Dubai Facts: Things to Know About Dubai

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Dubai Facts: Things to Know About Dubai
Dubai is an emirate in
the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) federation,
located on the southeast coast
of the Persian Gulf it is one of
the seven emirates that make
up the country. It has the
largest population in the UAE
(2,106,177) and the second-
largest land territory (4,114
km2) after the capital, Abu
Dhabi. Dubai was formally
established on the 9th June
1833 by Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti Al-Maktoum when he persuaded around 800 members of his tribe of
the Bani Yas, to follow him to theDubai Creek by the Abu Falasa clan of the Bani Yas.
Dubai became the country's second emirate in the United Arab Emirates upon independence in 1971. Its
strategic geographic location made the town an important trading hub and by the beginning of the 20th
century, Dubai was already an important regional port.
Dubai has emerged today, as a cosmopolitan metropolis that has grown steadily to become a global
city and a business and cultural hub of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.
Although Dubai's economy was historically built on the oil industry, the main revenues are now coming
from tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial services. The city has become symbolic for
its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, such as the world's tallest Burj Khalifa, in addition to ambitious
development projects including man-made islands, hotels, and some of the largest shopping malls in the
region and the world.
Dubai has been rated as one of the best places to live in, in the Middle East.
Origin of the word Dubai
Many theories describe the origin of the word Dubai. One of those theories suggests that the word
Dubai was used as to describe the souq which was similar to the souq in Dibba. Another theory states
that the name came from a word meaning money as people from Dubai were commonly believed to be

rich due to the thriving trading center of the location. An Arabic proverb says "Daba Dubai" "They came
with a lot of
o ey". According to Fedel Handhal, a researcher in the history and culture of the UAE, the
word Dubai may have come from the word Daba (Arabic: ) (which means to creep); referring to the
slow flow of Dubai Creek inland.
There have been many theories written and publicized about the origins of the name Dubai, however
there has not been any defined set reference that describes the nomenclature of the city due to lack of
previous documentation.
The earliest recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095, in the "Book of Geography" by the Andalusian-
Arab geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri. The Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi visited the area in
1580 and mentioned Dubai (Dibei) for its pearling industry. Since 1799, there has been a settlement
known as Dubai town.
Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom by the "Exclusive Agreement" of 1892, in which
the UK agreed to protect Dubai against the developing interests of France, Germany, and Russia in the
Persian Gulf.
Dubai's geographical proximity to Iran made it an
important trade location. The town of Dubai was an
important port of call for foreign tradesmen, with
the collapse of the pearling industry, Dubai fell into
a deep depression and many residents starved or
migrated to other parts of the Persian Gulf.
Electricity, telephone services, and an airport were
established in Dubai in the 1950s, when the British
moved their local administrative offices
from Sharjah. After years of exploration following
large finds in neighboring Abu Dhabi, oil was
eventually discovered in Dubai in 1966. This led the
emirate to grant concessions to international oil
companies, thus igniting a massive influx of foreign
workers, mainly Indians and Pakistanis. Between
1968 and 1975 the city's population grew by over 300%.

On December 2, 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab
Emirates after the former protector, Britain, left the Persian Gulf in 1971. In 1973, Dubai joined the
other emirates to adopt a uniform currency: the UAE dirham. Qatar and Bahrain chose to remain
independent nations. In 1973, the monetary union with Qatar was dissolved and the UAE Dirham was
introduced throughout the Emirates. During the 1970s, Dubai continued to grow from revenues
generated from oil and trade, even as the city saw an influx of immigrants fleeing the Lebanese civil war.
it was only in 1979 that a formal compromise was reached that ended hostilities. The Jebel Aliport was
established in 1979. Jafza (Jebel Ali Free Zone) was built around the port in 1985 to provide foreign
companies unrestricted import of labor and export capital. The Gulf War of 1990 had a negative
financial effect on the city, as depositors withdrew their money and traders withdrew their trade, but
subsequently the city recovered in a changing political climate Later in the 1990s, many foreign trading
communities--first from Kuwait, during the Gulf War, and later from Bahrain, during the Shia unrest--
moved their businesses to Dubai. Dubai provided refueling bases to allied forces at the Jebel Ali Free
Zone during the Gulf War, and again during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
Large increases in oil prices after the Gulf War encouraged Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and
Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and is roughly at sea level (16 m
or 52 feet above). The emirate of Dubai shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the
northeast, and the Sultanate of Oman in the southeast. Hatta, a minor exclave of the emirate, is
surrounded on three sides by Oman and by the emirates of Ajman (in the west) and Ras Al Khaimah(in
the north). The Persian Gulf borders the western coast of the emirate.
Dubai lies directly within the Arabian Desert. However, the topography of Dubai is significantly different
from that of the southern portion of the UAE in that much of Dubai's landscape is highlighted by sandy
desert patterns, while gravel deserts dominate much of the southern region of the country.
Dubai has a hot desert climate. Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, windy, and humid, with an
average high around 41 C (106 F) and overnight lows around 30 C (86 F) in the hottest month,
August. Most days are sunny throughout the year. Winters are warm with an average high of 24 C (75
F) and overnight lows of 14 C (57 F) in January, the coldest month.

