About Dubai City
Everything You Need to Know
Welcome to the Dubai City portal, I’m Sunil and I will give you a general synopsis on the various aspects of Dubai and a brief history on The City.
Research suggests that its name could have been derived from the work “Daba” which means “to creep”. Researches have correlated this as a reference to the flow of the Dubai Creek (I actually knew this from somewhere!).
Dubai is the most populated Emirate and the second largest in land mass (of course just wait until man made islands are built all over the sea).
The UAE was formed in 1971. Each Emirate already existed long before that (just like how the independent states came together to form the United States of America).
Each Emirate has the authority to establish local / civil law however they all share the same political, legal and military system.
You will hear us refer to Dubai City as Dubai in short. Just keep in mind that we are referring to the City of Dubai. The Dubai Government is not a monarchy, aristocracy, democracy or communist. Rather it’s a hybrid of a few types that mesh into the “Sheikdom” (kingdom of Sheikhs) that rules the Emirate.
Since 1833, one royal Sheikh family has ruled Dubai, the Al Maktoum Dynasty. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (“bin” Rashid means the son of Rashid) is the current “ruler” of Dubai. He is also the Prime Minister and Vice President of the entire UAE.
Dubai EconomyI used to think Dubai got rich because it had all the oil in the world. Makes sense doesn't it? Actually, contrary to popular belief (most think every Middle Eastern jurisdiction is rich in oil), the Dubai economy is driven by trade, tourism, manufacturing and financial services - not oil. This is one of the reasons Dubai has built some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
In fact, Dubai is known to have fewer than 2% of the world's oil supply (relatively low to other Middle Eastern jurisdictions and popular belief). Less than 10% of Dubai's economy is generated from oil and natural gas revenues!
Climate of DubaiThe climate in Dubai City is warm to generalize. It gets real hot (I mean REAL HOT) and often humid. It’s common for the temperature to be over 100°F. It’s desert after all!
There is very little rain usually in January, February and March. It is usually very light (occasionally you will see heavy rain in the winter). You don’t have to worry about rain storms in Dubai. You have other kinds of storms – Sand Storms!
I’ve been in Dubai City both during summer and winter. There is a significant difference in the climate and day to day weather. I definitely prefer winters better as temperatures are ideal to do just about anything.
It can get unbearable in the summer months. Every time I exit of out the car or the house, I find my glasses all fogged up because of the heat and humidity.
Below is an average temperature table I stole from the Dubai Meteorological Office.
Read more on the Climate of Dubai here.
Culture of DubaiDubai City culture is very diverse. Only 10% or so of Dubai is comprised on Dubai Nationals (Citizens of Dubai). The rest are mostly immigrants who are working in Dubai. The biggest immigrant population is from India, followed closely by Pakistan and Iran.
A big wave of Europeans and Americans has also flooded Dubai since 2001 mainly for career reasons. Sounds like America don’t it? It’s quite surprising to observe the diversity in Dubai. When I go there, it doesn’t feel like I am away from home, except only the buildings and physical surroundings look somewhat different. Pretty soon those will look the same as well!
Many festivals are celebrated in Dubai City. The Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises are two of the more popular ones that attract over 4 million visitors and bring in over $1B in revenues. Large shopping malls and markets are also common in Dubai. The Government there is always looking to make the next biggest “whatever” in the world.
An of course, no discussion on the culture of Dubai would be complete without mentioning tourism and the Dubai nightlife. Dubai is very well known around the world for its tourism industry and nightlife.
Dubai MediaMedia in Dubai is an interesting topic. You will always hear that Dubai is one of the safest places on Earth. But how true is that? Personally, I think the perception is maintained because wrongdoings aren’t as widely published as say it would in the USA.
Why? Because Dubai isn’t really a Democracy. There is no free speech, free action or free voice. This is my opinion of course and many share it. I will discuss this in more detail in a dedicated Dubai Media section.
Generally though Dubai City has all the media avenues you will find in the USA (print type, TV, radio and Internet) Dubai TV is also quite broad now that cable is predominant in every household. Most well known news companies are broadcasted on Dubai TV like anywhere else in the world.
Dubai TransportationPublic transportation in Dubai City is more than abundant. Taxis and buses are everywhere. The biggest train system in the world is also being constructed (Dubai Metro) and is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2009.
The Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the main hub for world renowned Emirates Airline, which services the Dubai and the other Emirates in the country. The city is building a second airport scheduled to be completed post 2009 as well.
