Money Matters

Incredibly Expensive Things Found Only in Dubai

Over the past few decades, Dubai has become one of the most architecturally and technologically advanced cities in the world. Dubai’s residents have a taste for the more luxurious things that life has to offer.

Dubai attracts famous vacationers like Robert De Niro, the Kardashians, and almost every Instagram influencer. The city, with a GDP of 108 billion dollars, is proud of attractions such as resorts, marine-living parks, skyscrapers, and artificial islands. Its ultramodern architecture contrasts beautifully with all the natural flora and fauna in the emirate.

Dubai residents can indulge in everything from gold candies to exotic pets. Given the right amount of money, there isn’t much Emiratis can’t buy. Below are a handful of the hidden pleasures of life that can be found in Dubai.

Top 35 Incredibly Expensive Things Found In Dubai

1. Water Machines

Although WaterCar is actually an American company based in SoCal, it is popular in Dubai. WaterCar specializes in the production and development of luxury amphibious vehicles. The company was founded in 1999 by Dave March, who was so inspired by the Amphicar (another amphibious luxury car) in the 1960s that he founded the company WaterCar.

The first commercial water truck was introduced to the public in 2013 when WaterCar launched the Panther. With a very reasonable price tag of over $135,000, the latest model has become a popular accessory in Dubai, not just among the upper class, but also Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum owns six of these amphibious watercraft himself.

At speeds just shy of 10 mph, the wheels are retracted by hydraulic off-road suspension. The transition from a land vehicle to sea can be completed in less than fifteen seconds. Once the transformation is complete, these ‘Bond-esque’ cars can reach speeds of over 60 mph on water.

2. Undersea Hotels

Mostly known for its tall buildings and man-made islands, Dubai also has several hotels that allow their guests to stay in underwater hotel rooms. Located mostly in the Ambassador Lagoon, guests of this suite are treated to spectacular underwater views at a great price. The most famous of the underwater suites is Atlantis, The Palm.

“Neptune” and “Poseidon” are two aptly named underwater seals located in Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. They sport floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a close-up view of the more than sixty-five thousand sea creatures that inhabit the lagoon.

But if you want to stay in an underwater hotel, be prepared to spend some money. The minimum cost to stay at an underwater hotel in Dubai is $314 per night, more expensive than even the nicest hotels in the US. Staying in the most luxurious underwater hotels can cost up to $25,000 for just one night.

3. Robot Camel Racers

The camel races in the UAE in August 2004 had many human rights issues, including the use of young children as jockeys for the aforementioned races. The Emirates’ response was to ban all human jockeys in 2004 and replace them with robots.

The robots are aluminum-framed and have the ability to transmit the camel’s heart rate and running speed to the race team, who observe from a safe distance. Operators of the robots move along the road in separate vehicles while controlling remote control devices.

The use of robot jockeys has prevented numerous injuries and countless human rights violations in the UAE’s camel racing district. Not to mention, they also look cool. Robot camels have been modified a lot over the years. Although development began in 2001, it took several years for the first race to take place. The robots had to be modified to survive the harsh desert and hot weather.

4. Helicopter Taxis for Cars

If there’s one thing motorists around the world have in common, it’s the frustration they feel when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Few things grind a driver’s teeth more than spending hours staring at the rear bumper of the car in front of them. In Dubai, they have found the answer to all one’s traffic problems.

Helicopter taxis can be seen flying around the skies of Dubai, transporting the cars of the rich and famous from one place to another. Burj Khalifa residents can see these heli-car taxis flying across the city on a regular basis.

The project started in 2017 thanks to a German startup. This project became the first air taxi service in the world. Eighteen rotor AATs (autonomous air taxis) were provided by Volocopter. A taxi ride for a group of six is about $144 per person, so it’s not cheap.

5. Hydroflying Boots

Adrenaline junkies and water sports enthusiasts in Dubai have seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to how they can spend their free time. If high-rise tennis courts and pet tigers aren’t enough to get one’s kicks, look no further than the Persian Gulf to find the next thrill-seeking weekend activity: hydro-flying boots.

