Dubai is well known for its mighty ambitions and staggering desire for making the record books. It’s home to the tallest skyscraper in the world, the largest man-made island and the largest airport. Whether or not you see that as testament to its engineering excellence or the arch hubris of an oil-rich show-off is up to you.

It now has another, less contentious achievement to add to its accolades, though. The city has just become the first Arab city to be featured on Street View. Astonishingly, not even Cairo has been photographed by the Google cars yet. Which surprised us.

Google made the announcement yesterday on its Google Maps blog saying users can now take a virtual tour of Dubai, exploring the city’s majestic buildings and sites including the Burj Khalifa and dancing fountains at the Burj Khalifa Bay.

You can also explore Dubai’s rich history at the Deira Spice Souk, the city’s oldest commercial centre.

“It’s hard to believe that a city not much larger than 4,000 square kilometres has become such a hub of modern culture with more than 200 nationalities mingling daily, as well as a center for trade and tourism in just four short decades,” Google says. “We hope that you’ll be inspired to explore its wonders in person, but until then, they’re just a click away.”

[Source – Google Maps blog, image – Google Maps]