This airport will service the Emirates airline only and will be the world’s biggest airport. It’s Dubai after all and it has to have the largest of everything!
With all that said, my favorite ride is the “Abra”. The Abra is also called a water taxi and it’s most commonly used to cross the river. I use it often to cross the Dubai river to go from Dubai to Deira and back. I also like taking the Abra from land to enjoy dinner on an island occasionally.
Schools in DubaiDubai City schools are run by the Ministry of Education (more on this in the link below). There are both public and private schools that anyone can attend. Arabic is the main language in public schools with a strong emphasis on English as a second language. Private schools predominantly use English in class instructions.
Public schools often cater to specific nationalities. There are private schools mainly set up for Indian, Pakistani, European and other citizens around Dubai City. All in all the school system is very good. Kish’s nephews all attend them (as did Kish) and they are all bright and sharp individuals.
The college/university system is also very good and is rapidly growing. Kish’s sister went to the American University in Dubai and graduated with a great education. She currently works for Siemens (a multinational company) in a well respected corporate position. Kish however opted for studies in the US because of her academic interest.
Population of DubaiThe population of Dubai was approximately 1.5M back in 2006. Majority of the population is comprised of immigrants, mainly from Asia. This includes all of Asia. There are a ton of Filipinos, Indians and Pakistanis particularly. (Good for me since I am Indian and was born in the Philippines. I just have the best of both worlds every time I visit Dubai. It feels like home)
The Nationals make up under 20% of the population. Dubai is mainly male dominated with a 3 to 1 ratio. All these numbers will continue to change as the city is undergoing unprecedented transformation. Although historically these numbers have been quite consistent.
All kinds of languages are spoken in Dubai; Arabic, English, Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, Bengali, Tagalog and many more.
Architecture in DubaiArchitecture in Dubai City is quite interesting. Each building is unique in its design but they all have one thing in common. They all touch the sky! (or try to at least). The Dubai mentality of everything needs to be the biggest and best is apparent in its lavish and glamorous infrastructure.
If you ask me to describe it in one word, I’d simply say UNREAL! I could also say AMAZING! Or UNBELIEAVABLE! It truly is, wait till you see it! If you have already seen it you know what I am talking about. If you have not, I suggest cruising down Sheikh Zayed road and just observe to your left and then to your right.
Residential architecture is also interesting. Home in Dubai are called villas. Dubai villas are large and are usually expensive to rent. You will often find expatriate families and the Sheikhs living in these. Villas can be extremely unique from each other.
Apartments and condos on the other hand can be quite generic. Though the building they are in will differ significantly in appearance from the exterior. The newer architecture cares more for distinction. The older buildings all look pretty much the same.
A cool fact about Dubai City Architecture is that the brightest and best architecture engineers are brought in from all over the world to design various buildings in Dubai. You have the best designs of all worlds in one spot!
Dubai LifestyleThe rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This cannot be more true in Dubai City. That said though, Dubai is the land of opportunity much like the USA was and still is to a certain degree.
With the right education or entrepreneurial spirit, one can turn rags to riches in Dubai. It’s a very career and commerce friendly environment, at least as of the mid 2000s.
The lifestyle in Dubai is similar to Beverly Hills, California for the most part. If you got it, you gotta show it! In fact sometimes you gotta show it even if you don’t got it! I think you get my drift.
Because of the concentrated wealth in Dubai City, the rich love to show and tell. The poor on the other hand can barely afford to go out for a nice dinner. It’s that kind of a place.
The poor are usually the laborers and the construction workers who are mostly imported from nearby nations to build the world’s next biggest XYZ. Their lifestyles are therefore incomparable to the rich.
If you have money (and I mean even middle to upper middle class), you can live a very nice life in Dubai. Human labor is very cheap. You can get maids and drivers that live with you 24/7 and you pay them a salary of $300 USD at most.
There is basically no dignity of labor. The poor are looked down upon and you won’t find the equal treatment and respect that you see here in the US for example where the janitor is treated with the same respect as a CEO of a Fortune company (most of the times at least).
That is one thing I absolutely cannot tolerate. My blood boils when I see one human being treating another with such harshness and rude attitude. Aarghh!
Dubai IslandsDubai itself is a peninsula of the greater UAE. Because of the ruler’s ambitions and drive The City has been building artificial mad made islands on water. Why? Because Dubai City is running out of land space.
So much is going on there and so much is being developed so rapidly that land mass is shrinking by the day. So what to do? Just throw sand in water and build islands! Lol. This concept is truly amazing to me.