Governance and Politics
Image: His Highness Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum with His Highness
Sheikh Hamdan bin
Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Her Highness
Sheikha Salama and Her
Highness Sheikha Shamma
bint Mohammed bin Rashid
Al Maktoum.
Dubai has been ruled by the Al
Maktoum family since 1833; the
emirate is a constitutional monarchy with no elections. The current ruler, His Highness
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United
Arab Emirates and member of the Supreme Council of the Union (SCU). Dubai appoints eight members
in two-term periods to theFederal National Council (FNC) of the UAE, the supreme federal legislative
body. The Dubai Municipality (DM) was established by the then ruler of Dubai, Rashid bin Saeed Al
Maktoum in 1954 for purposes of city planning, citizen services and upkeep of local facilities. DM is
chaired byHamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and comprises several departments
such as the Roads Department, Planning and Survey Department, Environment and Public Health
Department and Financial Affairs Department. In 2001, Dubai Municipality embarked on an e-
Government project with the intention of providing 40 of its city services through its web
Law Enforcement
The Dubai Police Force, founded in 1956 in the locality of Naif, has law enforcement jurisdiction over the
emirate; the force is under direct command of Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of DubaiDubai
and Ras al Khaimah are the only emirates that do not conform to the federal judicial system of the
United Arab Emirates.The emirate's judicial courts comprise the Court of First Instance, the Court of
Appeal, and the Court of Cassation. Sharia Court is responsible for matters between Muslims. Non-
Muslims do not appear before the Sharia Court. The Court of Cassation is the supreme court of the
emirate and hears disputes on matters of law only.

To maintain traffic, the Road & Transport Authority of Dubai has put in place a well defined system to
ensure that the population follows traffic rules. There are heavy fines and a complete list of these
fines can be found on the official website of Dubai Police.
Human Rights
In 2013, the Norway-based Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) released its annual
International Human Rights Indicator (IHRRI) report that ranks the United Arab Emirates first
amongArab countries and 14th globally for respecting human rights. To acquire its 14th position, the
UAE fared well across 21 individual categories, performing best in the education category with a 94 per
cent finish for ensuring top education for all children.
Ethnicity and language: According to the census conducted by the Statistics Centre of Dubai, the
population of the emirate was 1,771,000 as of 2009, which included 1,370,000 males and 401,000
females.The region covers 497.1 square miles (1,287.5 km2).As of 2005, 17% of the population of the
emirate was made up of Arab UAE nationals, with the rest comprising expatriates. The median age in the
emirate was about 27 years. The crude birth rate, as of 2005, was 13.6%, while the crude death rate was
about 1%. Arabic is the national and official language of the United Arab Emirates. The Gulf dialect of
Arabic is spoken natively by the Emirati people. English is used as a second language.
Religion: Article 7 of the UAE's Provisional Constitution declares Islam the official state religion of the
UAE. The government subsidizes almost 95% of mosques and employs all Imams; approximately 5% of
mosques are entirely private, and several large mosques have large private endowments. All mosques in
Dubai are managed by the Government of Dubai and all Imams are also appointed by the Government.
Any Imam caught preaching racial or religious hatred or caught promoting Islamic extremism are usually
jailed and deported. Dubai also has large Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Baha'i,Buddhist and other religious
communities residing in the city Non-Muslim groups can own their own houses of worship, where they
can practice their religion freely, by requesting a land grant and permission to build a compound.;
however, outright proselytizing is strictly prohibited under penalty of criminal prosecution,
imprisonment, and deportation for engaging in behavior offensive to Islam
Dubai's gross domestic product as of 2011 was US $83.4 billion. Although Dubai's economy was built on
the back of the oil industry, revenues from oil and natural gas currently account for less than 7% of the

