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United Arab Emirates facts & trivia

After publishing a few days ago the story of Abdullah, an UAE local that told me how he lived all the changes experienced by his country in the recent decades, now I bring you some interesting facts and trivia about this country. The ones that shocked me the most, all the construction eccentricities that they do in order to show all the money (and oil) they have, etc. I have divided into four parts, here you go!


Living there

  • More than 80% of the population is not native, so the most spoken language is by far English.
  • The alcohol, as in other Arab countries, is so expensive.
  • In Abu Dhabi, in fact, even if you are just an individual who wants to buy a bottle of alcohol, you have to get a license for it. Here the link to ask for it.
  • Oil, on the other hand, as it’s logical, is so so cheap.

    I couldn’t hold myself from taking this super-touristy picture:
    Filling the car with 35L of gasoline for 55AED, ie 12 Euro!


  • Since it is a Muslim country, but there is people from everywhere and different religions, you can buy pork in most of the supermarkets but in a separated and locked room that says ‘For non-Muslims’.
  • The workers, both locals and foreigners, do not pay taxes.
  • If you get caught living with your partner without being married or practicing homosexuality, you can be imprisoned, deported and banned for life.



  • Burj Khalifa: In Dubai you will find this giant construction, which is the world’s tallest building. What can be seen in the photo below is only the part above, below still has many many floors.
  • Burj khalifa

  • Dubai Mall: This is not only known for being the world’s largest shopping center, but it is also for having within an artificial ski station and an aquarium, which is the world’s second largest.
  • Artificial islands: It seems that the hundreds of kilometers of beaches that they already have are not enough for them, because for some years they have been building artificial islands. Three of them are palm-shaped and another one has the shape of the continents representing a mini world map.
  • Top5 tallest hotels: If any country had to have together the top five tallest hotels in the world, it sure had to be in the Emirates.
  • 7-Star hotels: Again, looks like 5 stars were not enough, so both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have each one a 7 star hotel. Out of curiosity, I entered the one in Abu Dhabi to ask how much it would cost the cheapest room and well… 1,200 €/night.

The Emirates Palace, the Abu Dhabi 7-star hotel with reasonable prices…


About the country

  • There are not neither political parties nor elections.
  • Works like a federal constitutional monarchy.
  • Consists of seven Emirates and it’s distributed internally as follows:
  • Internal borders of the UAE

  • The Sheik of Abu Dhabi is the president of the federation and Dubai’s one is the prime minister.
  • The seven emirs form the Supreme Council.


Some history

  • On December 2nd 1971, its independence from the UK was declared.
  • Being so, it is a very young country. As I’m writing this, it’s only 43 years old!
  • Qatar and Bahrain were part of the federation at first, but shortly before independence they disengaged.
  • The oil was discovered in Abu Dhabi on 1958, while in Dubai was not found until 1966.