Dubai, the city of Guiness records
Dubai is obsessed in recent days to achieve the greatest pyrotechnic show ever seen, with which to celebrate the arrival of 2014. That fondness for the extreme makes the city seem absurd and wonderful at the same time, as a permanent display of fireworks in the middle of the desert.
It may be that when we think of Dubai, its obscene luxury comes to mind, but the truth is that it is only a punctual facet of that need that has to obtain with money things available to few. Thus, on the heels of the book and Guinness record, which will host the 2020 Universal Exhibition is making the United Arab Emirates an increasingly popular destination. Why knowing Dubai means traveling through a mentality that is probably unprecedented for visitors. Isn't that one of the best gifts a trip can offer?
He Burj Khalifa it's something like this as if the gods (be they of religion) play LEGO. It is impossible not to remain somewhat hypnotized when you are near this building, which reigns in the downtown of the city and also in its skyline. They are 828 meters of concrete, steel and glass that, for example, the Empire State Building in New York would only overcome if another twin skyscraper was placed on it. This Tower of Babel that was built by workers of dozens of different nationalities imposed the power of Dubai when in 2010 it was born as the largest building in the world to eclipse the Taipei 101 of China. Surrounded by an artificial lake, it is also the epicenter of a leisure area with restaurants and the Mall of Emirates, another of the city's great ravings.
This is how Dubai can be seen from a few meters above the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa © Stéphane Compoint
Mall of Emirates It is the perfect example of how the taste for the ostentation of Dubai, which depends much less on oil than Abu Dhabi, does not necessarily go through luxury. It is a gigantic shopping center, the largest on the planet, to the point that it houses waterfalls, aquarium, ice rink and fountains (local weakness) of considerable proportions. While it is true that its commercial offer encompasses an impressive catalog of brands available to few, it also makes a place for all kinds of products with which to occupy their 111 hectares and 1,200 stores available. The figures are shocking: with 52 million visitors a year, it welcomes more people than the entire New York City receives in the same period of time.
Mall of Emirates, a gigantic shopping center © Corbis
He Burj Al Arab, sailboat-shaped hotel over 300 meters high, it is by far the most expensive hotel on the planet. To justify prices (around 2,300 euros for a normal habitation and 30,000 for a suite) and the fact of being the first 7 stars that exists has facilities such as a 24-carat gold-plated iPad as a virtual concierge, a steward of flesh and blood available 24 hours a day, Rolls Royces to give and take or An underwater restaurant, among many others. The rooms of hundreds of square meters are made with Statutario marble, which Miguel Angel used for his sculptures. In it you can also find another record: the cocktail 27,321, whose name refers to the dirhams it costs (about 5,500 euros approximately).
The Burj Al Arab Hotel © Jumeirah Hotels
He gold souk -known as Golden Souk- is the Dubai jewelry area where the largest number of jewels per square meter are concentrated, another record set in a city that has been so much on the list has forced the company that certifies the Guinness to open an office in the area. The biggest gold ring is here, how could it be otherwise. It is called La Buena Estrella and weighs 64 kilos of 21 carat gold to which another five of precious stones are added. It can be found in Kanz jewelry. It is just one more attraction of this golden theme park located in the Deira neighborhood. A Mercedes Benz of pure gold is another of the stars but the visit does not have to be merely contemplative, since most of the 300 small merchants who work there daily sell cufflinks, gold pacifiers, tie pins and other "goodies" to buy as souvenirs.
The golden iPad of Burj Al Arab © Jumeirah