In this video, we count down our top 5 picks for the best LEGO models at LEGOLAND Dubai Miniland. This searches out the best models based upon buildings in the middle east. Does your favourite get a mention in our list? This is an indoor walkthrough tour of some Iconic Buildings in LEGO!
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Transcript from the show:
G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of mattelder.com here and in this video we are going to countdown the TOP 5 LEGOLAND Dubai Miniland Models. The great thing with LEGOLAND Dubai is they have models that are Middle East focused, so different from western LEGOLANDs and their models.
There will be snippets of the Miniland Dubai light show but see this video here for a more comprehensive review. My apologies if I mispronounce any names as I’m not use to them.
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So without further ado, lets count them down.
Number 5 – Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is very much the centerpiece of LEGOLAND Miniland Dubai, and is the tallest building in the world. Construction began in 2004 and finished in a short, 5 years later.
The building is 828m tall and this LEGO model is 1:50 scale, being 17m tall (that is 1774 LEGO bricks stacked on top of each other). This is the tallest LEGO building that I’ve come across. This took over 5,000 hours to design and build and has 439,000 LEGO bricks.
It also has its own water fountain sequence set to music. The real Dubai fountain is the world’s largest with 6,600 lights, 24 colour designs and shoots water up to 152 metres high. The Miniland version has 112 jets and took 3 months to build
Check out some of the other tallest buildings in the world, made out of LEGO, right behind this Burj Khalifa model
Number 4 – Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. It is a tomb to the emperor’s wife. It was commissioned in 1632 with the majority of work finishing in 1643 (other phases continued on for another 10 years). It is made from an Ivory white marble, and sits on a 17 hectare site. The estimated build cost would be about $800 million dollars in today’s money.
It expands upon the design traditions of Persian and earlier Mughal architecture. It is visited by some 8m visitors a year, a four fold increase from 2 million visitors in 2001. No polluting traffic is allowed near the complex, so visitors either walk from parking areas or catch an electric bus.
This Miniland Taj Mahal took 2020 hours to design and build, and is made up of some 281,000 bricks. The whole thing weights about 645 kilograms.
Number 3 – The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Ishtar Gate
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world. It was described as a remarkable feat of engineering with an ascending series of tiered gardens, resembling a large, green mountain constructed of mud bricks.
It is partly the story of myth, as it is unsure where it was, and no definitive archaeological evidence has been found in Babylon. The Miniland Hanging Gardens took 1,283 hours to design and build, using 73,000 bricks, and weighing in at 163 kilograms.
The Ishtar Gate was the main and eighth gate of the city of Babylon, constructed around 575 BC. It was covered in lapis lazuli – a deep blue, precious stone. There are alternating rows of lions, dragons and flowers, representing powerful gods. These were on enameled yellow and black glazed bricks, symbolizing the Goddess Ishtar. It was excavated in early 20th century and reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
The Miniland version has 34,000 bricks, took 286 hours to build, and weights 75 kilograms.
Number 2 – Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan. It is a combination of caves, temples and tombs. In 300BC it became the capital city of the Arab Natabaeans. Originally Petra was on an important land trade route but declined with the advent of sea trade routes.
The Monastery is probably the most famously recognizable, having appeared in films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Mummy Returns and the 2nd Transformers film, Revenge of the Fallen. Hence why the little Easter egg of Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee …. Although they are in the G1 incarnations, as opposed to their movie versions.
There are several versions of the monastery and this one has a Sponge Bob Square Pants hidden away in it. It is a little strange seeing pop culture characters in these ancient Arab buildings.
The Miniland Colonnade is made from around 20,000 bricks and took 485 hours to create.
Here is a series of tombs known as the royal tombs, due to their levels of decoration.
Number 1 – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the UAE and located in Abu Dhabi. It was constructed between 1996 and 2007, seeking to unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. It was named after its founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.
This LEGO version is 1:30 scale and took 6,300 hours to design and build. It is made from 537,000 bricks. You can also crawl through a little tunnel and come up inside the model. Thus you can get another view from inside the model looking out which is fun to do, and see all the details.
It is really a quite impressive model and why it takes the number 1 spot on this list.
The one comment I would make about LEGOLAND Dubai Miniland is that the models on display have very little information on the signs about them. Thus, it is hard to get a good sense of their importance and history. A large portion of the information in this video comes from subsequent research.
Do you agree with our list?
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Check out our other LEGOLAND Dubai videos such as a full time-lapse walk through of the park in under 3 minutes. You can find these in the LEGOLAND Dubai playlist.
Happy building until next time when we talk about all things LEGO.