The Flyboard is the new craze among those with an extra few thousand dollars to spend on their new toy. Using a long hose that connects to the device and directs the water pressure through the jet nozzles located under the boots, it allows the user to literally fly over the water.

These shoes have the ability to launch their riders more than 70 meters in the air or move quickly underwater. They move at speeds of more than 25 meters in the direction where a person is walking. Is it safe? Probably not, but it’s a lot of fun.

6. Lamborghini Police Cars

Due to the abundance of elite cars in Dubai, this seems to be more out of necessity than taste. Police officers can also be seen patrolling in style. More often than one might expect, Ferraris, Bugattis, and Lamborghinis patrol the streets of Dubai’s police force.

The Lamborghini Aventador is a police car like no other. With the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds and reach speeds of around 220 mph, it’s no wonder that attempts by drivers in Dubai to break the law are few and far between.

Far from a Crown Vic, being chased by an Aventador would certainly be quite the experience. However, this is not something you want to chance because speeding tickets in Dubai are quite expensive. According to one source, the price of tickets has increased from $273 to $800 for minor speeding offenses.

7. Artificial Islands of “The World”

Property developers in Dubai continually find new and creative ways to outdo themselves with each successive project. While some countries are creating airport islands off their coasts, Dubai is literally building entire new worlds.

The effort put into creating the Palm Jumeirah was, in a sense, just a warm-up for the massive undertaking that is the “World” islands. It’s still a work in progress.

When viewed from above, the islands are designed to resemble a world map. Once completed, “The World” will consist of seven sets of islands, each measuring approximately 3.7 kilometers by 5.6 kilometers, with a total of about 260 islands. Each group of islands will represent one of the seven continents, and the islands themselves will range in size from 150,000 square meters to 450,000 square meters each.

8. Indoor Kayaking at the Mall

Ski Dubai, developed by the “Majid Al Futtaim Group,” opened its slopes to the public for the first time in 2005. Located inside the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai boasts three lifts that transport skiers to the starting points. One of these starting points can be found almost twenty-five floors up, inside this enclosed mountain.

Each course offers different challenges. The most cutting-edge course is the world’s first indoor black diamond course. For those not familiar with skiing, the black diamond course is always the most demanding and challenging slope on the “mountain.”

For those seeking activities other than skiing or snowboarding, Ski Dubai also features a snow park spanning over 30,000 square meters. This park includes an ice cave, toboggan runs, ice skating, an area dedicated to snowball fights, and a penguin experience exhibit. The indoor temperature at this kayak resort remains quite comfortable, hovering between 30-35 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure optimal winter conditions year-round.

9. Penguin Petting Zoo

After its completion in 2005, “The Mall of the Emirates” became the largest shopping center in the world. Five years later, when a kayaking resort within a mall opened, visitors thought they had seen everything the mall had to offer. Then, a few years later, The Penguin Experience opened inside Ski Dubai, giving visitors the opportunity to interact with both King and Gentoo penguins.

There are several penguin experiences to choose from, with tickets ranging from $40 to $140. The most expensive tickets allow penguin enthusiasts to actually interact with the penguins under proper supervision.

Even tickets at the lower end of the price range allow fans of these beautifully attired birds to walk through the ice cave and see the penguins up close. These cute, bird-like creatures are actually not afraid of humans, mainly because they have no land predators in their native Antarctic habitat.

10. Elite Ambulances

An ambulance ride to the hospital can be a very stressful experience. In Dubai, they have found a new way to reduce patient stress: using a fleet of converted limousines equipped with everything you might need for your urgent or convenience needs.

Anyone in Dubai is eligible to travel in one of these limousines as long as they have a standard medical plan. All standard plans cover the expenses associated with riding in these luxury ambulances. One of the perks that comes with riding in these ambulance limousines is that there is always room for one extra person who wants to accompany the patient to the hospital.

However, these limousine ambulances are not for those in dire need of critical care. They are not used for gunshot wounds or serious medical emergencies. They are also not for use by regular pedestrians. Patients using this limousine transport are referred by a doctor for further treatment and institutional transfer from one side of the emirate to another.

