When you have a nation of filthy rich citizens, things tend to get a little ostentatious and excessive. Take Dubai, for instance. A recent study revealed that one in every 100 people there is a millionaire, but uber-wealth doesn’t always breed class or style. Sometimes the things the Middle-Eastern nouveau riche choose to spend their money on are a little mind-boggling. Check out these over-the-top scenes from Dubai to see what we mean.
1. Gold Everything
They take their bling seriously in the UAE. Gold jewelry is nice and all, but how about a solid gold Lamborghini? This ultra-luxury car made from a 500kg block of solid gold was on display at the 2013 Dubai Motor Show, with a $7.4 million price-tag, in case you’re in the buying mood.
2. Pets Taking Their Owners for Walks
Money can buy just about anything, but not good sense. Just because you can afford a pet lion, doesn’t mean you should actually get one, much less ride one.
3. Underwater Hotel
The Hydropolis Underwater Hotel and Resort was a proposed mega-project that actually sunk a few years ago. It was envisioned to have 220 luxurious suits 65 feet under the sea, with a goal of being the world’s first 10 star hotel. Various engineering and financial obstacles have put this project on hold, but it may just become a reality in years to come. In the meantime, the Atlantis hotel in The Palm, Dubai offers Poseidon and Neptune suites set in an aquarium for those who want to feel like they’re staying beneath the ocean surface.
4. Cheetahs Riding Shot Gun
Because the ultimate status symbol is the fastest land animal on earth. Just wait until your buddies see you cruising around town with this cat.
5. Luxury Police Cars
Even the local police like to ride around in style. Dubai spent $6.5 million on a fleet of high-speed luxury patrol cars including a Ferrari, McLaren, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini and Aston Martin. You can’t have the criminals driving around in fancier cars than the cops, can you? Turns out the crime rate in Dubai is relatively low, so this is mostly all for show.
6. Grooms for Twins
Time to marry off your daughters? Why not take out an ad in the local paper to snag some wealthly Dubai-based grooms for your educated girls. Twins ought to draw a lot of good candidates. Think of it as old-school Tinder.
7. Camel Beauty Contests
You won’t see as many camel beauty contests in Dubai as in Abu Dhabi, but all Emirati people do take pride in their humped-back pets. One annual event, Camel Mazayna, draws over 15,000 dromedaries and prizes are given for the fastest, “milkiest,” and most beautiful creatures.
8. Phones That Cost More Than Your Car
We all have a smartphone, but most of us don’t have to take out a second mortgage to get one like these gilded babies.
9. Who Needs a Dog?
Next time you complain about having to take your mutt for a walk in the snow, think about this.
10. Gold Vending Machines
We’ve reported on crazy things you can buy in vending machines around the world before, but this one is the gold standard. Very handy if you need a quick gold top up, as one does. If it’s good enough for chocolate bars, why not gold bars?
11. Not Your Average Public Transport
When a private stretch limo won’t do, isn’t it good to know you can hop on a superbus like this?
12. Gold Facial
We’re not sure there are any verifiable anti-aging benefits to slathering 24-karat gold on your skin, but if you can suck stupid rich people into splurging on this treatment at your spa, all the power to you.
13. Totally Free Food
Lest you think Dubai is all about self-serving wealth, there are some charitable efforts going on there. This free food kiosk relies on the honor system to ensure poor people don’t take more than one item at a time. How do you think something like that would work stateside?
14. Cultural Clashes
Dubai is tolerant of western-style clothing, but that doesn’t mean all the locals like it. Best not to parade around in skimpy attire if you know what’s good for you.
15. World’s Tallest Skyscraper
In the land of superlative extremes, it’s no surprise Dubai lays claim to the world’s tallest building. The striking Burj Khalifa stands at 2,722 feet (829.8 m) and is the centerpiece of the modern skyline. If architects elsewhere try to top its 163 stories, we suspect Dubai would just expand it up to keep hold of the record.
16. Not Your Average Starbucks
Even the Starbucks in Dubai have an elevated degree of extravagance. You might feel like you should dress up to order your latte in this ornate mosaic-bedecked dome.
17. Traffic Jams That Look Like This
Is it worth splurging on a vehicle that can go well over 200 mph if you’re always crawling in congested traffic? Apparently yes.
18. Siamese Jeeps
When a standard stretch limo just won’t cut it, go for this double-sized road hog. This custom built Jeep Wrangler is too big to fit in one lane. It’s hard to verify if this thing is real or not, but at the very least, its essence is the kind of pretentious thing you’d find in Dubai.