emirate's revenues. Real estate and construction (22.6%), trade (16%), entrepot (15%) and financial
services (11%) are the largest contributors to Dubai's economy.
Dubai has a free trade in gold. Dubai is also known as City of Gold, a major part of economy based on
Gold trades in Dubai.
Dubai is also a hub for service industries such as information technology and finance, with industry-
specific free zones throughout the city. Dubai Internet City, combined with Dubai Media Cityas part of
TECOM (Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority) is one such enclave
whose members include IT firms such as Hewlett-Packard, EMC Corporation, Oracle
Corporation, Microsoft, and IBM, and media organizations such as MBC, CNN, BBC, Reuters, Sky
News and AP.
The government's decision to diversify from a trade-based, oil-reliant economy to one that is service and
tourism-oriented made property more valuable, resulting in the property appreciation from 2004 to
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was established in March 2000 as a secondary market for trading
securities and bonds, both local and foreign. Dubai has launched several major projects to support its
economy and develop different sectors.
Tourism is an important part of the
Dubai government's strategy to
maintain the flow of foreign cash
into the emirate. Dubai's lure for
tourists is based mainly on shopping
but also on its possession of other
ancient and modern attractions. As
of 2010, Dubai was the 7th most
visited city of the world with 7.6
million visitors a year Dubai is
expected to accommodate over 15
million tourists by 2015. The emirate
is also the most populous emirate of
the seven emirates of United Arab

Dubai has been called the "shopping capital of the Middle East Dubai alone has more than 70 shopping
malls, including the world's largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. The city draws large numbers of shopping
tourists from countries within the region and from as far as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Indian
Dubai is also known for the traditional souk districts located on either side of the creek. As of September
2013, Dubai creek has been proposed as UNESCO World Heritage Site Many boutiques and jewelry
stores are also found in the city. Dubai is also known as "the City of Gold" as Gold Souk in Deira houses
nearly 250 gold retail shops. Dubai Duty Free (DDF) at the Dubai International Airport offers
merchandise catering to the multinational passengers using the airport.
Dubai Expo 2020
Dubai won the right to host Expo
2020 on November 27, 2013. On
November 2, 2011 four cities had
their bids for Expo 2020 already
lodged, with Dubai making the
last-minute entry. The delegation
from the Bureau International des
Expositions who visited Dubai in
February 2013 to examine the
E irate's readiness for the largest
exposition, was impressed by the
infrastructure, and the level of
national support. In May 2013,
Dubai Expo 2020 Master Plan was
revealed showing the city's great
chances to win. If the city's bid is successful, the event will bring huge economic benefits by generating
activities worth billions of dirhams. According to a research from Oxford Economics, Dubai Expo 2020
may create over 270,000 jobs.
Transport in Dubai is controlled by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), an agency of the
government of Dubai, formed by royal decree in 2005.The public transport network has in the past
faced congestion and reliability issues which a large investment programme has addressed, including

over AED 70 billion of improvements planned for completion by 2020, when the population of the city is
projected to exceed 3.5 million.
Road: Five main routes - E 11 (Sheikh Zayed Road), E 311 (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road), E
44(Dubai-Hatta Highway), E 77 (Dubai-Al Habab Road) and E 66 (Oud Metha Road) - run through Dubai,
connecting the city to other towns and emirates. Additionally, several important intra-city routes, such
as D 89 (Al Maktoum Road/Airport Road), D 85 (Baniyas Road), D 75 (Sheikh Rashid Road), D 73(Al
Dhiyafa Road now named as the 2 December street), D 94 (Jumeirah Road) and D 92 (Al Khaleej/Al Wasl
Road) connect the various localities in the city. The eastern and western sections of the city are
connected by Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Al Shindagha Tunnel, Business Bay
Crossingand Floating Bridge.
Bus and Taxi: The Public Bus Transport system in Dubai is run by the RTA. All taxi services are licensed by
the RTA. Dubai licensed taxis are easily identifiable by their cream bodywork color and varied roof colors
identifying the operator. Dubai Taxi Corporation, a division of the RTA, is the largest operator and has
taxis with red roofs. There are four private operators: Metro Taxis (orange roofs); Network Taxis (yellow
roofs); Cars Taxis (blue roofs); and Arabia Taxis (green roofs). In addition, Dubai Taxi Corporation has a
Ladies Taxi service, with pink roofs, which caters exclusively for female passengers, using female drivers.
The Dubai International Airport taxi concession is operated by Dubai Taxi Corporation.
Air: Dubai International Airport , the hub for the Emirates Airline, serves the city of Dubai and other
emirates in the country. The airport is one of the busiest by passenger traffic, by international passenger
traffic, as a cargo airport , and International freight traffic airport.Emirates Airline is the national airline
of Dubai. It operates internationally serving more than 100 destinations to more than 60 countries
across six continents. Al Maktoum International Airport opened in 2013. The first phase of the airport is
featuring one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for
250,000 tons of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million
passengers per year. Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the
world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million
tons of cargo.
Metro rail: Dubai Metro is currently operational. It currently consists of two lines (Red line and Green
line) which run through the major financial and residential areas of the city. The Metro system was
partially opened on September 2009 Dubai Metro is the world's second cheapest metro transportation
system after Tehran Metro in Iran. The metro comprises the Green Line which runs from the Etisalat
Station to the Creek Station (though Creek Station is still not operational and stops at Dubai Healthcare
City Station, just before Creek Station) and the Red Line, the major back bone line, which runs from
Rashidiya Station to Jebel Ali Station Jebel Ali.A Blue and a Purple Line have also been planned. The

