The running joke in Dubai is that it holds the world record for being the city with the most world records. From the world’s longest graffiti display to world’s biggest billboard, you cannot drive a city block without being faced with another one of Dubai’s extreme accomplishments. If a destination could be called an “overachiever,” Dubai would be it.
The following is just a small sampling of some of the most interesting world records Dubai holds.
Two hotels, one lifestyle resort and the tallest building in the world, participated in Dubai’s attempt to break this record when the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2014. And they succeeded when 78,000 fireworks successfully exploded (see photo above). Now, that is how you go out with a bang.
The Dubai Mall is the world’s biggest shopping mall—in terms of its floor space, not number of stores. It used to be the biggest in the world altogether until a bigger mall was built in Asia. Don’t worry though, Dubai saw their move and raised them. They are in the process of building an even bigger mall which will allow Dubai to take the title of World’s Largest Mall back. The Mall of the World will span eight million square feet.
Hovering above the Dubai Mall is the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. You may recognize this sparkly tower as the one Tom Cruise scaled in Mission:Impossible—Ghost Protocol. The building alone, which is more than 2,700 feet high, holds seven world records including tallest free-standing structure and highest outdoor observation deck.
This wall of graffiti broke the Guinness World Record for the longest graffiti scroll at just under one-and-a-half miles. The Crown Prince commissioned 150 artists—both local and international—to design and create artwork that reflects the achievements of the UAE.
In 2012, Dubai broke another world record when they opened the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel. The five-star hotel is 1,164 feet tall, just beating the 1,092-foot hotel which held the record previously. Of course, that hotel is also located in Dubai.
Yes, you read correctly. Dubai wanted to create the world’s largest post-it mosaic. So they did. The mosaic was designed to raise awareness about autism in the UAE. The work of art covers 6258 square feet, contains 300,000 sticky notes and created a lot of paper cuts.
One of Dubai’s most recent accomplishments celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival. The “Dubai Celebration Chain” has more than 4 million links is made of 22-Karat gold and the total weight is more than 564 pounds—reminding us of exactly why Dubai’s nickname is The City of Gold.
The fastest man in the world deserves the biggest billboard in the world. Located in Dubai’s international airport, the Nissan advertisement featuring Usain Bolt used 183,024 white LEDs and measured 92 feet long and 20 feet high, with a surface area of 1,873 square feet.
Dubai wasn’t about to let the constant warm weather stop them from offering winter sports. Not only is Ski Dubai the world’s first indoor mountain resort, it also houses the world’s largest snow park, which measures 32,292 square feet.
is Paste Magazine’s assistant travel editor and an NYC-based journalist specializing in travel and entertainment.