11. Mustang Motorcycles

Luxury cars have become a common sight in Dubai. From Lamborghinis to double-wide Jeeps, Emiratis are no slouch when it comes to personal transportation. Unless it’s flashy and expensive, it usually won’t do.

The Mustang motorcycle in Dubai is a little different from the classic bike that cruises along the highways of America. A horse lover living in Dubai had a custom bike designed in the image of an Arabian Horse. It garnered so much attention that others followed suit, and these Emirati “Mustang Motorcycles” became the talk of the town.

Another noteworthy figure in the Mustang spotlight recently was Avatar Mustang, which made its debut at the Royal Show. Avatar Mustang is based on James Cameron’s movie and is essentially an alien version of the S550 Ford Mustang. It remains to be seen if these alien Mustangs will captivate Dubai like the Mustang Motorcycles.

12. Falcon Flights

One of the ultimate status symbols in Dubai is owning a falcon. As the national bird of the UAE, the falcon is revered and given better treatment than people in most other countries.

It’s common for pet owners to worry about their companions when air travel becomes necessary. Keeping a cat or dog in a separate section of the plane for the duration of the flight is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. Falcons are so highly regarded in the UAE that when traveling by plane with their owners, they are allowed to peacefully occupy passenger cabins and even have their own seats for the journey.

There is no denying that falcons are remarkable birds. With their thin, tapered wings, they can reach speeds of 200 kilometers per hour and change direction in the blink of an eye. These remarkable creatures are also highly intelligent, with perception abilities comparable to those of crows.

13. Diamond-Encrusted Mercedes

Dubai residents have elevated the art of splurging on things that most people can only dream of. While motor cars can certainly turn heads in Dubai, none do it more often than a diamond-encrusted Mercedes.

Over three hundred thousand diamonds were used as a decal on the Mercedes owned by the Saudi prince, (Emir) al-Walid bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz. Being one of the ten richest people in the world, the price of $4.8 million was more like pocket change for him.

According to some reports, just touching this expensive machine costs $1. The SL000 was designed to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the SL500 in 500. The billionaire’s car made its debut at the Dubai Auto Show. This car is famous for being home to some of the most absurd luxury cars on the planet.

14. ATMs for Gold Bars

If there is a need for extra spending money or perhaps a gold bar while visiting the UAE, then look no further, as ATMs are available for this very purpose. The “Gold To Go” gold bar ATM first appeared in the Emirates in 2010.

Equipped with three hundred and twenty different items of gold, the machine sells a variety of specialty coins as well as various weights of 24-karat gold bars (worth approximately $1.46 million).

For those concerned about current prices or those who encounter one of these machines, their concerns are valid but rather unnecessary. Prices are updated every minute via an encrypted internet connection to prevent theft. Gold To Go is built like an armored car and equipped with explosives-tested cameras that record every transaction.

15. The Real Batmobile

Dubai is a great place for anyone who wants to escape the realities of the Western world and enter an adult playground. The cities are immense, the accessories are flashy, and the cars are in a league of their own.

Walking the streets of Dubai can sometimes remind visitors of the streets of the Gran Turismo or Grand Theft Auto video games due to the luxurious, over-the-top cars that appear to be straight out of those games. Case in point, the genuine, fancy Batmobile (although we doubt Bruce Wayne was behind the wheel).

On a night out in town, a visitor might think they’ve spotted the Dark Knight himself, but they’d be mistaken. It’s likely someone driving one of the handful of Batmobiles sold domestically in the US. Capable of reaching speeds of over 150 miles per hour, these vehicles are no joke.

16. Gold-Painted Jeep Grand Cherokees

Living in Dubai can sometimes feel like a full-time job in itself. In addition to the daily chores that city dwellers typically undertake, they also spend vast amounts of money fulfilling their childhood dreams, and it seems quite exhausting.

“Not everyone in Dubai can afford a new Ferrari or Lamborghini. Some people still opt for the more common Jeep Grand Cherokee. But if the urge to see a Cherokee is too strong during the rush, that’s not a problem at all.

