The largest city in the UAE, Dubai is known for its lavish hotels, ultra-modern architecture and designer shopping. But there’s more to this Arab city than you might have initially realised. From its unusual laws to its male-to-female ratio, here are five fascinating facts about this plush desert destination that you might not have otherwise known.

  1. We’ve all heard the strict laws about public displays of affection (avoid them), but there are also restrictions on what goes on behind closed doors too – specifically hotel rooms. As in Dubai, it’s actually illegal to share one with the opposite sex if you’re not married (unless you’re closely related). However, if you’re there on a romantic retreat with a new flame, you should be fine, just get used to be called ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ by the hotel staff.
  2. Although Arabic is the city’s official language; don’t worry if you’re not up to speed on it as English is widely spoken here. And with just under 89 per cent of the country consisting of ex-pats and an estimated 10,000 foreigners moving to Dubai each month, it’s easy to see why.
  3. In 2010, the city introduced cash points that spit out none other than bars of gold! In exchange for your money, the machine will dispense the precious metal in a range of different sizes from 1-10 grams or in the form of small coins too. These bling-filled ATMs take Dubai’s flashy image to a whole new level.
  4. If you’re a single lady, the odds are in your favour as the city is mostly made up of men. So much so, that there’s a 3:1 ratio of males to females. In fact, single men outnumber their female counterparts by a hefty 7:1.
  5. Despite being a year-round, warm destination, you can still ski in this cosmopolitan city as it’s home to the world’s largest indoor snow park. Based in The Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai not only features 22,500 square metres of slopes to traverse, but it also comes with 6,000 tonnes of manmade snow.

Morven McCulloch is a London-based writer who often goes to Dubai. She always checks the deals from Purple Travel before booking.

How to Open a Hotel

The first and foremost thing to do when deciding to open a business such as a hotel is to create a credible Business Plan. This should open with a one-line description of your business that shows its unique and exceptional fundamental nature. A Mission Statement reflects this nature and focuses on the purpose of the business. There should be a Financial Model, which will show the investors how much start-up money the business will need, as well as an indication of the financial returns they should expect. This will include overhead, location, hotel information, employee’s information, and a strong marketing strategy. Remember to include what makes this hotel unique and why this will help the success of the business.

After utilizing the business plan to attract capital from investors and financial institutions, check IRS. Go to apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) to handle employee W2 tax return information. Business licensing generally requires a review by a city planning commission to assess both the positive and possible negative impact of the business on the local community.

Man shaking hands with coupleLicensing issues can be navigated by going to the Business.Gov website and selecting Business Licenses and Permits. Enter the zip code of the proposed location and click General Licensing to show what type of license or permit is required and what it will cost. It is important to refer to the business plan since it should show whether the hotel will have a restaurant, a bar, swimming pool, spa, or other specifics that may require special licenses.

Whether the Hotel will be newly built, or a renovation of an existing building the most important key to success is location. In order to achieve and surpass the business goals set forth in the business plan, the time to emphasize the originality of the hotel is while the building plans are being decided. The location should suit the building style as well as be highly accessible to potential customers. If it is off the beaten path, the hotel should offer amenities worth traveling out of the customer’s way. Perhaps the hotel could bond with the area, perhaps local museums, parks, or other colloquial attractions. If the hotel is in a highly accessible area, this will further the importance of the individuality of the hotel’s theme since there is a higher rate of completion from other hotels in a high traffic area.

Finding a reputable hotel supply company in the area can help equip the hotel. Establishing a partnership with a supply company that can anticipate the requirements and offer consistency throughout the hotel, could lead to partnership discounts while linking the hotel to the community. If the hotels overall theme is beyond the capabilities of a local supply company, consider the other supplies and services they can provide, such as kitchen, bar, pool supplies, and linen services. Multiple details like signage should not be overlooked, and online companies are often a better choice. For example, restroom signs from are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which are required by law for all facilities. also carries a wide variety of employee policies and many custom designs of the highest quality to fit the distinctive theme of the hotel.

Finally, advertising online and in the general vicinity will help promote the business and inform potential customers as to why this hotel stands apart from so many others. Do hire a skilled advertising team to create a website and an advertising campaign. Later surveys and customer feedback through the website, along with special events or charitable donation campaigns can promote the business in a positive light. These offerings can garner free advertisement since the positive customer comments can be considered word of mouth advertising and events and campaigns are not only newsworthy, but free advertising. Sounds good? Do you want to buy calendars? Order family planner calendar here.