Here are our best bits from the last 12 months. We round up the stories that got you clicking, commenting and sharing.
We saw Dubai break many records in 2017 and 2018 was no different! Here are the ones that jumped out, plus other stories that grabbed our attention across the year.
Words by Ipshita Sharma
The record-breaking got off to a sweet start when Global Village clinched a Guinness World Record with a 3.6-metre tall cup of karak. The giant cuppa made by more than 100 chefs brewing over 5,000 litres of water It contained 155 kg of Lipton tea powder and 270 kg of milk powder, along with cardamom, cinnamon and sugar and spice and everything nice.
The record-breaking continued in February. Blooming lovely outdoor attraction Dubai Miracle Garden celebrates the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse with a record-breaking 18-metre sculpture made from almost 100,000 plants and flowers.
Disney’s first character floral display in the Middle East earns the Miracle Garden another Guinness World Record title, this time for ‘Tallest Topiary Sculpture’. The park has previously won the record for the ‘Largest Vertical Garden in the World’ and the ‘Largest Floral Installation.’ Wonder what’s in store for this year?
After tea and flowers, what about some chocolate? The Fairmont Dubai created a giant 2.5-metre high Easter egg weighing 200 kilograms. Made from 55 per cent dark chocolate, the mammoth polka dot oval took the hotel’s engineering and culinary teams four weeks to craft the 200kg centrepiece.
Dubai Police made headlines this month after they solved a high-value robbery in under 48 hours. A gang of 10 men stole the cash from two brothers after the victims were tricked into a meeting, attacked, robbed and left tied up. However, cops arrested the armed men and tracked down the stolen cash. AED 7 million was returned to its rightful owners.
Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) made life easier for people of determination as announced they would be offered free rides to Dubai Airports. Until the end of 2018, the Al Khair Ride initiative allowed people with disabilities or special needs to pre-order specially-equipped taxis.
The move also helped Dubai take one more step towards its goal of becoming one of the world’s most disabled-friendly cities by 2020.
Dubai International Airport became a massive music festival. Acts from around the world performed for passengers at the busy terminals. Headlining act Newton Faulkner came from the UK to kick things off, while Dubai-based American singer Stephon LaMar, guitar player Aman Sheriff and Lebanese blues act, Jay Abo serenaded travellers too.
Massive American company Procter and Gamble helped Dubai take on another Guinness World Record. Tree lovers from around the UAE were invited to plant thousands of trees at the Jebel Ali Beach Hotel. The company hopes to reach 20,000 seeds, which will be arranged to resemble the Year of Zayed logo.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not has the world’s foremost collection of oddities from around the world. For the first time a great selection from this museum came to Dubai and was available on display at the WAFI Mall. There was no charge for visitors to check out the crazy and kooky collections that featured a fibreglass figure of a giant man, a painting made with stamps and post cards, a giant shark and the world’s smallest electric car.
The United Nations’ #HeForShe campaign came to Dubai and used possibly our best known landmark to bring light to this issue. Lights went out half way up the 162-storey Burj Khalifa to bring attention to a global movement of gender equality, fighting negative stereotyping and behaviour, and asking men to stand tall alongside women on this path.
For all those adrenaline chasers who can’t wait for the next thrill, XDubai debuted this crazy contraption of a human slingshot at Kite Beach. Hordes of people queued up to get strapped in to fly 120 metres at forces of 4G, which is higher than the force on astronaut’s on entering and leaving the Earth’s orbit!
Good news for anyone who wants to call the UAE home in the long-term – the UAE Cabinet approved long-term residency visas of up to 10 years. It’s not for everyone – this special residency will be open to “investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science…and outstanding students.” The reshaping of the visa system was first announced in May at a meeting of the UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
We round off the year with another record-breaker. The world’s largest Christmas bauble in the world is now hanging in The Dubai Mall. See it for free until the end of January in the mall’s Star Atrium. Nearly seven metres high, almost five metres wide ait weighs a tremendous 1,100 kilograms. Underneath the big bauble, you’ll find the Nutcracker and the Four Realms festive wonderland, which recreates the festive fairytale with games, ‘snow’ and huge Nutcracker soldiers.