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Dubai has the largest population and is the second largest emirate by area, after Abu Dhabi.

With Abu Dhabi, it is one of only two emirates to possess veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's legislature.


Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty since 1833. The emirates' current ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE.





Ruler of Dubai, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Born in 1949, H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum grew up under the care and guardianship of the Al Maktoum family, the ruling family of the emirate of Dubai.


On January 4th 2006, Sheikh Mohammed became the Ruler of Dubai following the death of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


On Jan 5, 2006, Their Highnesses, Members of the UAE Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, elected H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as the Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates on the proposal of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - Dubai - UAE

H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, became the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers of a new government formed on February 9, 2006.


Dubai has a large bus system that services 69 routes and transported over about 90 million people in 2006. Although the main mode of transportation in Dubai is by private vehicle, Dubai also has an extensive taxi system.


A $3.89 billion Dubai Metro project is under construction for the emirate. The Metro system is expected to be partially operational by 2009 and fully operational by 2012.


The metro will comprise two lines: the Green Line from Al Rashidiya to the main city center and the Red Line from the airport to Jebel Ali.

The Dubai Metro (Green and Blue Lines) will have 70 kilometers of track and 43 stations, 33 above ground and ten underground.

One of the more traditional methods of getting across Bur Dubai to Deira is through abras, small boats that ferry passengers across the Dubai Creek, between abra stations in Bastakiya and Baniyas Road.


In July 2007, the Salik road toll network was installed on Sheikh Zayed Road and on Al Garhoud bridge; the tolling stations are fully automated and collect toll of AED 4 (US$ 1.08) per transit. Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB), the hub for Emirates Airline, services the city of Dubai and other emirates in the country. The airport served a total of over 34 million passengers and over 260,000 flights in 2007 On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971. In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a uniform currency: the UAE dirham. In the 1970s, Dubai continued to grow from revenues generated from oil and trade, even as the city saw an influx of Lebanese immigrants fleeing the civil war in Lebanon.[ The Jebel Ali Free Zone, comprising the Jebel Ali port (reputedly the world's largest man made port) was established in 1979, which provided foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital.



With a population of barely a million and half residents, yet boasting more than six million visitors a year and growing, Dubai offers the most unbelievable selection of hotels, hotel resorts, recreation facilities, B&B accommodation, self catering villas, budget hotels and shopping malls of anywhere in the world. Beautiful beaches, year round sunshine and a safe environment makes this the perfect getaway destination for the ideal holiday. Many of the hundred plus nationalities stay to earn a living!


OLD Dubai

1833-1958 Credits

In the 18th century, Dubai was a small fishing and trading village inhabited by members of the Bani Yas. The Al Maktoum family settled in Dubai in 1833 when members of the Al Bu Falasah seceded from Abu Dhabi.

Donkeys and camels provided transportation on land. Crossing the creek meant a long and arduous journey around the end of the creek or a ride in an abra, a small wooden boat that ferries passengers to this day. Abras were also used to transport people to ships.

Prior to the introduction of electricity in 1952, kerosene lamps or candles were used for lighting and charcoal, imported from the interior of Oman, was used for cooking and making coffee. Sweet water came from wells around Dubai.

The majority of the inhabitants lived in barastis, huts constructed from palm fronds. Extended families dwelled in compounds amid the compounds of relatives. Houses were constructed of gypsum from the salt marshes at the end of the creek and coral stone.
Deira's souq, the town's public market, was lined with narrow, covered passageways. With 350 shops of commodities from around the world, it was the largest market in the region.



With formal records only dating back to the late 18th century, it's obvious Dubai has come a long way since it’s early days as a small fishing and pearl diving village. The ancient pearling industry provided the only real income for the people of what is now the UAE. The land was too barren to allow any farming and the people were generally too concerned with finding water, food and other provisions to consider trying to make money.


British government papers from the 1920s describe the pearling industry in Bahrain, which would have been almost identical to Dubai's."

Until they clear the harbour the boats are propelled by heavy oars, each pulled by two men, who sing the song of the pearlers as they row. Often the fleet returns at night when the moon and the tide are full. The sound of the sailors chanting and the splash of the oars is carried across the still water to the town. The sight of hundreds of white sails, some of them coloured orange by the light of the fires burning on the decks, is one of the most picturesque in the world.
Go to to find wonderful images of Old Dubai


In 1971, Dubai along with five other emirates and a sixth in 1972, signed an agreement to create the United Arab Emirates. Dubai has engendered interest and investments across the globe.