Dubai Metro (Green and Blue Lines) will have 70 km (43.5 mi) of track and 43 stations, 37 above ground
and ten underground. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula.
All the trains run without a driver and are based on automatic navigation.
Palm Jumeirah Monorail: The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a monorail line on the Palm Jumeirah. It
connects the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, with a planned further extension to the Red Line of
theDubai Metro. The line opened on 30 April 2009. Two trams systems are expected to be built in Dubai.
The first is the Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System and the second is the Al Sufouh Tram. The
Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System is a 4.6 km (2.9 mi) tram service that is planned to service the area
around the Burj Khalifa, and the second tram will run 14.5 km (9.0 mi) along Al Sufouh Road from Dubai
Marina to the Burj Al Arab and the Mall of the Emirates.Dubai has announced it will complete a link of
the UAE high speed rail system which will eventually hook up with the whole GCC (Gulf Cooperation
Council, also known as Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf) and then possibly Europe.
The High Speed Rail will serve passengers and cargo.
Waterways: There are two major commercial ports in Dubai, Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali. Port Jebel
Ali is the world's largest man-made harbour, the biggest port in the Middle East, and one of the busiest
port in the world. One of the more traditional methods of getting across Bur Dubai to Deira is by abras,
small boats that ferry passengers across the Dubai Creek, between abra stations in Bastakiya
and Baniyas Road. The Marine Transport Agency has also implemented the Dubai Water Bus System.
Water bus is a fully air conditioned boat service across selected destinations across the creek. One can
also avail oneself of the tourist water bus facility in Dubai. Latest addition to the water transport system
is the Water Taxi.
The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab and Bedouinculture. In
contrast, the city of Dubai is a highly cosmopolitan society with a diverse and vibrant culture. The
influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very
prominent as well.
The city's cultural imprint as a small,
ethnically homogenous pearling community
was changed with the arrival of other ethnic
groups and nationals first by the Iranians in
the early 1900s, and later by Indians and
Pakistanis in the 1960s.

Major holidays in Dubai include Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and National Day (2
December ), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates. Annual entertainment events such
as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) attract over 4 million visitors
from across the region and generate billions of revenues.
Large shopping malls in the city, such as Deira City Centre, Mirdiff City Centre, BurJuman, Mall of the
Emirates, Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall as well as traditional souks attract shoppers from the region.
Khor Dubai, or Dubai Creek in English, is one of the few places in the city where old traditions could still
be seen. Dubai Creek may become a UNESCO World Heritage Site if the authorities' bid is successful. In
that case, it will earn a place among internationally famous sites such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone
National Park and Stonehenge.
Arabic food is very popular and is available everywhere in the city, from the small shawarma diners
in Deira and Al Karama to the restaurants in Dubai's hotels. Fast food, South Asian, and Chinese cuisines
are also very popular and are widely available.
The sale and consumption of pork, though legal, is regulated and is sold only to non-Muslims, in
designated areas of supermarkets and airports. Similarly, the sale of alcoholic beverages is regulated. A
liquor permit is required to purchase alcohol; however, alcohol is available in bars and restaurants
within hotels.
Shisha and qahwa boutiques are also popular in Dubai. Dubai is known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars
are found mostly in hotels due to the liquor laws.
The New York Times described Dubai as "the kind of city where you might run into Michael Jordan at the
Buddha Bar or stumble across Naomi Campbell celebrating her birthday with a multiday bash"
Dubai has a vast variety of cuisines for people from all over the world.
Dress and Etiquette
The Islamic dress code is not compulsory. Most Emirati males prefer to wear a kandura, an ankle-length
white shirt woven from wool or cotton, and most Emirati women wear an abaya, a black over-garment
covering most parts of the body. This attire is particularly well-suited for the UAE's hot and dry climate,
the reason being that the white cloak reflects back the sunlight, for the same reason the UAE men wear