Dubai is one of the world’s most glamorous and beguiling cities. The largest city in the United Arab Emirates has undergone a thrilling transformation during the last three decades. It is not a well-known getaway destination for the rich and famous. Yet it is also home to one of the world’s most conservative Muslim governments. Dubai is in the midst of a modernization trend that results in crazy juxtapositions.
Photos #14 and #7 will shock you!
20. Bikini and Burka
The local women of the UAE are expected to fully adhere to the strict Muslim dress codes in Dubai. The city is very welcoming to expats, however, who are not expected to follow any of the traditional clothing requirements. This has resulted in new investments and plenty of examples like this, where a Western woman lounges in her bikini right next to women who are wearing burkas just feet away.
19. Fat Cats and Real Cats
Cheetahs are not exactly a dime a dozen in Dubai, but they are also not uncommon. The fat cats of Dubai can have anything they want, and this guy wanted a cheetah who was able to ride shotgun. Curious to see where they ‘park’ their camels?
18. Camels and Cars
Dubai’s nouveau riche are nothing if not status conscious. There are plenty of supercars on display, including Porsches, Ferraris, and the ever-popular Lambos. But what about a decidedly older way to get around? No, we aren’t talking about a Toyota Corolla: how about a camel? Only in Dubai.
17. Headdresses and Paddleboards
Who said a day on the water required beach attire? These two men are wearing traditional headdress and thobe, but participating in one of the world’s newest sports – paddleboarding. Emiratis are fascinating people. They are at once accepting and excited about new things, but still maintaining old ways. And have we mentioned this scene is taking place smack in the middle of the desert??
16. A Lion in Water
Forget a Lion in Winter, Dubai has a Lion in Water, despite being in the desert. This guy has obviously found his oasis aboard this motorboat. I hear his other yacht is in the shop… Are you a fan of diamonds? The next photo will blow you away!
15. Diamond Days
Mercedes are just way too common in Dubai. The person who commissioned this special diamond encrusted Mercedes obviously was looking for a way to stand out. Just imagine how the sunlight glints off the diamonds as the car weaves its way in and out of traffic. Talk about blinding! The next car is even more amazing…
14. Gold on the Road
A Jeep Grand Cherokee is never going to turn heads in the UAE. In fact, it’s almost a shock to even see one here. What is not shocking is that someone coated this Cherokee in gold lame. It’s a good bet that the 24k paint job actually cost more than $24,000 and maybe more than the car itself.
13. Cars and Camels
Camels were once the ultimate symbol of wealth and luxury, and Emiratis haven’t given up on the camel yet. In this picture, someone got a super hot Mercedes SUV, but decided that the camel would be the ultimate accessory.
12. Washrooms from Heaven
Public bathrooms are normally get in and get out affairs. The best public bathrooms are ones that are totally clean. In Dubai, they’ve decided to test that theory by creating the most heavenly public bathrooms imaginable. This one looks more like a spa and comes complete with a jacuzzi for a midday break.
11. Cheetahs and Cell Phones
We told you cheetahs were not uncommon in Dubai. This patient cub is just hanging out in the pet food store with his human mom, who is busy chatting on her cell phone. Will he get some kibble, or are live animals on the menu?
10. Take Your Tiger to Work Day
This tiger is on her way to a day at the office. Is she headed out with her dad, or is she being chauffeured because she’s a CEO (Cat Executive Officer) ? A large tiger hanging out the window of a vehicle is just another normal day in Dubai. Just keep your hands away from the window.
9. Dirhams Not Dollars
A common problem for Westerners in Dubai is making sense of their restaurant bills. The bills are often only in Emirati dirhams, their local currency, which has some big numbers. This bill for a night at the club is for 380,000 dirhams! Even the dollar conversion rate is pretty costly – at a slick $100,000.
8. Gold to Go
We’re familiar with the concept of turning gold into cash: usually by heading down to the nearest pawn shop. But Dubai is a bit different. The country sees a need to turn cash into gold bars. This may be just a vanity thing – we can’t imagine a store accepting gold bars rather than a credit card – but if you’re ever in Dubai with a hankering for gold bars, this ATM has got you covered.
7. A Horse Of Course
Horses deserve luxury, too. That’s why these stables are not made from wood and filled with cement and hay floors. No, these horses bed down on marble floors. The horses can relax and de-stress by gazing up at the expertly painted ceiling. I hear turn-down service is available, complete with an apple-flavored pillow mint.
6. Families Only
Women of the UAE are required to dress modestly and cannot be alone with men who are not their husbands. That explains the family zone of the beach. Single men are barred from entry, so that women can relax in full burqa, while taking care of the kids. Sure, this seems fair.
5. No Ordinary Uber
Uber has taken the globe by storm. It’s the simplest and cheapest way to get around. But in Dubai, Uber has had to elevate its game, since people expect luxury. This Uber is a bright yellow Bugatti, meaning that you never need to give up riding in style.
4. Ski Dubai
No water, no cold, no problem. Dubai’s new generation doesn’t care about things like weather, if they want to build the world’s biggest indoor ski resort, that’s what they set out to do. This ski resort in hot and steamy Dubai is open 365 days a year. Expats who want to hit up the slopes can just step inside, go from 115 degrees to 35 degrees and pick their course.
3. Crane City
Dubai is not only the world’s most modern city, it is also the world’s fastest-growing place to live. This is due of course to the presence of gobs of oil. Reminiscent of the Texas oil boom of yore, but on steroids, all this cash has resulted in an explosion of new buildings. Since taxes are nil and red tape is non-existent, foreign investors are rushing in to build skyscrapers.
2. White Gold
We’ve seen diamonds and gold, so why not go one better and add white gold to your car? This was probably the mindset of the guy who had this Mercedes painted in the flashy substance. Yet another car that will probably blind the other drivers. Batman eat your heart out.
Hopefully you aren’t sick of gold yet, because in Dubai, there’s just so much of it. This is a world record holding cupcake, not because of its taste – no, there’s more at stake here: it’s got the most gold ever loaded into a cupcake. Impress your friends by purchasing the $1,000 dessert, which is filled with Italian cocoa, Ugandan vanilla beans, and 23k gold.