Dubai boasts the only seven star hotel in the world, the tallest building in the world and the construction of several man-made islands, allegedly visible from space. Dubai is a tremendously exciting tourist destination and holiday destination.


The Dubai International Airport is the most modern airport of today. For millions of transit passengers it has become the gateway to Asia and other world wide destinations. Since 1980 the number of airline passengers has grown by 200% to 21.7 million in 2004. In 2005 this figure is expected to reach 25 million and a total of 107 carriers will land passengers from 160 destinations in Dubai. As early as 2010 this figure might reach 60 million and in 2020 between 120 and 130 million passengers are expected to reach this hub.


Today the Dubai International Airport has reached its capacity limit. The airport is currently being expanded and will, in the not too distant future, become home for 51 Super Airbus A 380 aircraft. Upon completion of the extension the airport will offer 23 dedicated gates as well as the worldwide largest care and maintenance center for the A 380.



The Sheikh Zayed Road is the main road and same time the link between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. High-rise buildings alternate with lovely park areas.

The road is named after Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who has ruled the United Arab Emirates for over 30 years.


This hotel, the world's first underwater luxury resort, brings new meaning to the "ocean-view room." Situated 66 feet below the surface of the Persian Gulf, Hydropolis will feature 220 guest suites. Reinforced by concrete and steel, its Plexiglas walls and bubble-shaped dome ceilings offer sights of fish and other sea creatures. It's scheduled to open in late 2007.


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Dubai is said to currently have 15-25% of all the world's cranes. Tower cranes used to build skyscrapers are put up in two days on average. "The tallest free standing crane we used was at Ski Dubai, which measured 92.5 metres," said Mullaney. The crane at Burj Dubai will eventually be 750 metres above ground level. Laing O'Rourke is currently working on four big projects Dubai airport, Festival city, Burj Dubai and the Old Town and Atlantis hotel on Palm Island.


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The Dubai Waterfront. When completed it will become the largest waterfront development in the world. The project will feature hundreds of waterfront developments and planned communities. It will consist of 10 key areas including Madinat Al Arab, which is expected to become the new downtown and central business district of Dubai.


It will be anchored by Al Burj, which when completed is expected to be one of the world's tallest buildings. Madinat Al Arab will feature resorts, retail, commercial spaces, public spaces, a broad mix of residencies and an integrated transport system including light rail and a road network.


The Palm Islands in Dubai. New Dutch dredging technology was used to create these massive man made islands. They are the largest artificial islands in the world and can be seen from space. Three of these Palms will be made with the last one being the largest of them all.


The World Islands. 300 artificially created islands in the shape of the world. Each island will have an estimated cost of $25-30 million.

The Burj Dubai. Construction began in 2005 and is expected to be complete by 2008. At an estimated height of over 800 meters, it will easily be world's tallest building when finished. It will be almost 40 percent taller than the current tallest building, the Yaipei 101.


More than 140 stories of the Burj Dubai have already been completed. It is already the worlds tallest man made structure and it is still not scheduled to be completed for at least another year.


The Al Burj. This will be the centerpiece of the Dubai Waterfront. Once completed it will take over the title of the tallest structure in the world from the Burj Dubai


Recently it was announced that the final height of this tower will be 1200 meters. That would make it more than 30 percent taller than the Burj Dubai and three times as tall as the Empire State Building.


Dubailand. Currently, the largest amusement park collection in the world is Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, which is also the largest single-site employer in the United states with 58,000 employees.
Dubailand will be twice the size.

Dubailand will be built on 3 billion square feet (107 miles^2) at an estimated $20 billion price tag. The site will include a purported 45 mega projects and 200 hundred other smaller projects. Currently, the Walt Disney World Resort is the #1 tourist destination in the world.


Once fully completed, Dubailand will easily take over that title since it is expected to attract 200,000 visitors daily.



Dubai offers a huge variety of accommodation, ranging from exclusive celebrity-style hotels and resorts, to sophisticated Guest Lodges and B&B's, right down to budget hotels and backpacker lodges - something for everyone. If you are jet-setting in Dubai, then Crowne Plaza Dubai is just the place to be! If you are a business trip, try one of the many sophisticated B&B's that abound in Dubai. If you are a tourist and looking for fun-filled resorts, the Wild Wadi Waterpark is not to be missed! ...............or a backpacker on a tight budget, try one of the many budget hotels and ask if they cater for backpacker's needs.