I first used to wonder how can the dirt stabilize and not move on water. I later realized that the water is shallow near the shores and it is possible to dump enough dirt into it to build a foundation that touches its ground.
The farther away you go from shore the more difficult it will get to build these islands. Water will get deeper as you move out so let’s see how long can the regime keep building on water! Time will tell and it will be interesting indeed.
Two of the main Dubai islands I can think of are the Dubai Palm Islands and the Dubai World project. More on these two Dubai islands in their respective discussions.
Visa to DubaiVisa requirements to Dubai differ for every Nationality. The procedure to apply for a Visa to Dubai however is quite simple. Visas can be issued within 72 hours if you fill out all documentation appropriately.
If you are a US Citizen, you don’t need a Visa to Dubai. Simply travel with your passport. Dubai is very pro America! (I like to be ignorant sometimes and think that most of the world is)
If you have an urgent need, Visas to Dubai can also be issued within a day. Find out more about Visas to Dubai in this discussion.
You are Just Getting Started...
Now that you have scratched the surface of Dubai City, continue to explore the individual links in this section and then move on to the next. We have more than enough information to make you feel like an expert before you go to Dubai.
I hope you find this section on Dubai City information valuable and helpful. Make sure to click the link and read the individual discussions mentioned above for more details on topics you are interested about learning more.
We will be working on a comprehensive PDF guide to Dubai that you can print and take with you on your next visit. The guide will include what to do, what not to, where to go and where not to as well as all the basic information we will a visitor must be equipped with.
The guide will include a Dubai directory with information about hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, parks, amusement parks, Dubai estate agents, Dubai classifieds, Dubai maps and much more. This is definitely a long-term project but one that we are keen on finishing! So stay tuned for that one!
Cost of Living in DubaiCost of living in Dubai is skyrocketing higher and faster than ever. But despite that it doesn't have to be as bad as it seems. Read this discussion and find out the truth about living in Dubai.
Difficulties in DubaiYou will face certain difficulties in Dubai just as you would in any other place around the world. Despite all the good qualities about Dubai, it has its share of nuisances for both travelers and residents.
Calling Cards to DubaiFind the best and cheapest calling cards to Dubai in this discussion. They are the most economical way to stay in touch with Dubai!
How Are The Men In Dubai?My girlfriends ask me how Dubai men are. In case you have the same question, you can find my opinion on Men in Dubai.
The Dubai Police ForceThe Dubai police is a modern and forward thinking police force. Learn more about the department and its operations before you visit Dubai.
Hospitals in DubaiThe Government of Dubai has invested heavily in the Dubai Healthcare system. The hospitals in Dubai City are some of the best, staffed with top doctors from around the world. Learn more about your medical insurance needs, the hospitals and doctors in Dubai.
The Royal Family of DubaiThe royal family of Dubai has ruled from the very beginning up until today. Learn about its history and lineage as it has progressed from zero to hero in current times.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumSheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is a young, determined and ambitious ruler of Dubai. Learn about his life, his upbringing and his passions in this discussion.
Beautiful Pictures of Dubai at NightGet a glimpse of the Dubai night scene in this section with beautiful images of the Dubai skyline, freeways and other busy areas.
The Dubai Legal SystemThe Dubai legal system is not plain vanilla. Learn about the legal system in Dubai, how to navigate through it as well as the legal services available to help you get your job done.
Sharia Law (Islamic Law)If you want to do business in Dubai, or simply stay there for sometime either for work or pleasure, it is important that you understand Sharia law. This is the basis for Dubai’s legal system (although constantly changing to meet modern needs).
List of Dubai Law FirmsSee this list of Dubai law firms for lawyers practicing in Dubai. Full contact information, address, phone numbers, fax, office hours, etc.
Bad Things About DubaiDubai is beautiful there is no doubt about that. But any glamour comes at an expense.
List of Festivals in DubaiDubai is very rich in culture. And in addition to having its own set of festivals, it also permits other cultures and organizations to hold festivities in Dubai throughout the year.
The Dubai Strategic PlanThe Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 is the blueprint behind Dubai’s economic development spearheaded by Sheikh Mohammed. Dubai’s growth was strategically planned and documented in this 41 page document.
Some Cool Facts About DubaiRead these cool facts about Dubai City. Many will clear your misconceptions and rumors. Many will educate you and make you say “aha”. Many are little known facts.
Popular Dubai Food ItemsLearn about the common, popular and staple Dubai food items here. These are inexpensive relative to other food available in Dubai. It is healthy and tastes great!
