Bizarre Things You’d Only See In Dubai

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Culture Clash

When old traditional dress meets modern fashion, there’s bound to be a major culture clash.

All Gold Everything

When you travel to Dubai, don’t be surprised if your eyes hurt from how shiny everything is. That’s because gold is one of Dubai’s most popular accessories. Residents of Dubai will pretty much use gold for everything. They have gold necklaces, gold bracelets, gold earrings, gold watches, gold crowns, gold cars, gold jackets, gold shoes, gold toothbrushes, and even gold trash cans. While this may seem a bit impractical to Westerners, once you arrive in Dubai, you’ll appreciate the elegance.

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Bikini Vs. Burqa

Dubai welcomes Western expats, who find the lack of red tape when setting up businesses, the government’s encouragement of foreign investment, and no income tax extremely appealing. But along with Western residents comes prime ground for some major culture clashes, as we see here in this crazy pic. A woman in a bikini on a beach next to a woman in a burqa is something unimaginable anywhere else on the globe, but in Dubai, it’s merely a fact of life.

Riding Dirty

In ancient times, camels were a symbol of wealth – the beasts of burden provided valuable transportation, storage, milk, hair for clothing and brushes, and worst case scenario, meat in times of scarcity. Nowadays, most people in Dubai buy the flashiest car possible rather than stroll around with their pack of camels. But this guy decided to blend the best of both worlds by riding around in his expensive Mercedes Jeep while still showing off his animal investment!

Playtime

This Dubai resident was taking a nice relaxing afternoon nap on the hood of his fancy sports car when his furry friend decided to interrupt to have some fun. If your idea of fun involves a trip to the hospital to treat the scratches your exotic pet gave you, then Dubai is the place for you! As you’ve probably noticed by now, the people of Dubai love their big cats. So much so, that they let them climb up on their sports cars.

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Here Kitty Kitty

In almost any city in the world, we’d panic if we saw a cheetah (even a cub) out in public. However, this lady seems fearless as she’s only half paying attention to the wildcat in her lap, holding it with one hand while using the other hand to chat on her cell phone. The cheetah is clearly a pet and seems to be enjoying the change of scenery. He’s actually a quite well-behaved safari predator.

Teaching An Old Cat New Tricks

Everyone knows that the best way to train your big cat is on the hood of your expensive sports car. That way, you can show off your dangerous exotic pet and your social status at the same time. It’s truly the best way to prove to the whole world that you are the ultimate alpha male. Unless, of course, your plan backfires and your friendly exotic pet turns on you. Then you definitely won’t look like an alpha male.

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Traffic Jammin’

In Dubai, cars are much more than a method of getting from point A to point B. Cars are a lifestyle. They are used to show social status, as well as wealth Because everyone in Dubai is apparently rich, everyone has a fancy sports car. Upon first glance, this photo appears to show hundreds of car enthusiasts on their way to a car show. However, this photo is actually just a typical Wednesday rush hour commute on the streets of Dubai.

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Hang 10

Paddleboarding while wearing your traditional thobe and headdress is so Dubai! While Emiratis respect and honor the ancient traditions that have defined their culture for thousands of years, they are also embracing technology as well as the latest trends. This picture depicts how gracefully old and new blend together in Dubai – a father and son in the garb of their ancestors are doing an activity that nobody could have ever imagined would be possible in the desert.


Loading Zone

A Dubai parking lot is basically a supercar show – Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches… and what exactly is that thing? Parked right next to a luxurious Mercedes is a bit of an older model of transportation – a camel! The camel, for what it’s worth, looks perfectly content to take a break in the parking lot. This picture is the perfect example of the unique blend of old and new, traditional and modern, that can only be found in Dubai.

Look Mom No Hands!

Residents of Dubai love to live life on the edge. Whether it’s getting up close and personal with a ferocious lion or riding the top of your SUV like a surfboard as it flips upside-down on the freeway, the people of Dubai can really do it all. At this point, we’re almost positive that every person you come across in Dubai is a well-trained stuntman. Either that or the life expectancy in Dubai is abnormally low.

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Morning Commute

This scene would be a major cause for concern anywhere else on the planet, but a tiger sticking its head out a car to get some fresh air is simply par for the course during a normal, everyday commute in Dubai. The tiger is somebody’s pet and appears to be enjoying the change of scenery, but we have to admit that we might’ve freaked out a little if we spotted this guy while standing in traffic!

