Dubai City Information Site

City of Dubai - Always on the Brink of Evolution

Hi, Sunil here for a brief discussion on the evolution of the Golden City of Dubai.

The “City of Gold,” “Global City”, and “Shopping Paradise of the East” – these are just a few names that people bestow upon the City of Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.

You most likely already know from reading earlier sections of our website that the Emirate is situated south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.

The city has the largest population and is next to Abu Dhabi in terms of area.

Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty since 1833. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is its present ruler, and he is also the Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE.

Dubai’s economy was originally built on the oil industry, but petroleum and natural gas revenues contribute less than 6% to the emirate’s $ 80 billion economy as of 2010.

Dubai’s main revenues come from property and construction, tourism, and financial services.

Dubai caught the world’s attention through many ingenious gigantic construction projects and sports events.

Thus, labeled as a “global city” and considered as the business hub of the Middle East.

As of 2010, Dubai was/is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. On the other hand, the Dubai International Finance Center was established in 2004 to turn Dubai into a major international center for banks and finance, rising to the likes of New York, London, and Hongkong.

In 1990, the Persian Gulf War had a bad effect in the city of Dubai since depositors withdrew massive amounts of money from Dubai banks because of unstable political conditions in the Middle East. However, later in the 1990s, many foreign trading communities like Kuwait and Bahrain moved their businesses to Dubai. The city of Dubai provided refueling bases to allied forces at the Jebel Ali free zone during the Gulf War and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Oil prices increased after the Gulf War, and Dubai was pretty dry of oil supply, and this encouraged Dubai to focus on tourism and free trade.

The success of the Jebel Ali free zone prompted the city to use its model and develop other clusters of new free zones, such as the Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, and the Dubai Maritime City. To boost the tourism of Dubai, the Burj Al Arab, the world’s tallest free standing and 7 star hotel, as well as various residential projects, were constructed. Dubai’s skyline drastically changed since the increase in private property development in 2002, which includes massive projects such as The Palm Islands, The World Islands, and the Burj Khalifa.

The tourism in Dubai is an essential part of the government’s strategy to keep the flow of cash into the city. Dubai’s lure to tourists is based mainly on shopping, ancient, and modern tourist attractions. As a result, Dubai ranked as the eighth most visited place in the world as of 2007 and expects to accommodate over 15 million tourists by 2015.

The city of Dubai has over 70 shopping malls and houses the largest mall in the world, the Dubai Mall. It is known as the “Shopping Paradise of the World,” and draws large numbers of shoppers coming from other countries. The city of Dubai is also known for its “souks,” or large marketplaces.

An interesting fact about Dubai (but shouldn’t be surprising to you if you have been following our website) is that it has an unusually large number of foreign residents. Almost 80% of the Dubai population is comprised of expatriates and foreigners.

This is due to the fact that a lot of people in different parts of the world find jobs in Dubai. There are a lot of structures being constructed in the city and a lot of companies opening and doing business, thus, a huge number of manpower is needed. Another factor is that Dubai is “less strict” than other places in the Middle East, making it a favorite destination of foreigners in the region.

Internationally, Dubai is perceived as a glitzy gulf city state that sells itself as a place where the Middle East meets the Wild West. However, the city is also described as bipolar, because it caters heavily to Western tastes and lifestyles for its international allure, but is still governed by rulers with traditional and conservative Gulf sensibilities.

Until early 2009, Dubai was the Western media's favorite Middle Eastern "good news" story. Coverage of the city and its accomplishments during its six-year boom was tremendously positive. Dubai's political and economic leaders won pop-star treatment at the international level. But when Dubai's economic fortunes reversed in 2008, so did the media coverage.

Instead of focusing on the Emirate's economic policies, however, some journalists confronted its entire existence. Dubai suddenly found itself criticized for human rights, environment policy, and the tastefulness and social acceptability of its tourism offerings. The rulers of Dubai, on the other hand, consistently reassure that Dubai is not bankrupt and has a stable economy, and blames the media for the misinformation.

From being a fuel provider to being the center of tourism and trade in the Middle East, Dubai has grown more than a hundredfold. Despite the bad press it received in 2009, Dubai continues to provide jobs, and the different construction projects are still ongoing.

You cannot experience and know what Dubai is all about unless you visit the city. Book your flight and come visit Dubai to experience what it really has to offer. For Kish and I, Dubai was and always be home. After all, we do have all kinds of friends and family ties within. Not to mention that Kish was brought up in Dubai as well!

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