Dubai is probably one of, if not THE, most interesting and wondrous cities in the World, and so it is hard to believe that Dubai didn’t really exist at all only 200 years ago. If you could travel back in time to the early 19th century then you would not find a bustling, vibrant hub of trade and commerce. In fact you would be lucky to bump into anyone at all, except for maybe the odd camel and maybe a passing Bedouin tribe. Only a small stream of water, which could narrowly be described as a creek could provide a lifeline for anyone who attempted to reside here.
A couple of decades later though, things began to change as travellers that used the trading route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley began to settle here and so a hub of sorts came into existence. It didn’t take long for civilisation to start to take a hold after the fishing village at the creek started to expand. Around this time, the Bani Yas tribe settled in the area and the head family, the Maktoums established their reign. The Maktoum dynasty continues to rule Dubai to this day.
You need to get back in your time machine now though as not much more happened to Dubai until around the 1960′s. Sure it continued to gently expand but nothing could prepare for what happened after oil, and lots of it, was discovered. Suddenly Dubai found itself at the centre of trade and commerce in the area and lots of money started pouring into the area. These funds have been ploughed back into Dubai in order to safeguard its future. After all, the oil won’t last forever.
Substantial investments have been made to create not only one of the hottest tourist destinations on the planet but also a level of exclusivity that can only be afforded by the World’s well off, meaning that Dubai is also a rich person’s playground. This has meant that the population of Dubai has exploded over recent years with over three quarters of the 1.5 million residents being non Emirati. Dubai is considered to now be one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the World. But for the tourists, who are likely to become ever more important to Dubai in terms of income, Dubai as a destination is wondrous in the extreme with some of the World’s most impressive man made wonders located here, such as the Burj Al Arab, the World’s only 7 star hotel, the Burj Khalifa, the World’s tallest building and of course the man made palm and World islands. There is everything for the sport fan too including World class golf tournaments, horse racing and off shore power boat racing, and what tourist destination would be complete without a few shops? Well, you won’t be disappointed by Dubai if shopping is your thing as it also claims the World’s largest shopping mall.
Basic Dubai Facts
o Dubai is split into two by the Dubai Creek. On one side is the Deira region and on the other is Bur Dubai.
o Dubai is the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates.
o The population in Dubai is approximately 1.5 million and it is the most populated Emirate. It is also the fastest growing city in the World.
o Almost 80% of the resident population in Dubai is comprised of foreign immigrants.
o The Al Maktoum dynasty has been ruling over Dubai since 1833.
o Only around 6 percent of Dubai’s income now comes from natural gas and oil. The rest comes from tourism, property, trade and commerce
o The currency for Dubai is the same as the rest of the United Arab Emirates, it is the Dirham
o The centre of the Middle East’s Gold Jewelry business is Dubai
o The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the World
o There is no income tax or any other sort of personal tax levied on the citizens of Dubai
o With regard to International travellers, Dubai airport is the 6th busiest International airport on the planet
o The most popular sports are cricket and football
o Dubai is known to have an exceptional nightlife
o The official language of Dubai is Arabic, but English is also widely spoken as well as several other languages.
o Islam is the official religion
o The climate of Dubai is hot and arid all year round with constant sunshine and minimal rainfall at around 13cm per year.
o The Summer is hostile though with extreme temperatures. If you visit in Summer then prepare to spend most of your time indoors.
o Although the health and medical care in Dubai is second to none, it can be expensive for tourists.
o Life expectancy in Dubai is high with females living an average of 77.87 years and males 72.73 years.
o Common diseases include chicken pox, pulmonary tuberculosis and viral hepatitis B.
o Other common ailments, especially with tourists are related to sun and heat exposure.
o The city is easy to get around along the network of 193 roads and taking a taxi is the most popular way to travel