Map Monday #17

Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…

This week I’ve picked ‘The Place That Didn’t Exist’ by Mark Watson which is set in Dubai.

Book Synopsis:

Junior creative Tim Callaghan can hardly believe his luck when he’s flown out to Dubai to supervise the filming of an advert for an international charity. He is immediately entranced by the city – a futuristic environment unlike anywhere he’s ever been before, with an almost uncanny level of customer service. Shimmering and seductive, it seems as though nothing bad could ever happen in Dubai. But when a crew member is found dead in in mysterious circumstances, Tim learns that if a place seems too good to be true, it probably is . . .

Interesting Facts about Dubai:

  • Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene
  • Dubai’s population is 9.89 million and represents at least 11 different nationalities
  • It is home to the Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower! The highest in the world with over 160 stories!
  • In Dubai, vending machines dispense so much more than chocolate bars and cans of fizzy drinks. From laptops to gold bars and even false eyelashes
  • Due to its constant development, a quarter of the world’s cranes are located in Dubai.
  • It is the fourth most visited city in the world after London Paris and Bangkok.
  • Camel racing is a popular pastime and robots have now replaced riders.
  • Constructing Dubai’s Palm Islands required 94 million cubic meters of sand.
  • Dubai’s police force drive supercars such as a Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador and an Aston Martin One-77
  • Dubai is also hind to the worlds tallest hotel at 356m high with 528 rooms!
  • There is no income tax in Dubai!
  • More than 25% of the world’s physical gold passed through Dubai.
  • Arabic is the official language
  • Kissing or holding hands in public is illegal and can result in fines or deportation.
  • Just over 50 years ago only 13 cars were registered in Dubai – now there are almost 3 million!


  1. You might follow up with Dhanmondi Road which is set in 1973 post war of independence Bangladesh but opens in Dubai and features a plot about children being trafficked to Dubai to be used as camel racing jockeys. It is also a love story for Bangladesh and is a mirror image of Monica Ali’s Brick Lane.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks. And given your theme of exploring many places there are scenes in London, Geneva, Kolkata and Melbourne. Check out the reviews on Goodreads. Kind regards Robin

        Liked by 2 people

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