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About Dubai

Dubai is a very interesting city for a number of reasons. The real city is in effect only a couple of decades old. The infrastructure and amenities are therefore being built to suit the ever increasing needs of the population. It is a city of wealth and prosperity as shown in the architecture and level of finish of the developments that are already present in the city or under construction. From the world's biggest indoor ski slope (although a bigger one is being built at the moment) through the only 7 star hotel in the world and on to the world's tallest building (currently under construction but already the tallest), Dubai is definitely a city like no other.

It is a city that caters for the affluent and powerful and has restaurants, bars, and night clubs to suit. With the marinas close to all parts of Dubai there is a plethora of yachts and boats for hire or for sale, along with the world's most exclusive motor vehicles filling the car parks of the hotels and apartment blocks throughout the city.

Of course, on the other hand, there are numerous ways to get away from the hustle and bustle in order to unwind. There are a number of golf courses including facilities designed by Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie to choose from so you can get away from it all and for the spa enthusiast the exclusive Bab Al Shams resort located just outside the city limits will help you while away the hours in complete comfort and relaxation. Dubai offers a great day out for those that like sea fishing or scuba-diving (although the diving is better just up the coast), or one can even stay on an island that is only accessible by motor boat (The World, currently under construction). In short, whatever the heart desires and the mind can conceive, is in Dubai and under construction or only a draftsman's sketch away from conception.

map of dubai


In 1833 the Maktoum family led some 800 members of the Bai Yas Tribe to inhabit the mouth of the creek. The creek, being a natural harbor evolved Dubai into a fishing, pearling and sea trade centre. By the end of the 19th century Dubai was establishing itself as a successful port. The Souk (Arabic for market) which is situated on the Deira side of the creek, became the largest on the coast. It comprised of 350 shops and received an influx of visitors and businessmen. By the 1930s Dubai's population was already 20,000, of which a quarter were expatriates.

In the 1950s, the late Ruler of Dubai, his Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, decided on an ambitious and costly project to have the waterway dredged. This was in order to combat the silting creek that is said to have perhaps been caused by the increasing number of ships that used it. The project produced an increase of cargo handling which in the end strengthened Dubai's stance as a major trading and re-export center.

In 1966 the discovery of oil was made and Sheikh Rashid capitalized on the revenues made from the oil with intense infrastructure development. This rapid development included schools, hospitals, roads, a modern telecommunications network, a new port terminal building at Dubai International Airport, a runway extension that was capable of accommodating any type of aircraft, the largest man-made harbor in the world (at Jebel Ali) and a free zone was created around the port.

Dubai's successes such as its high quality infrastructure, soon became evident to everyone and resulted in it quickly becoming a business and tourism hub.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, (the then ruler of Abu Dhabi), and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum had been dreaming of a federation of the Emirates in the region since the 1960s. In 1971 this dream became a reality with seven emirates on the Arabian peninsula namely; Abu Dhabi (the capital city), Dubai (commercial hub), Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah, merged to form the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai is sometimes referred to as "Dubai City" which differentiates it from the other emirates. It is the most popular and second largest emirate after Abu Dhabi and distinguishes itself from the other members of the federation in that oil revenues only account for 6% of its gross domestic product. Dubai's revenues are generated from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) and now progressively more from tourism.

Under the rule of the first President of UAE, Sheikh Zayed, the UAE has developed into one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a per capita GDP in surplus of US$17,000 per annum.

Dubai made a strategic decision in the 1980s and early 1990s, to become a major international tourism destination. The investments made in tourism infrastructure paid off substantially over the years.

Development in Dubai

Dubai is positioning itself to become one of the world's preeminent cultural and economic capitals. Its delicacies apart from its unparalled hotels, extraordinary architecture, first-class entertainment and sporting events, include a hundred or so individually master-planned residential, commercial, financial, and industrial districts; an abundance of the largest source of renewable energy-sunlight; leading innovation with sustainability and innovative technology and is located within easy travel distance of a population of more than two billion in the Middle East, Europe, India, and Africa.

There is over $310 billion in total construction in progress or planned over the next decade. This present and future array of development boasts a Sports City With over 50 million square feet of sporting venues, academies, exceptional homes, cultural activities and retail developments; a Media City offering a global media hub where all media-related businesses thrive together in a world-class environment; a Knowledge Village that's 1 KM long campus provides a ready environment for a variety of knowledge-based entities including training centres and learning support entities; an Industrial City designed as a custom-built one-stop shop for industries on a work, live and play model, that provides one of the region's finest business environments. Further development will also include a mini-city devoted to the worldwide distribution of humanitarian aid, environmentally friendly projects such as self-powered buildings, a solar water-desalinization plant, a subway, and a light-rail system.

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