FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT MONACO

Known for its lavish wealth, the location for three James Bond films and boasting the highest life expectancy in the world, the French Riviera city-state of Monaco is familiar to millions. But how much do you really know about a destination that is smaller than New York City’s Central Park? Well, ahead of this weekend’s Formula E Monaco E-Prix, we thought we’d share a few facts about the location for round seven…

1) Monaco is richer than you think…
Spanning an area of 0.78 square miles and having a population of just 38,300, Monaco is one of the densest countries in the world, where 32% of the population is made up of millionaires. It also has the world’s second highest GDP per capita at $165,420 and also boasts the most expensive street in the world – Avenue Princesse – with an average price of $17,750 per square foot. No wonder it is nicknamed the ‘Billionaires’ Playground’.

2) Its citizens aren’t allowed to gamble…
For a place famed for its casinos this might sound strange but it’s true. The origins date back to Prince Charles III of Monaco who ruled during the late 1800s. At the time, the country was on its knees financially, so Charles took to studying the economics of neighbouring countries and hatched a plan to create a gaming industry. To allow his own citizens to gamble would have been counter-productive so he banned them. However, given foreign nationals are free to gamble and make up 80% of the 38,300 population, it’s not really an issue! Interestingly, the secret to its gambling success was an entrepreneur named François Blanc who invented the roulette wheel and made it exclusive to Monte Carlo until the 1930s.

3) It has a lot in common with Indonesia…
Yes, they might be 11,379km apart but Monaco and Indonesia share something in common, flags. Bizarrely, the National Flag of Monaco is nearly identical to that of Indonesia. Both the countries are horizontal bicolour of red and white with the only difference being that the flag of Indonesia is slightly longer. Why? Well, more likely it’s just a coincidence with Monaco’s flag based on the colours in the shield of the Monegasque princely arms, and those for Indonesia dating back to its association with the Majapahit Empire.

4) It is one of the safest places in the world…
Ok, so given its size and status this is perhaps not that surprising, but did you know that Monaco has one police officer for every 100 residents? Compare that to neighbouring France which has 0.429 per 100. It also claims to be one of the most high-security places in the world with 24-hour CCTV covering the entire Principality.

5) Monaco takes sustainability very seriously…
Demonstrating its green credentials is a long-term focus of the Principality of Monaco and has set itself the target of cutting 55% of its greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030. It also plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. What’s more, there are more than 700 charging points provided in public car parks and roads throughout Monaco, as well as incentives for any EV buyers.