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24 Karat Dubai, an ATM for gold bars, and all that glitters in the Emirate

Not just at the Gold Souk, everyone's favourite yellow metal is everywhere in Dubai.

December 25, 2022 / 09:41 AM IST
The Lamborghini Aventador is made of 1,100 pounds of gold. (Image: Ben/FirstGold via Wikimedia Commons 2.5)

The Lamborghini Aventador is made of 1,100 pounds of gold. (Image: Ben/FirstGold via Wikimedia Commons 2.5)

If you have watched the Netflix show Dubai Bling, then you know something about the bling. Ever heard of the $7.5 million Lamborghini? The world’s most expensive camel, priced at $2.7 million? A bathtub worth $1.7 million? And of gold bar-vending machines?

Let’s look at some of the gold-en things in Dubai:

Gold Hammam at Talise Spa (Madinat Jumeirah): Tucked away among the meandering canals, swaying palm trees and housed in an expansive resort complex, Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah has a hammam like no other - the Shiffa 24-Karat Gold Hammam offers application of a gold clay body mask and massage. An elevated version of the Moroccan Hammam, the gold bathing ritual at Talise involves gold-infused oils and jasmine petals.

Gold-spewing ATM: It is as simple as getting a Pepsi out of a vending machine. Here, you stick the credit card into the machine, choose your gold bar - anything from a 2.5 gram 24K gold coin to a wasta flex one-ounce gold bar – and lo! The machine will spew it out. As simple as that.

If you want more vending vibes, get champagne from a vending machine at the Dubai Opera.

Golden food experiences

Ice cream dusted with real gold: Forget the Black Diamond Sundae, now dig into charcoal ice cream topped with edible gold at Scoopi’s Time Out Market Dubai. The black and gold combo not only looks stunning, it is also smooth as butter.

Gold coffee at Sahn Eddar: Made using 100% Arabica beans and foamed milk blended with 24-carat gold, this coffee is served alongside a Grand Cru Guanaja, a chocolate marshmallow also sprinkled with gold.

Gold Baklava at Zou Zou Jumeriah: Gold Baklava is filled with chopped nuts, slathered with sugar syrup and then dressed with a 20 gram gold-sheet.

Making Baklava (Image: Meruyert Gonullu via Unsplash) Making Baklava (Image: Meruyert Gonullu via Unsplash)

Gold Burger at Hard Rock Café: Launched to commemorate the restaurant’s golden era, the gold burger at Hard Rock Café has a 227g fresh steak patty topped with all the burger fixings (lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and slices of melting cheese) and a tidy lace of edible gold leaf.

Golden Burrata at Marea: At Italian restaurant Marea, an appetizer has Golden Burrata surrounded with top-quality Taggiasca olives, salsa verde and cherry tomatoes.

24 Karat Dubai: Everything here is gold. Everything on the menu is sprinkled with gold - from the seafood soup with crab gnocchi to the baby calamari fritters, and the black spaghetti with pink prawns.

Gold Steak at Rhain: At Rhain, a premium 400 g Australian Wagyu striploin grain-fed beef steak comes wrapped in 24-carat edible gold.

22 Karat Gold O’Vada Pav at O’Pao: The humble vada pao gets a golden makeover. Packed in a pretty carved box and hidden behind plumes of liquid nitrogen, the gold vada pao is filled with cheese and French truffle butter and covered with 22-karat gold leaves.

24 Karat Chicken and Vegan Chicken at Dishtrict: This is not the goose that laid golden eggs, it is the chicken that dresses in gold. That’s hot-off-the-robata grill marinated chicken wrapped in a 24-karat gold layer; for the vegans, there’s a plant-based option.

The Royal Gold Biryani: Bombay Borough, an Indian restaurant, offers gold-crusted seekh kebabs and lamb chops, koftas and fragrant rice on a bed of saffron. Priced around Rs 1.5 lakh, it is often called the world’s most expensive biryani.

Gold Souk: One of the oldest and most-visited markets in the Emirates, the Gold Souk in Dubai is the world’s largest gold market. Situated in the Deira, the demand for gold is so high at the Souk that it is restocked with 10 tonnes of gold daily. Yes, 10 tonnes of gold! The Guinness Book of World Records mentions the world's largest and heaviest ring weighing 64 kilograms with a 5.1-kilogram stone set in it was made here.

(Photo by Ian and Wendy Sewell via Wikimedia Commons 2.5) Entrance to Gold Souk (Photo by Ian and Wendy Sewell via Wikimedia Commons 2.5)

Gold on 4-Wheel Drive: Do not be surprised if you find gold racing at breakneck speed on the streets. There are probably more gold-cars in Dubai than anywhere else on the planet. The Lamborghini Aventador is made of 1,100 pounds of gold; the Mercedes SLR Sports Coupe that runs on biofuel is made of original white gold sheets; the Brabus Rocket has a gold exterior while the gold-plated Nissan GT-R Godzilla has intricate gold details.

Lamborghini Aventador (Photo Ben/Front Gold via Wikimedia Commons 2.0) Lamborghini Aventador (Photo Ben/Front Gold via Wikimedia Commons 2.0)

Too much Gold in the Royal Suite (Burj Al Arab): Take a gilded elevator to the 25th floor to snooze in the Royal Suite of this opulent hotel. There’s a gold-plated television set, hand-stitched gold in the master bedroom from one of the best fabric houses in Europe, 24K gold-plated tiles, gold-plated faucets and golden marble on the bathroom floor.

Golden elevator at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai. (Image: Nick Fewings via Unsplash) Golden elevator at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai. (Image: Nick Fewings via Unsplash)

New Year Eve stay/party package at Rs 59 lakh: This party is more expensive than a bag of gold.  The Atlantis, the iconic hotel on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, is offering a New Year Eve stay/party for Rs 59 lakh.

The New Year’s Eve will begin with canapés, champagne, a 30-piece live band and a performance by celebrity singer Kylie Minogue. If you only want to attend the party, the Front of stage Golden Circle tickets cost $2,30o per person. There will be a luxury buffet, live cooking stations, unlimited premium alcoholic drinks including free-flowing champagne and the greatest show on earth: The Atlantis fireworks.

Think before you buy, the tickets are non-refundable, non-changeable and non-transferable.

Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.
first published: Dec 25, 2022 09:33 am