Biggest, Fastest, Most Expensive: World Records in the UAE

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are well known for their love of excess – with giant Nissan billboards, glittering Ferrari theme parks and $1,000 cupcakes, there’s no denying that bigger is better in the UAE. If you won’t settle for anything but the best, look no further than our list of world records held in the extravagant Emirates:

Theworld’s tallest man-made structure is Dubai’s soaring and elegant BurjKhalifa at 2,722 feet, which hosts the highest nightclub, swimming pool, observation deck and restaurant in the world and is served by the world’s fastest elevators, which rocket skywards at a stomach-turning 40 mph.

The world’s biggest billboard is a 174 meter2 illuminated ad for Nissan,unveiledat Dubai International Airport to celebrate the innovation behind new models such as the Nissan Sentra 2013. When word got back to Nissan that runner Usain Bolt drives a GTR, they asked him to star in their campaign, so this record-breaking billboard stars a record-breaking Olympian too.

The world’s most expensive license plate, number 1, was sold at auction to Abu Dhabi resident Saeed Al Khouri for Dh 52.2 million ($14.2 million); fittingly, the proceeds of the auction went to benefit traffic accident victims.

The world’s biggest shopping mall is the Dubai Mall at 12.1 million square feet. It was visited by 65 million people in 2012 – more than went to New York City – and since the good people of Dubai can’t seem to get enough, another mega-mall is under construction nearby. Fashionistas take note: Dubai Mall is also home to the world’s biggest shoe store.

The world’s biggest indoor amusement park is Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, covering a whopping 2.1 million square feet. Get a rush on Ferrari World’s Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, which reaches 150 mph in 4.9 seconds.

The world’s most expensive cupcake is for sale at Bloomsbury at the Dubai Mall – the $1,010 Golden Phoenix cupcake uses supermarket flour and butter, but is coated with edible 23-carat gold leaf.

The UAE’s desire to be the next big thing, literally, has helped to drive the tourism economy as celebrities, jet-setters and visitors from around the world flock to see the best of what the world has to offer. While many of the boldest record-breakers are funded by multinationals, it is great to see local businesses and charity benefitting in a way that can sustain the Emirates’ phenomenal growth for years to come.

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