For just a few hundred thousand dollars, on top of the original purchase price, Jeep drivers can have their vehicle covered in 24K gold paint from the front bumper to the rear. The standard cost to restore a Jeep ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. Add the cost of that precious gold paint, and you’re looking at expenses of up to $5,000.”

17. Vending Machines for Luxury Gifts

Vending machines might typically be associated with buying cheap sodas or snacks, but not in Dubai. S*uce Gifts in Dubai offers a selection of luxury gifts, ranging from jewelry to expensive scented candles. The best part? You even receive a shiny gold gift bag for your purchase—the machine takes care of the wrapping for you.

These vending machines cater to luxury travelers, as Dubai strives to maintain its reputation as a haven for those seeking to avoid taxes while indulging in upscale shopping. The donation machine operates 24/7, allowing you to conveniently pick up a gift at any time of the day or night.

18. Man-made “Palm Island”

The Palm Islands, financed by Dubai’s vast oil revenue, cost a mere $12 billion to build and took just six years to complete. A fleet of dredgers used a high-tech GPS system and worked around the clock. To accomplish this, they moved 120 million cubic meters of sand from the seabed to form trunks and branches with precision.

With seventeen fronds (and six thousand apartments in the trunk) housing around fifteen hundred mansions on the waterfront, the entire Palm ‘Jumeriah’ property is the size of six hundred football fields.

The amount of sand used to build Palm Jumeriah would be enough to construct a two-meter wall three times the circumference of the Earth. According to, this equates to 3.319 billion cubic meters of sand, all of which was extracted from the ocean floor. The foundations of “Palma” alone consist of seven million tons of rock from the Hajayr mountains.

19. High-Class Tennis Courts

Located more than a thousand meters in the air above the Burj al Arab Hotel, this is the highest rooftop tennis court that Dubai has to offer. In 2005, as a publicity stunt before the start of the “Dubai Duty-Free Open,” Roger Federer and Andre Agassi were invited to play a friendly match on the world’s highest tennis court.

A stay at the Burj al Arab can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,000,000 per night. However, every guest of the hotel has the opportunity to play a set or two high above the 28-Star Burj al Arab. But who can turn down this opportunity?

But remember that if the ball is not played carefully, it could lead to an unusual mishap a thousand meters below. Fortunately, the court is situated above water, and the odds of that happening are quite slim.

20. Double Decker Jeep

The concept of a side-by-side Jeep taking up multiple lanes across its width might seem commonplace in North America but is more than acceptable in the architecturally unique world of Dubai. The twin-slot Jeep is produced, of course, by Chrysler. Unfortunately, Americans looking for this unique creation probably won’t be able to import it.

While the Double Jeep is very different from the traditional stretch limousines or minibuses you may see in America, its purpose is the same: to transport more people from point A to point B than a regular vehicle.

Owners of these Jeep Wranglers are further proof that if one has enough money in Dubai, they can have almost anything their heart desires. These family-sized cars are equipped with six-wheel drive to maintain the vehicle’s balance and provide a comfortable ride for its passengers.

21. Pet Cheetahs

As a symbol of their status, Emiratis have been known to keep domestic Cheetahs as pets. Although cats are usually quite shy creatures, they can be seen taking a walk with their owners or racing around in one of the luxury cars their owners own.

As fantastic as the idea may sound in theory, keeping such pets can be dangerously unpredictable and can lead to some unfortunate accidents. Like owning a pet tiger, owners of exotic pets face heavy fines and the confiscation of their furry friend if caught with one.

Honestly, having a pet cheetah is immoral anyway. These beautiful cats are native to central Iran and Africa. They can suffer from many health problems in captivity. It is better to leave them in their natural habitat; on the contrary, they are caged and used to display a person’s wealth at home.

22. Golden Foosball Table

By now, it should be clear that those who have the means to shop for the odd or over-the-top in Dubai will do so at their earliest convenience. Expensive gifts don’t stop at cars and pets; they also extend to gaming equipment.

From the moment they first lay eyes on the Lux Gold Foosball table, they cannot help but be hypnotized by its magnificence. This gold, diamond-encrusted foosball table is crafted with Swarovski crystals and is certainly fit for courtly enjoyment.

