane covered in diamonds. And just when millionaires were starting to think about booking a flight on this Emirates aircraft, their marketing team announced that the photo is photoshopped.

The picture is fake but honestly, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if anything like this happened in Dubai. After all, this is a city where people get…

Gold bars from vending machines

Golden bar atm

You can buy gold ranging anything from a 2.5-gram, 24-karat gold coin to a more sizeable one-ounce gold bar from the gold ATMs in Dubai. There’s even a computer built inside these ATMs to update the prices every 10 minutes to reflect real-time fluctuations in the market. Using this gold ATM, you can just insert the money/credit card and buy some gold. As simple as that! The Gold ATM is located in Dubai Mall at Atlantis The Palm Hotel, and is something you can experience only in Dubai.

You’re probably getting the hint by now; people in Dubai are crazy about gold. Hence, it’s no wonder that here, you can also get a…

24-carat gold facial treatment

Gold has always been famous for its beautifying properties and what kind of luxury city Dubai would be if it can’t offer the best gold facial treatments in the world? Gold facial treatments in Dubai start as low as 89 AED and is available in most of the luxury salons and spas in Dubai. However, if you’re looking for real luxury, head to the Jumeriah Zabeel Saray where you can get a 24K gold facial with a mask completely made of golden chains for 25,000 AED.

Speaking of unique and expensive ways to pamper yourself, you can also…

Get a massage with lava shells

lava shells massage

Did you know that lava Shells are have self-healing properties and can relieve pain, aches, and stress? The shells are heated by sachets of lava gel which consists of a mixture of algae, minerals, and dried sea kelp and are used to create calcium ions, which is known to help in skin rejuvenation and firming. The cost for one of these massage treatments vary between 475 and 750 AED depending on the type of lava shells used.

Only in Dubai- Guinness World records

JW Marriott Marquis

Finally, to round up this list of things you can only see in Dubai, we’ll mention a few of the incredible records this bustling city holds.

The first noteworthy record is the tallest hotel in the world. We all know that Dubai is home to the largest building in the world but the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai also happens to be the tallest one in the world (355 meters).

Speaking of tall things, Dubai also has the tallest chocolate structure in the world. In 2014, a 14 meters-high chocolate replica of the Burj Khalifa, the place where the highest base jump from a building was performed. And this record won’t be broken until the world sees a building that’s higher than the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai is also home to the longest handmade golden chain (5 km), the longest paining in the world (10,850 meters, designed by more than 20,000 students), the longest graffiti in the world (2 km long), world’s longest scarf (1,971 meters), singers from the most different nationalities to sing a national anthem together (singers from 117 different countries singing the UAE national anthem at the 43rd National Day of the UAE), and last but not least, the most cars to “dance” together in a synchronized routine (180).

Helpful resources for visiting Dubai

Want to rent a car in Dubai? Use this special offer by AutoEurope to save 25% on all car rentals in Dubai.

For the best travel insurance deals for your trip to Dubai, check out World Nomads.

If you want to save on accommodation in Dubai, use this link to get 15% off on all accommodation bookings in town.

Did you like this list of things you can do only in Dubai? Did you know about some of these? Which one would you like to see first? Do you think we didn’t mention some important things? Let us know in the comments!

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18 thoughts on “17 Things you can see only in Dubai and nowhere else”

  1. I live in Dubai and so it is refreshing to see a different kind of article about the city. I have visited Al Qudra a few times but did not know about the Love Lakes, I’m going to head out with my drone now. I’ve never seen the gold ATM’s either, not that I can afford any!

    Reply
    • It is so great to hear that, Venessa. I am pretty sure you will love the love lakes and the gold bar ATM is quite impressive.

      Reply
  2. Hmmmmm…. I work in the railway industry and I wont believe the 700mph trains between the two cities until it has been built, tested, safe etc….I be very surprise if it does 700mph. More like 350. But still that would be 22 minutes. Gotta see it to believe it. 😀 However I never been to Dubai, and the fact the shopping malls have skiing, gardens etc is appealing but to be honest, I just want to see the amazing buildings out there, and get a feel for this modern city. Not sure if I want to do the zip line mind you…I leave that for someone else. 😛

    Reply
    • Hi Danik, mind this is not a train, it’s a hyperloop that includes a freight passing through vacuum tubes. Early tests have shown that the speed can be achieved and the first 10 miles (roughly 1/7) of the hyperloop are already completely designed. Either way, there are a lot of amazing thigns that can be seen only in Dubai 🙂

      Reply
  3. We had about 10 days in Dubai and did a lot of the things on your list. But I am sorry we missed the urban zipline. I am sure that is an amazing adventure. The heart shaped love lakes will go on our list for return visit. But I will probably be passing on a driverless taxi. We could not believe how busy the road traffic was in Dubai. I would not want to drive. And would want an experienced driver behind the wheel of my taxi. But I am not at all surprised that the Swarovski style plane would be found in Dubai.

    Reply
  4. I love Dubai, there’s so much to see and do. It’s been about 5 years or so since my last visit so some of these things like the zip-line are new. The love lakes look pretty cool especially when shot from a drone. Looking forward to the hyperloop. That’s going to be rad!

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  5. I am not a fan of big cities, but I would like to see Dubai because of worldwide architecture. I would like to take pictures of these famous buildings. I would like to see Heart-shaped love lakes, too, and sleep in an underwater suite. Although it is slightly outside my budget 🙂 I didn’t know from Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes by train. Amazing speed. Golden desserts look delicious!

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  6. Dubai is a destination full of superlatives! Tallest, largest, longest, fastest etc. I visited in 2019 and took a trip up to the top of the Burj Khalifa- it was an incredible view. But… there are so many things on your list I didn’t get to experience on my trip so I may have to go back. I’m assuming that a lot of the new developments are in preparation for Expo 2020, which will be incredible I’m sure. This was an interesting article and will help me plan my next trip!

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  7. For some reason, I’ve never included Dubai in my travel lists, but I may rethink this. I mean, driverless taxis, flying motorcycles, Hyperlooks…wow! Plus, where else can you buy gold from an ATM?! Crazy!

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  8. My head is already spinning at the sight of the Love Lake, Gold Facial Treatment, Gold bar vending machines, hyperlook, taxiless drivers, and all these. It seems I am already in 2050. Dubai seems to have living a life much ahead of the other parts of the world. It is truly fascinating.

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  9. I loved reading your post and I can totally say that Dubai has some unique things in the world. Some of them are very luxurious that nobody can imagine also. Emirates’ Swarovski-style plane though many people say it is photoshopped but no wonder one day we can see that too. Gold vending machine too is very interesting and I can see the craze for gold here.

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