Sky High Living

Imagine waking up in the morning, peering out your window to check out the day’s weather, and seeing clouds below you! Well, this is everyday life for jet-setting expats in Dubai, who have enough money to buy penthouses that are literally sky high. Dubai has the concentration of high rises in the entire world, and those high rises are also the highest possible. Dubai is the city with the most number of Penthouses and condos available above the 50th floor!

Ridin’ Dirty

In Dubai, people often show off their wealth and class by choosing unconventional methods of transportation. This man, for example, prefers to boast his social status by riding his pet lion, Gertrude, to work every day. Working class Dubai residents look on with envy as they get to work by bicycle or foot. Sure, it may come at a risk of being mauled and eaten by a hungry lion, but it’s worth it to show the world that you’ve made it.

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A Faster Ambulance

We’ve already seen the Ferraris that the municipality of Dubai uses as their standard police car, but we promise you that you’ve never seen fire trucks and ambulances like this before! This Porsche and Hummer are how paramedics and other emergency personnel respond to civil calls for help. In a way, it’s very practical – if you have a medical emergency, every second counts, and these vehicles are guaranteed to get to you way quicker than your average boxy ambulance!

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

If you’re driving a late model Mercedes convertible, it’s clear that you’ve got money to burn. But in case you really wanted to drive the point home, there’s nothing like a diamond encrusted Mercedes to make sure that everyone knows you’re rich. Plus, in Dubai, a Mercedes is pretty standard and not exactly a head turner, so you have to step your game up a little bit if you truly want to stand out from the crowd.


Sky High

Because Dubai is all about architectural innovation and pushing the limits of human capability, of course, there’s a tennis court in the sky! This tennis court holds the record for being the highest in the whole world. Perched atop the mega luxury hotel Burj Al Arab, it’s elevated 1,000 feet above the ground. Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played a casual match on the court. How someone can play up there without getting woozy? We don’t know.

Hotline Bling

Those six digits below these phones aren’t their serial numbers – it’s their sky high prices! A gold plated or diamond encrusted Nokia can set you back a cool several hundred thousand dollars. But if you’re an insanely rich expat living in Dubai, accessorizing your cell phone with precious gems is par for the course. In Dubai, your image is everything, and a luxury cell phone is the perfect item to pair with your super rare sports car.

Not Quite A Soup Kitchen

Dubai isn’t just a luxury playground where the privileged few pamper themselves and flaunt their wealth – the city has a caring side, as well. Here we can see Dubai’s commitment to helping the needy. But this isn’t your average public food bank, where the best the poor walk away with are a couple of cans of tuna – this refrigerated, luxury food bank dispenses yummy things like yogurt and cappuccino mix, which shows that not only the rich deserve to treat themselves.

Gold Bar Vending Machine

We all know that feeling – you’ve gone to a hole in the wall shop or restaurant, reached for your trusted plastic, and been told that sorry, the place is cash only. This is followed up by the mad dash to the ATM, which usually charges us a ridiculous fee. Well, in Dubai there are ATMs that give out more than cash – yes, this is a gold bar vending machine! Great for those situations where you’ve forgotten your gold at home.

Marble Floored Stable

Horse stables aren’t usually considered to be nice – they’re the place where horses feed, rest, get hosed down and their hooves cleaned. Comparing a child’s messy room to a horse stable is a common metaphor used by parents. Only in Dubai would you find a horse stable with a marble floor and painted ceiling, that resembles the lobby of a luxury hotel in Las Vegas! This horse is definitely living the good life, although we’re sure he prefers to be outside.

Boating With A Lion

While you might think to take a casual snap of yourself in the marina aboard your luxury yacht and uploading the pic to Instagram as the peak of flaunting your wealth, you’d be wrong. The ultimate power move is taking a pic of your pet lion on your luxury yacht. We’re not sure how you could possibly show off more than this. The lion seems to be enjoying the sea air, although we’d be scared to be trapped on a boat with one!

Skiing In The Desert

So while you might think of the middle of the desert as being the least likely place on earth to find a ski resort, Dubai boasts the world’s biggest indoor ski resort, and the only one on the planet which is open all year round. If you’re a European expat desperately missing the cool thrill of the Alps during winter, this Dubai ski resort is the ideal place to go. Slopes are ranging from beginners’ to advanced!

White Gold Whip

And here we have, yet again, another late model Mercedes customized in a way to make it clear that the owner is fabulously wealthy and wants everyone and their mother to know it – a late model Mercedes painted in pure white gold! Talk about flashy. This custom paint job has got to be worth more money than we will ever see in our lifetimes, but don’t count on us checking out this car on the street – it harshly reflects the desert sun!