Lux is also highly customizable. The company allows customers to choose from twelve different options for their tables. You can even include a team or company logo on the table. ESG tables are made of stainless steel, while ESG ones are made of shatterproof glass. You can also customize all the colors of the table.

23. Burj Khalifa: The Tallest Building in the World

In 2004, the “Samsung C&T” company started the construction of “The Burj Khalifa.” Using plans drawn up by Adrian Smith and his team of architects, the world’s tallest building took just five years to complete. The construction of the tower, with a height of 2,716 meters, was not carried out without difficulties.

The developers of Emaar Properties faced early funding challenges, similar to many other projects of their size. If the ruler of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa, had not provided funding and assistance to the developers of Emaar, the project might not have been completed, and the Sheikh would not have lived up to his name.

Critical reception of the 160-story building has been generally positive. The building has received many accolades for its architecture and structure. The real beneficiaries of the project are the surrounding hotels, condos, and shopping centers located in “Downtown Dubai.” They earned much more income from Burj Khalifa than the building itself.

24. Rolls Royce Taxi

These days, with services like Uber and Lyft, we’re all too familiar with taxis as a convenient way to get from point A to point B. But what would you do if a $500,000 car pulled up to take you to your destination? This is not common in Dubai.

Dubai’s taxi service celebrated the Dubai Motor Festival by adding some pretty luxurious cars to its fleet. Among them, you can find Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, and Ferrari taxis ready to take you anywhere in the city. Residents of Dubai are used to seeing these types of cars around, so much so that even the police have a fleet of luxury police cars.

25. Private Turtle Collections

A dog or cat can be a great companion for those who prefer more traditional pets. But the citizens of Dubai have an affinity for keeping more exotic and endangered animals at home.

Some Emiratis have large animals such as tigers or crocodiles roaming around their mansions as a symbol of their status, while others tend to lean more towards slower and less agile creatures. It would not be unusual for a person living in Dubai to find a rare collection of live turtles in their neighbor’s house.

Desert coots are one of the more popular species to keep at home because they don’t need a large body of water. However, they are not the friendliest of turtles and can be more aggressive than others. A better idea might be to build a large pond in the backyard and perhaps stick to more traditional pet sea turtles.

26. Edible Gold Cookies

The UAE has quickly become a hotspot for visitors enjoying the finer things life has to offer. From luxury cars to exotic pets, Dubai has it all and is a fantastic place to visit even for those with an expensive food addiction. Apart from the cuisine that usually satisfies the palate, Dubai has started to create its own golden dining standard.

Offering the world’s most expensive cupcake, Bloomsbury’s Cafe is one of Dubai’s golden confectionery bakeries and can be found tucked inside one of Dubai’s many shopping malls. The “Golden Phoenix Cupcake” is similar to other cupcakes in many areas, except for one significant difference.

The food contained in it has a 24K gold coating. Within two years of its inception, fifteen of these golden cupcakes had been sold. Most of those fifteen people were from the ruling class.

27. Pet Tigers

Visitors to a foreign country will definitely see things they did not expect. In India, one can see a man riding an elephant instead of a car. In some parts of North America, it would not be uncommon to see a person with a pet fox or alligator.

For many years, it was not uncommon to see someone walking their pet tiger or lion on the street in Dubai. Fortunately, these sightings indicate that owning a jungle cat in Dubai is not as common as it used to be.

Owning pets such as lions, tigers, or cheetahs was made illegal in Dubai and the rest of the UAE 136 years ago. Individuals who enjoy flaunting their status are willing to risk a fine of approximately $100,000 to avoid tarnishing their image. Instead of being able to pay the fine, these individuals could buy a water truck and still be left with $1,000.

28. 24-Carat Gold Facials

It’s no secret that there are plenty of golden opportunities in Dubai. Zabeel Saray certainly does not miss their opportunities. Palm Jumeirah’s Jumeirah Zabeel Saray offers one of the most luxurious treatments available, the ’24K Gold Facial.’ Don’t be fooled by the name; this isn’t just a facial, it’s a royal experience.