Map of DubaiCheck out these cool maps of Dubai City from various angles.
Women Living in DubaiWhat is the life of Western women living in Dubai city like? This discussion clears up the misconception widely held by soon to be expatriate women from all around the world.
The Dubai ExpatSo what is life like for a Dubai Expat? Find out all about what Dubai Expatriates go through, what their life in Dubai is like and get some valuable tips.
The Burj Khalifa - Previously Burj DubaiThe Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest skyscraper and is the focal point of Downtown Dubai. It holds several world records and as of 2010, unparalleled in any aspect. It symbolizes the progress of the Middle East, and was named after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, the president of the UAE.
City of Dubai - Always on the Brink of EvolutionDubai City was once affected by the Gulf War, and served as a refueling base for other countries in the Middle East. At present, Dubai is known for its mega man-made structures, gigantic shopping centers, and various other tourist attractions.
Quality Hospitals in Dubai - Providing World-class HealthcareTaking care of our health is very important and the government of Dubai has ensured that Hospitals in Dubai deliver quality healthcare service to its residents, locals and expats alike. Read about Dubai's top-notch healthcare service focus.
Dubai Information Guide - Equip Yourself Before Your TripA Dubai information guide is a very helpful tool for people who would like to visit Dubai, as well as those who are planning to live in the city. An information guide should contain all the necessary information that a tourist or a prospective expat needs to know about the city.
What Information You Should Know About the Schools In DubaiFor people with children who would like to live or stay in Dubai for a long time, learn about the education system for schools in Dubai before enrolling your kids. There are a lot of Dubai schools to choose from, so pick one that suits your child.
Girls in DubaiYoung girls of Dubai city and the rest of UAE are very much different than those in the other countries. It is not common to find them partying and going on dates like you might see in movies. It is a life that is highly dictated by religion and culture.
The American University of DubaiThe American University of Dubai is a private university in the city of Dubai which caters to local and international students looking for quality and world class education. Come read about our thoughts on it.
Dating in DubaiDating is a common phenomenon anywhere in the world since it is when people meet and see if a long-term relationship is possible. Let?s see how dating in Dubai is similar or different from the dating practices in other places.
Dubai LadiesDubai ladies are a class of their own in many different aspects. Learning about the ladies in the city can be something that may surprise you and at the same time impress you. It is really no wonder that many people find them alluring with their many different qualities and beauty.
Educating the Future in Schools in DubaiThe schools in Dubai are vast, with a large number of public and private schools for everyone. They put high priority on education the extent that the government actually offers free education to students from kindergarten to university level.
Universities in DubaiThere are number of Universities in Dubai offering different kinds of college courses. Your selection of university can be based on the type of course you want to take and the budget that you have set for your college degree. There are many Universities to choose from. It is just a matter of being able to pass their admission criteria.
Women in DubaiWomen in Dubai city are still pretty much rooted to their predominant religion which is very much different from the women in the west. The different ways of interacting with them must be considered carefully especially if you are a visiting tourist or have just recently moved to Dubai.
Calling DubaiThese days, calling Dubai city or any other place is very easy with the advancements in technology and telecommunications. You can now reach loved ones, clients and business partners in many different ways that makes communication very easy and available to anyone any time of the day, week, or month.
Dubai Traffic FinesLike in most cities Dubai traffic fines are imposed so that the government can ensure people follow proper road safety and prevent accidents. There are strict rules that are being implemented to protect the people of the city from road accidents and the like.
More Good Information About DubaiGetting as much information about Dubai as possible before you travel to Dubai is ideal so that you can maximize your fun and experience during your visit. Quality information will give you more satisfaction during your stay in Dubai as it can tell you all the things that you need to know as well as what the best places are to visit.
Shipping USA Products to DubaiShipping USA products to Dubai is a luxury some Dubai residents enjoy, but not all. Why is that? Because when shopping online in Dubai, many merchants who have ecommerce websites are typically based outside Dubai.
Real Cool Dubai VideosHere are some really popular Dubai city videos that you can watch to get a good glimpse of Dubai. These are not all the videos of Dubai, rather a brief list of some of the best Dubai videos in our opinion.
The Genesis of the Dubai Information SiteThe genesis (or the beginning) of the Dubai City Information Site dates back to a trip to Dubai Kish and I had made. Because of an experience we had, we wondered whether tourists and visitors to Dubai are truly prepared when they visit Dubai. arabic girls in duba dubai girls dubai houses dubai information guide dubai lifestyle dubai schools dubai tower dubai towers live in dubai
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