Stacking

These hard to find desert tortoises are difficult to spot, an endangered species, and not particularly friendly to humans. But as we’ve seen in previous pics, the residents of Dubai totally love exotic pets – whether they’re wildcats like cheetahs and tigers, or more tame animals like these rare reptiles. Check out this guy flaunting his wealth – he doesn’t just have one or two of these hard-shelled creatures, he has an impressive total of eight of them!

Luxury Loo

Public bathrooms are typically not a place where you want to spend a lot of time. Even the nicest public facilities still give us an icky feeling, and we try to get in and out as quickly as we can. However, this public bathroom in Dubai is nicer than our wildest dreams. We’d gladly chill in here for the rest of the day, especially if we were allowed to use the state of the art rainfall shower and jacuzzi!

I Call Shotgun

Everyone loves their cat and wants to show pictures of how cute it is to strangers. In order to pay for a big cat like a cheetah, you gotta have a lot of dough. This guy needed to show off his exotic pet – a cheetah! Riding shotgun in a luxury vehicle is a much different life than what this cheetah was used to back at home, running wild and hunting prey on the plains in Africa.

Uber Bugatti?

People in major cities all over the globe are obsessed with Uber. It’s the quickest and easiest way to get from Point A to Point B, whether you’re commuting to work or coming home after a wild night out on the town. But Dubai is the only city in the world where your Uber driver is likely to pick you up in a luxury sports car like a Bugatti! Talk about a 5-star ride.


Camel Racing Robots

Cultures all over the world are obsessed with animal racing – whether it’s racing greyhounds or horses, citizens from nearly every country on the globe love to see our friends from the animal kingdom pushing themselves to the limit. But in this case, like everything in Dubai, the time-honored tradition of camel racing has a new modern twist. Look closely at the figures atop the camels – instead of humans; they are super lightweight robots designed to be aerodynamic!

City Of Cranes

Since the original oil discovery, Dubai’s economy has been booming. But decades after its initial appearance as a major player in the global financial scene, Dubai has expanded its horizons and has an economy based on more than just the “black gold” under the desert. Due to lax laws, for setting up businesses as well as a lack of income tax, the city is now the perfect place for foreign investors. Construction is permanently happening and there’s always growth.

James Bond Or Reality?

It might sound like something from the future, but Dubai doesn’t just have the world’s biggest variety of barely street legal sportscars, it also has the cutting edge amphibious car! In fact, the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheik Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al-Maktoum, doesn’t just have one water car – he has a grand total of six, which together are worth more than $800,000. These cars are called the “Panther” and can reach speeds of up to 80 mph on the road.

Decadent Dessert

This isn’t your average cupcake – this is Dubai, so all that glitters really is gold. This cupcake costs over $1000 and holds the record as the most expensive cupcake in the world. The deliciously decadent cupcake is appropriately named “The Golden Phoenix” and is comprised of the finest Italian cocoa, Ugandan vanilla beans, and 23 karat gold, of course. If you’re gonna indulge in this number of calories, you might as well do it in style.

Families Only

What exactly is a “family zone”, you might wonder? Well, it’s a restricted area where single men aren’t allowed, so that women can frolic freely – oh, wait, women have to be modest and cover themselves anyway. In Dubai, there are family zones in both malls, restaurants, and the beach. The only men who are permitted in “family zones” are those who are accompanied by their wife and children – we suppose to keep out any young guys with wandering eyes!

No Dogs, No Fish

We’ve seen a lot of pics of funny signs in our lives. From awkward instructions about what not to do on an escalator to what is forbidden on an airplane, instructional signs like this are the source of much humor and also say a lot about the culture of the place where they’re put up. We’re laughing imagining that this happened enough times to cause the municipality to put up a sign like this – it must have been a recurring issue!

The Check, Please

It’s every party animal’s nightmare – you go out to a club, where you already know that you’re going to get overcharged, but they end up totally taking you for a ride and presenting you with a bill for over $380,000! However, this bill is in Emirates dirhams, which means it comes out to just over $100,000. Still, a pretty penny to pay for one night out on the town! But when in Rome, you gotta do as the Romans do.

Not Your Average Squad Car

Since there are so many Bugattis, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis on the road in Dubai, it makes sense that the police department would have to keep up and of course, the official police vehicle is a Ferrari. Otherwise, how would the cops be able to track down and stop the super fast car driving bad guys? I mean, it’s for practical reasons that every policeman in Dubai rides in a Ferrari. We have a feeling that’s the biggest perk of the job.

