The dazzling emirate of Dubai is the obvious place to begin a tour of the UAE. Apart from the fact that its airport is the largest airline hub in the region, it is also easily accessible with non-stop flights from all major international airports.
Dubai is roughly the size of Cornwall, but the Dubai city is a major draw for visitors. Located in the south of the Persian Gulf along the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai has the largest population in the UAE, and is the second largest land territory by area, of all emirates. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the only two emirates that have veto power over vital matters of national importance in the legislature of the country.
The emirate of Dubai has been known for its ability to build the first, largest, and the biggest constructions in the world. One of the strong points of Dubai, in comparison to all other emirates in the UAE, is its entrepreneurial abilities to create the incredible tourist attractions, shopping centres, landmarks, hotels and nightlife.
Economy of Dubai
Despite being built with the support of oil industry, revenues from oil and natural gas account for only less than 6percent of Dubai revenues. Majority of oil reserves of the emirate has diminished, while real estate and construction, financial services and trade have grown to be major contributors to Dubai economy. The Dubai government is determined to diversify its trade-based oil-reliant economy, and has therefore made real estate and tourism more valuable. Dubai is also known as City of Gold, with major part of the economy being dependent on gold trades in Dubai. Even tourism has contributed immensely in maintaining foreign cash flow into the emirate.
Population of Dubai
Dubai is the most populated among all the emirates in the UAE. The total population accounted for in 2011 was 2,006,110. Majority of foreign population in Dubai are Asians, particularly Indians, followed by Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Filipino. Arabic is the official language in Dubai, while English is also widely prevalent among local residents.
Towns and Cities
Major towns and cities in Dubai are Bur Dubai, Deira Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Airport Dubai, and Al Maha Desert Dubai.
Dubai was already chosen as the eighth most visited city in the world, in 2010. Towards the year 2015, Dubai is likely to accommodate a population of 15million tourists. This is mainly because the landmarks in Dubai are plenty, and are truly impressive for the tourists. Some most important landmarks in Dubai, worth visiting are:
There can be no other example to prove that sky is the limit for Dubai, when it comes to constructions. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper in the world. Standing tall at 2,717 ft., this skyscraper is position in Downtown Dubai. The tower houses world’s most elite shopping centres, hotels, offices and residences.
Burj Al Arab
Being one of the most extravagant hotels in the world, it is worlds first seven star hotel developed by Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts. The billowing sail of Burj Al Arab is the primary focus of the public. Given its glittery gold interiors, coupled with ultra-spacious suites and huge luxury levels, it is the dream of one and all to stay at Burj Al-Arab.
The World Islands
The World Islands, by Nakheel Properties, are man-made islands for luxury residential purposes. They resemble the world, with each island resembling a country, when photographed from above the islands. The hotel properties and residential buildings within the development are a good boost to Dubai tourism.
This is a Ski resort within the largest mall in the world, namely, the Mall of Emirates. It features 22,500 sqm of ski area, covered with snow all year round. The indoor ski resort also features several ski jump slopes and play areas, entertaining children and adults alike.
Dubai Internet City
Dubai Internet City is the most strategic and cost-effective platform for ICT companies, featuring state-of-the-art amenities, aiming to capture global markets. The Dubai Internet City is one of the few designated areas to offer 100percent tax exemption in business ownership.
The Deira Clocktower is a major landmark in Dubai, and has been a mute spectator to the changing faces of Dubai. Built in 1963, it also marks the first oil exports of the country. The Deira Clocktower is also sometimes referred to as Dubai Clocktower, and stands at the gateway of Maktoum Bridge, linking Deira and Bur Dubai.
Located in 'New Dubai', the Dubai Marina is a man-made canal city, along Persian Gulf shoreline, built to encourage luxurious lifestyles through its exclusive waterfront constructions. Among these are posh hotels, extravagant shopping and entertainment centres, and aristocratic residential palaces.
Sheikh Zayed Road
A section of the longest highway in the UAE, stretching from Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah, is the Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The road is named after Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the then Ruler of Dubai. Several properties and skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa and Emirates Towers are housed in Sheikh Zayed Road.
Dubai, although is about state-of-the-art high-rises, a part of it is still linked to narrow lanes and wind towers, a part of the historic Al Bastakiya district. Being the oldest residential district in Dubai, dating back of 1890s, the area is known for its old-time architecture and the lack of connection to the otherwise busy lives of Bur Dubai.
The Dubai museum offers an insight into the history of the emirate from within the Al Fahidi Fort, a late 18th century structure, also the oldest in the city. Among the exhibits are the dhow construction, Dubai’s tradition of pearl fishing and Bedouin Culture, and photographs of Dubai during the early 1920s.
The Palm Triology
The Palm Triology in Dubai are the man-made islands, resembling the palm, comprising the Palm Jebel Ali, the Palm Deira and Palm Jumeirah. This is another amazing man-made residential adventure, offering luxury lifestyle near the beach, with opulent amenities. There are also luxury hotels, marinas, exclusive beachside homes, theme parks, entertainment and sport amenities. No wonder, The Palms are also considered eighth wonder of the world.
Dubailand is a major real estate, hospitality, tourism, leisure, retail and entertainment complex, spread across 3bn square feet of area, and is one of the major tourist destinations in Middle East. Located within the entertainment complex of Dubailand, is the world renowned Dubai Sports City, featuring world-class sporting venues, residential apartments, commercial properties, schools, hotels, entertainment, retail and other amenities.
The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall, and is a part of the Burj Khalifa complex, offering nearly 1200 shops. Being more like a 'mall-within-a-mall', the Dubai Mall has a total of 1200 stores, featuring wonderful attractions, including the Gold Souk. The Dubai Mall also houses 120 restaurants, cafes, luxury hotels and 22 cinema screens.
Dubai is also called the Shopping Capital of the Middle East, with plenty of shopping malls, including the world’s largest mall (Dubai Mall). In fact, there are plenty of visitors travelling to Dubai every year, just for shopping, from countries as far as the Indian subcontinent, Europe, and Africa. A special mention should be made here about the Gold Souqs in Dubai, as shopping could seem incomplete without a visit to a gold souk in Dubai. Dubai is a tax-free shopping haven for gold lovers, with gold in Dubai being the cheapest in the world.
Dubai also has the Dubai Duty Free at the Dubai International Airport, which offers merchandise catering to international passengers using the airport. There are also the malls including the Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall, and the like.