DUBAI ― The United Arab Emirates is not satisfied with just taller, faster and larger attractions ― they go for the tallest, fastest and largest in the world.
These titles seem to stem from the superfluity of two of the seven emirates ― Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
In terms of speed, nothing compares to the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, which is the fastest roller coaster in the world.
But simply reading that it is the fastest ride and actually getting inside the replicated Formula One car are two completely different things.
The first sign should be the sheer noise that emanates from the track as the hydraulic launch system ejects ride, not unlike the catapult that launches F-14s from an aircraft carrier.
If that hasn’t got your blood pumping, being handed mandatory safety goggles to wear on the ride should raise some instinctual alarm.
|The view from the Burj Khalifa’s outdoor observation deck, which affords a 360-degree view of Dubai. (Robert Lee/The Korea Herald)|
All the fuss is understandable when the Formula Rossa crushes 0-240 kph in just four seconds. The ride literally throws you against the back of your seat with a G-force of 1.7 while your cheeks flap in the wind.
While the highlight of the ride is the first 20 seconds, the rest of the ride still gives most roller coasters a run for their money.
Once done with the Formula Rossa, true adrenaline junkies may only find two more rides worth their time out of roughly 20 attractions at Ferrari World.
The G-Force, which launches you 62 meters into the air and drops you right back down, lets you experience up to 3.8 Gs.
The Fiorano GT Challenge, on the other hand, pits two coaster cars against each other in a race through sharp twists and turns. The ride simulates a Ferrari F430 Spider racing on a track, breaking before curves and flooring it through the straightaway.
Considering that ticket prices are similar to most major amusement parks in the U.S., Ferrari World is definitely a place worth visiting for adrenaline junkies.
To top it all off, the average wait for the Formula Rossa during the off season can be as little as five minutes.
In Dubai, one of the world’s most impressive man-made feats stands towering over the city like a palm tree shadowing over a desolate desert.
|The Burj Khalifa stands tall in the Dubai desert night as the highest freestanding structure in the world. (Robert Lee/The Korea Herald)|
The Burj Khalifa scales a breathtaking 828 meters, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the world. The Dubai building is nearly three times the size of Korea’s tallest building, the Northeast Asia Trade tower in Incheon, which stands at 305 meters.
For a taste of the height of the building, you can purchase a ticket to the tower’s observation deck on the 124th floor at 452 meters.
Ferrying you up there is one of the world’s fastest elevators which travels at a speed of 10 m/s in an unusually smooth ride that has your eardrums popping the whole way.
The elevator immediately opens up to a view of the city including the surrounding Dubai Desert and the Persian Gulf. Floor-to-ceiling windows, on the world’s second highest outdoor observation deck, offer an unobstructed view that is guaranteed to take your breath away, day or night.
Right outside the world’s tallest building is the largest dancing fountain in the world. The Dubai Fountain shoots jets of water 150 meters into the air to the tune of popular music from all over the world.
Completing the downtown’s trio of record breakers is the world’s biggest mall, which is part of the Burj Khalifa complex. The Dubai Mall boasts over 1,200 stores including an indoor aquarium, ice skating rink, indoor theme park and a movie theater.
By Robert Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org