Tallest Building – Burj Khalifa
At 828 meters (2,717 feet), the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world and the tallest free-standing structure. It has over 160 floors, the most in the world, the highest occupied floor, and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world, on the 124th floor. How does one access all of those super-high floors? Why, on the world’s longest elevator ride, of course. That’s longest in distance, not time. The Burj Khalifa’s high-speed elevators travel 10 meters per second. Click for more about the Burj Khalifa.
Largest Shopping Mall – Dubai Mall
Dubai is famous for its shopping. With over 70 malls and shopping centers, and more in the works, shopping is the city’s top tourist attraction. Now, the pinnacle of shopping malls in the world’s best shopping city has got to be something to see. If shopping is your thing, I’m sure you would agree. That place is Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world, with 1200 shops, including chain stores from around the world, as well as local names, hundreds of places to eat, an ice rink, a theme park, an aquarium (see below), a 22-screen cinema and access to Burj Khalifa, with all of its wonders (see above).
Largest Aquarium Viewing Panel – Dubai Aquarium
Inside the world’s largest shopping mall (see above) is the world’s second largest aquarium with the world’s largest viewing window – 108 feet long and 27 feet tall. Through the giant window you can watch a mesmerizing ballet of 33,000 marine animals, probably not all at the same time.
Largest Dancing Fountain – Dubai Fountain
Outside the world’s largest shopping mall (see above) is the world’s largest dancing fountain, performing every 30 minutes from 6-11pm (11:30 Thurs-Sat). The fountain winds for 900 feet around Dubai Lake and shoots water 500 feet into the air.
Largest Man-Made Marina – Dubai Marina
Motivated by the demand for waterfront property, Dubai has developed the largest man-made marina in the world. A two-mile long channel was dredged to let in water from the Arabian Gulf and a city within a city rose up along its shores.
Most Luxurious Hotel – Burj Al Arab
The iconic, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab has been called the only 7-star hotel in the world. Built on an artificial island just off Jumeirah Beach, the only access is by a private bridge (or helipad). Although it’s the world’s 4th tallest hotel, it has only 202 guest suites on 28 double floors. Suites range in size from 1,820 to 8,400 square feet.
That’s all the superlatives I have for now, although I’m pretty sure most of the projects mentioned above broke records for speed of construction and money spent. Dubai is nothing if not determined to succeed in tourism. In 2013 it was ranked the 7th most visited city in the world. We’re betting it will do better than that in years to come.
Click to see tours to Dubai on our web site.