When you’re in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, there’s a good chance that something that you just saw is the biggest, the first, or the tallest in the world. Many feats, buildings, and experiences in the two cities are listed in the Guinness Book of Records, and if they’re currently not, you know something new around the corner will claim a title soon.
It almost feels like breaking world records is a national pastime.
As of 2017, UAE has 186 world records and the majority are shared between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. You can experience the world records on this list due to their more permanent nature, unlike, say, world’s largest serving of mango sticky rice or the world’s largest kidney removed, both of which actually also went to Dubai.
So, how about ticking off your bucket list by visiting these places?
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Burj Khalifa had its moment on silver screen when it’s featured on a Mission Impossible movie a while ago. But long before that, the 830 meter-tall super-skyscraper is already famous all around the world, putting Dubai firmly on the map.
Delving deeper into details, Burj Khalifa also holds several other records, including tallest service elevator, highest outdoor observation deck, and tallest free-standing structure, among others.
If you’ve been thinking about visiting it for a while now, do it ASAP, because it looks like Burj Khalifa is about to pass its title to the new kids in town: a new tower in Dubai set to surpass it in 2020 and another one currently under construction in Saudi Arabia.
Any restaurant located on level 122 of the tallest building in the world will naturally receive recognition of its own as well. At 441.3 meters from ground level, At.mosphere at Burj Khalifa has been holding the title of the highest restaurant in the world since it opened in 2011.
If you think visual plays a huge part in enhancing dining experience, At.mosphere is perfect, as you can enjoy your meal with a side of breathtaking view of the Gulf.
Waking up to a bird’s eye view of a metropolis may be the secret to a great start to your day and there’s no better place to test this theory out than JW Marriott Marquis Hotel. The entire 77 floors of its two towers make for the tallest hotel in the world, rising at 355.35 meters from ground level.
With a sweeping view of Dubai before you, you can wake up feeling like a master of the universe. If that’s not your thing, Wego, top travel search website in the UAE and the Middle East, has great deals on other hotels and accommodations in Dubai.
Largest shopping mall
Large, glitzy malls are a staple in many urban cities all over the world, but the title for the largest and possibly the glitziest of them all goes to Dubai mall. It has all the trappings of conventional shopping heaven with over thousands of retail stores, but there’s still a lot of space in the 5.9 million square meters internal area if it’s only filled with shops.
This is why, you can also find a 10 million liter aquarium tank, several children’s theme parks and an Olympic-sized ice rink inside the mall. Shopping is a favorite pass time in out in UAE so get it on your Dubai itinerary – just bring plenty of cash.
Largest indoor snow park
Skiing in the middle of a city with a perpetual summer? No reason why you can’t do that here. Continuing the trend of having an amusement park placed inside gigantic malls, Ski Dubai is part of Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. The world’s first indoor mountain resort will provide you with winter wear and equipments to enjoy the 85 meter-high mountain with 5 slopes of varying difficulties and the penguins.
Yes, you read that right. You can book an encounter with penguins in Ski Dubai enclosure and even get close to one or two birds.
Fastest roller coaster
Some people get their thrill from blasting down the pavement in a supercar, with the speed, the sound, and the sensation. If you’re one of them, now you can, too, albeit in a slightly different way. Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi has recreated the sensation of Formula One race in a Ferrari with Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster zapping away at 240km/h under 5 seconds.
Whether you’re a roller coaster aficionado, adrenaline junkie, or just even remotely curious, you should have Ferrari World on your travel wish list. It’s definitely something to experience at least once in your life.
Largest hand-knotted carpet
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is one of the biggest in the world and also one of the most beautiful. The place of worship is entirely constructed with pure white marbles for the outside walls and the ones inside adorned with jeweled mosaics.
Incredible size and decorations aside, the mosque’s appeal is in the details, from the Arabic calligraphy rendering 99 names of Allah on the Qibla wall to the carpet covering the entire 5,700 square meters of the main prayer hall. The custom-made Persian rug, woven by thousands of artisans, is the largest in the world. Several other official recognitions bestowed to the mosque include the largest chandelier and the largest dome of its kind in the world.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the few mosques in UAE open to the public as a symbol of tolerance, so come for the big claims and the work of art, stay for the sense of peace and calm.
Freeborn Aiden. Senior Editor, resident travel insurance expert and 2nd longest-serving member of team Broke Backpacker. Can’t resist a colourful shirt, ideally one with no buttons. Rampant Psytrance addict and seriel cat fancier. Aiden recently realised that his entire reality is little more than a badly written 90’s sitcom.