From argan oil massages to caviar dinners, it offers everything you could need to relax in style. But the $6,800 bill isn’t just for a fancy meal and a good massage. Thanks to the 800K gold chain mask used for the face, people are willing to pay a fortune for this treatment. These masks cost a lot, and they look fantastic. Gold is believed to have rejuvenating properties that make the skin look younger.

29. Free Food at the Supermarket

Some supermarkets in Dubai have recently offered free grocery delivery services, even offering free samples and meals to the less fortunate. Although Dubai is known for its lavish lifestyle and expensive food, even in the exotic city, there are people in need.

To make up for it, grocery stores and supermarkets have special offers on food at discounted prices and even for free. These offers are a big deal due to the decline in tourism in 2020-2021. That is, there was quite a lot left over from the food.

30. Rush Hour Car Shows

Being stuck in rush hour traffic can definitely ruin someone’s day. Sitting in a car for hours, staring blankly ahead, hoping that the car in front of you will only move a few meters at a time, is enough to drive someone crazy. Rush hour in Dubai is rarely impossible and nothing less than a luxury car show.

There is never a dull moment when driving in Dubai. Because of the Emiratis’ love affair with expensive cars like Ferraris, Bugattis, and Lamborghinis, rush hour has the potential to be quite the show. Twelve or more different cars worth over $1 million can be seen in Dubai on a daily basis. It wouldn’t be out of place to be stopped next to a gold-plated Mercedes, or even a Batmobile.

31. Diamond-Encrusted Nokia Phones

With the rising costs of smartphones these days, it’s no surprise that some Emiratis are deciding to stick with the familiar and go back to the old classics. It’s not because of their sleek designs or fancy operating systems that Nokia mobile phones are becoming so popular again in Dubai. Like many other things, it is for their extravagance.

Nokia Supreme is a luxury mobile phone. The bezel of the phone is set with 12.5 carats of pink diamonds. An iPad made of gold would be an eye-catcher, but even if it costs $170,000, a mobile phone made of diamonds is a symbol of one’s status.

32. Gold Cars Everywhere

When visiting Dubai, it is common to see at least a few cars worth close to $1 million each. It’s no secret that Emiratis love expensive things, and most of those things usually include gold in some shape or form.

As much as the cars are all different from each other, there is one common color that all new Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini owners can choose from: gold. In Dubai, locals have taken their love of gold and luxury sports cars and found a way to bring them together. Gold-plated cars have become very popular in Dubai in recent years.

33. 250Kg’s of Gold on Display

More than 551 kilograms of gold are on display in Dubai alone. This is another sign of the city’s immense wealth. The total value of the gold bars collected in the form of a Dubai Shopping Festival bag is $9.53 million. You can see them at the Jumbo store in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates.

These bars were not only for the festival but also a promotion for Jumbo Electronics. They certainly liked all the foot traffic the gold bars brought. Jumbo teamed up with Emirates Gold Refinery and DFRE to pull off this brilliant stunt.

34. Taking a Camel for a Walk

It is not an uncommon sight to see someone taking their camel for a walk in Dubai. These pets are used for racing and transport, although they are likely to be loved by human families like cats and dogs. But camels are for the rich, as the price starts at $55,000.

Such camels may cost even more. In 2010, an Emirati camel racer spent more than $7 million on three purebred camels. Winning race camels cost even more. Some have earned up to $30 million. This is thanks to their track record of road wins. Gulf News described camels as a “core part” of Dubai’s “rich heritage.”

35. Devel Sixteen

A few years ago, “Devel Sixteen” took social media by storm. The Madness prototype looked like a hypercar straight out of the future. The Devel Sixteen debuted in Dubai, and Devel Motors claims it gets 5,000 HP from its V16 quad-turbo engine. The top speed was expected to exceed 350 kilometers per hour.

The Devel Sixteen has only been driven by a handful of people, but pictures and YouTube videos suggest it’s real. But it is not street legal. Although it was unveiled at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show, the car is something you’ll only see on the race track.

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