What’s On has details of unusual vending machines in Dubai including ones that dispense gold bars, eyelashes and laptops.

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The first documented vending machine dates back to ancient Egypt, when a mathematician invented a device that dispensed holy water in return for a bronze coin.

The Chinese then developed the tobacco vending machine in 1600s, with soft drinks, bubble gum and chocolate bar dispensers following suit by the 1900s.

Nowadays it seems that vending machines can be used for anything compact enough to fit in a machine and be lifted out of tray.

While Japan still rules the roost when it comes to the craziest vending machines in the world, Dubai is certainly hot on its heels…

Gold bars 

If you thought the price of a chocolate bar in Dubai was pretty steep then this vending machine won’t be for you.

The novelty Gold to Go ATM allows you to buy anything from a 2.5-gram, 24-karat gold coin to a more sizeable one-ounce gold bar. There’s even a computer built inside to update the prices every 10 minutes to reflect realtime fluctuations in the market.

Burj Khalifa Observation Deck, At The Top, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, daily 8.30am to 5pm, 7.30pm to 11pm. Metro: Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall. gold-to-go.com

Beauty products

Your make-up needs have never been so easy to meet. Huda Beauty’s new vending machines let you pick up a mini-makeover on the go, providing an instant around-the-clock solution for those moments when you’re caught short without your nails done, or in need of lash extensions. Huda’s roving vending machine – which is currently positioned in Sunset Mall in Jumeirah –  features an exclusive selection of Huda Beauty products, including her newly-launched, cruelty-free mink lashes. To find out where the dispenser will be next, keep a close eye on Huda’s Instagram, @hudabeauty.


24-hour gifts

Have you ever gone to a party, anniversary, or leaving do and felt the overwhelming sense of guilt as you turn up empty handed, sans gift? Well, it’s high time you pin-drop the location of the S*uce gift machine. With the majority of shops abiding to the standard Dubai opening hours of 10am until 2am, the S*uce vending machine in Wasl Square stands out as ‘the region’s only 24/7 shopping experience’. With a selection of 35 items, last-minute gift-givers can choose from accessories and candles, to more extravagant gifts such as customised travel packages and boutique hotel stays. Gifts start at Dhs150 and shoot up to Dhs3,000.

S*uce Gifts, The Design Shop, Wasl Square, Dubai, daily, 24 hours. Tel: (04) 3463393. shopatsauce.com



In a land that loves tech gadgets, it’s not surprising that even a swanky laptop can be bought as quickly as a can of Coke.

Located inside Sharaf DG’s flagship store at Times Square Centre, this vending machine is one of the largest in the world, and is stocked with laptops, tablets, cameras and phones. Items are dispensed and handed to the customer using a robotic arm and you could walk away with a shiny, new computer in less than a minute.

Sharaf DG, Times Square Centre, Dubai, Tel: (800) 344357. sharafdg.com