The year 2020 will be a historical one for Dubai as it hosts the World Expo for the first time. But, what you might not know, is that the same year is significant for the Emirate for another reason… it’s the year that the Burj Khalifa is set to lose its world’s-tallest-building crown. With Saudi Arabia’s kilometre-high Kingdom Tower project currently under construction, and looking to snatch the title away from the Burj, a new structure being built here in Dubai will also stand ‘a notch’ higher than the 829-metre high monster in Downtown. The Tower, which will be built in Dubai Creek Harbour, will be completed in time for the Expo, at a cost of $1bn (£710m). While the Burj’s record may be under threat, Dubai boasts plenty of other ‘world’s biggest’ records, which are sticking around for some time. Here’s a look at the biggest things that you’ll only see here in Dubai.
World’s Tallest Building
Until it’s surpassed in 2020, the Burj Khalifa remains the highest building on the planet. As well as smashing the previous record, held by the 632-metre Shanghai Tower, the Burj also holds other world records of its own. Including the world’s highest electrical substation (on the 155th floor), the highest number of stories in the world (over 160, naturally) and, of course, the record for the elevator with the longest travel distance – because taking the stairs would be utter madness. 12,000 workers spent 22 million man-hours building the mega-structure. That’s around 7,534 years if you were to attempt to build it yourself.
World’s tallest chocolate sculpture
Unveiled at Dubai International Airport in 2014 the mammoth design is in the shape of, you guessed it, the Burj Khalifa. The tasty replica stood 13.52 meters tall and was created by Andrew Farrugia from Malta. The 500 tonnes of chocolate cubes were flown to Dubai in 500 separate boxes and had to be handled with extreme care, as they were prone to breaking. Farrugia and his team spent weeks repairing damaged sections before finally putting the finished structure on show. Unfortunately, the whole thing had to be thrown away after a two weeks, as health and safety officials deemed it unsafe to eat. Sad times.
World’s largest doner
We all know nothing tastes better than a greasy kebab after a night out, and just last week staff at Doner Restaurant celebrated our love for doner meat by producing the largest the world has ever seen. The official stats have the giant skewer weighing a mouth-watering 468kg, and standing a staggering 2.95 meters tall and measuring 60cm in width. Months of preparation went into the record, most of which was spent finding a spit roast which could take the ridiculous weight of the meat. An industrial crane was needed to lift the mind-boggling doner so it could be measured before being cooked and carved up for less fortunate individuals and families in Dubai. We salute you Doner Restaurant!
World’s longest painting
Around 20,000 students aged from 2-18 painted their way into the record books to raise awareness for Dubai Autism Centre. Children from all over the UAE came together to produce the world’s longest painting in 2015. Adjudicators have the final picture at a brush-burning 10,850 meters (35,597 ft. 1.32 in) in length. To produce something so large, the Dubai Autodrome was used for its super-long flat surface, which the painting snaked along when it was completed last year.
World’s largest indoor theme park
More than 100,000 of us flocked to IMG Worlds of Adventure during Eid, surpassing the theme park’s usual expected footfall, yet still staggering, 30,000 daily visitors. The park includes a haunted hotel, a 12-screen multiplex cinema and 5D movie showings. It became the largest indoor theme park in the world when it opened in August of this year and covers a whopping 1.5 million square feet. IMG Worlds expects to attract 4.5 million visitors in a year. We’ll see you there!
World’s longest gold chain
Move over Mr T, your bling is no good here! In fact, no one else in the world can compete with Dubai when it comes to jewellery. The Dubai Celebration Chain measured an amazing five kilometers long, weighing 240 kilograms. The handmade ‘accessory’ was made up of over 4 million links, which took 100 craftsmen over 45 days to produce. The chain was split and sold into smaller wearable chains, because not even Mr T could pull off wearing this one. If 22 carat gold wasn’t enough, buyers were offered raffle tickets to win 40 kilos of gold and eight carats of diamonds.
World’s largest origami mosaic
There’s a pretty good chance you didn’t see the 110.2 metre-long blue and white flower design in Dubai, thanks to the unexpected downpour which ruined parts of it, so it lasted less than a weekend. However, a Guinness World Records official was on hand to measure the pattern, located in JBR, before it was totally washed away. Volunteers and tourists helped complete the record, which covered 1,090.98 square meters in total and was made up of 45,000 individual handmade origami pieces.
World’s biggest shopping mall
With over five million people coming through its doors every month, it’s hardly surprising it’s the largest on Earth. There’s no such thing as ‘popping in’ to The Dubai Mall either, just heading for bread and milk turns into an afternoon’s event. Those with a sweet tooth may also know that Candylicious, in the mall, is the world’s biggest sweet shop. The Dubai mall is a staggering 1,124,000 square meters in size.