Golden Trio

In any other city in the world, a gorgeous trio like a Porsche, Ferrari, and Mercedes Jeep would turn heads – but in Dubai, this type of amazing line up is simply an everyday event. This pic shows a casual scene in the city. Appropriately gold plated, just to make sure that their wealth is flaunted enough, this vehicle screams pure luxury. We don’t know whether or not these cars can outspeed the classic Ferrari Dubai police cars!

Nice Ride

Everyone who lives in a city is familiar with bad traffic – it’s just a fact of life in every city in the world, including Dubai. Waze won’t even help you when the road is totally clogged. The best way to beat that nasty traffic jams? By air, of course! Only in Dubai can you see a Helicopter flying as high as the skyscrapers with the sole purpose of transporting a luxury vehicle from one end of the city to the other.

Limo To The ER

Talk about arriving in style! God forbid, if you suffer a serious injury and have to be immediately transported to the hospital, it’s a terrible situation. But, let’s admit, it’s a little less terrible if you show up to the emergency room in the back of a luxury stretch limo. This indulgent emergency vehicle comes replete with a flashing blue light on top, to make sure that you cut the crowds and get medical treatment as soon as possible.

Serious Horse Power

This resident of Dubai likes to ride in style on his horse-themed white motorcycle. Sure, he could have gone with a more traditional macho design, but Dubai is a culture that appreciates elegance and attention to smaller details. This gentleman even decided to wear a matching white sweatshirt and pants to accessorize his majestic new bike. He’ll certainly be the talk of the town when he rolls up to his cousin’s graduation party on this fine-tuned machine.

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Shop ‘Til You Drop

Dubai is home to the largest mall in the world, the Dubai Mall. At 5.4 million square feet, the Dubai Mall has well over 1,200 stores and services, and in 2011, was the most visited building on the planet. Inside the mall, visitors will find this massive aquarium as well. The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo has over 300 ocean species, including sharks and rays. The mall is also home to a movie theater, theme park for kids, Rainforest Cafe, and SEGA-themed amusement park.

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Custom Paint Job

A Jeep Grand Cherokee, while a perfectly acceptable vehicle in most of the world, can make you feel like a peasant in Dubai. In the land where Bugattis, Lamborghinis, and Ferraris are as common as a run of the mill Toyota Corolla, you need to step up your game to fit in with the uber-rich crowd. This person had the bright idea of spicing up their Jeep by covering it in a custom 24K gold paint job, and it definitely worked!

Surf’s Up

One of the craziest things about Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is the constant contrast between old and new, modern and ancient, and that can be seen especially in the attitude of the native Emiratis. While they embrace new modern day luxuries and technological advances, they still hold serious respect for their religious roots. This pic is the perfect illustration of that phenomenon, as these ladies are attempting to paddle board while still dressed in their traditional clothing.

Daredevil

Since Dubai is the city with the highest concentration of skyscrapers on the planet, this metropolis is definitely a daredevil’s dream. There’s no other city in the world where people come specifically to jump off of the buildings! The ultimate achievement of course would be to belly flop off the top of the Burj Al Khalifa, but nobody’s come close to doing that yet. Basically, if you’re a thrill seeker whose looking for extreme heights, Dubai is ideal for you.

Lap Of Luxury

We’ve seen a ton of gold on this list already – cellphones made from straight up 24 karat gold, encrusted with diamonds and other precious gem stones. We’ve seen the world’s most expensive cupcake, which boasts an indulgent edible gold leaf frosting. But this item is the one that really takes the cake – it’s a high heel shoe made by a French designer whose primary feature is that it uses a block of gold shaped like a cassette for the heel!

Not A Frat House Foosball Table

A Foosball table is that gnarly thing found in dive bars and frat houses. Usually sticky with unknown substances, it’s one of those things you touch and immediately regret it, then run to the bathroom afterward to wash your hands. However, we would gladly eat a meal off of this Swarovski crystal and diamond encrusted Foosball table in Dubai! We have to admire the city’s commitment to making even the most mundane, everyday objects the epitome of luxury.

Just Building A Boat

Working class citizens of Dubai are not afraid to get their hands dirty and put in some manual labor. The workers in this photo are in the early stages of building a boat by hand. As you can see, their design is not unlike that of Noah’s Ark. If we know anything about the people of Dubai, however, it’s safe to say that the only animals to be boarding this boat when it’s complete will be big cats.

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