Dubai is the ideal tourist destination, filled with entertainment, night clubs, desert adventures, parks and gardens, and historical buildings..... in fact, an abundance of tourist attractions to keep you busy both day and night.




Dubai - 1990





Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road



Dubai Hydropolis - underwater resort - underwater hotel



Duabi Palm Islands


Dubai World Islands



Dubai - Al Burj



For the "shop-till-you-drop" addict, Dubai is a shoppers dream, filled with shopping malls, souks, gold souks, and designer-label stores

Dubai is easily the "shopping capital of the Middle East". There's no better place to find products at unbeatable prices in the many shopping malls and souks. This duty free shopper's paradise gives you more for your money. Dubai's numerous shopping malls offer jewellery,haute couture clothing, electronics, furnishing, sporting equipment, cars, and any other goods - and usually all under the same roof. Gold prices are amazingly reasonable in Dubai at the famed gold souks.A cut-price engagement ring could even be less than quarter of the price one would pay in Europe.



Food there is, and plenty of it! All the major hotels have an almost overwhelming choice of restaurants - servering a bewildering choice of cuisine - Arab, Italian, Lebanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian curries, Japanese sushi, Persian, French, Greek ....... the list is endless!!! Many of the restaurants also offer various live entertainment, including belly dancing.



Dubai is world renowned for gold jewellery and precious stones, and with the abundance of reputable dealers, Dubai is certainly the place to shop for gold! No visit to Dubai is complete without a stroll through the Gold Souks



Dubai (in Arabic: دبيّ‎, transliteration: dubaīy) can either refer to one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, or that emirate's main city, sometimes called "Dubai city" to distinguish it from the emirate. The modern emirate of Dubai was created with the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. However, written accounts documenting the existence of the city have existed at least 150 years prior to the formation of the UAE. Dubai shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates within a federal framework, although each emirate has jurisdiction over some functions such as civic law enforcement and provision and upkeep of local facilities. A majority of the emirate's revenues are from trade, manufacturing and financial services. Revenues from petroleum and natural gas contribute less than 6% (2006) of Dubai's US$ 37 billion economy (2005). Dubai has attracted world-wide attention through innovative real estate projects and sports events. This increased attention, coinciding with its emergence as a world business hub, has also highlighted human rights issues concerning its largely foreign workforce.



Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and is roughly at sea level (16 m/52 ft 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 is positioned at 25.2697° N 55.3095° E and covers an area of 4,114 km² (1,588 mi²). In the early 19th century, the Al Abu Falasa clan (House of Al-Falasi) of Bani Yas clan established Dubai, which remained a dependent of Abu Dhabi until 1833. On 8 January 1820, the sheikh of Dubai and other sheikhs in the region signed the "General Maritime Peace Treaty" with the British government.


However, in 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty (also descendants of the House of Al-Falasi) of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over Dubai from the Abu Fasala clan without resistance. Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom by the "Exclusive Agreement" of 1892, with the latter agreeing to protect Dubai against any attacks from the Ottoman Empire.


Two catastrophes struck the town during the mid 1800s. First, in 1841, a smallpox epidemic broke out in the Bur Dubai locality, forcing residents to relocate east to Deira. Then, in 1894, fire swept through Deira, burning down most homes. However, the town's geographical location continued to attract traders and merchants from around the region. The emir of Dubai was keen to attract foreign traders and lowered trade tax brackets, which lured traders away from Sharjah and Bandar Lengeh, which were the region's main trade hubs at the time. Dubai's geographical proximity to India made it an important location.


The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen, chiefly those from India, many of whom eventually settled in the town. Dubai was known for its pearl exports until the 1930s. However, Dubai's pearling industry was damaged irreparably by the events of the First World War, and later on by the Great Depression in the late 1920s.


Consequently, the city witnessed a mass migration of people to other parts of the Persian Gulf. Since its inception, Dubai was constantly at odds with Abu Dhabi. In 1947, a border dispute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the northern sector of their mutual border, escalated into war between the two states. Arbitration by the British and the creation of a buffer frontier running south eastwards from the coast at Ras Hasian resulted in a temporary cessation of hostilities.


However, border disputes between the emirates continued even after the formation of the UAE; it was only in 1979 that a formal compromise was reached that ended hostilities and border disputes between the two states.


Dubai is considered to be an important tourist destination and its port, Jebel Ali, constructed in the 1970s, has the largest man-made harbor in the world Electricity, telephone services and an airport were established in Dubai in the 1950s, when the British moved their local administrative offices from Sharjah to Dubai. In 1966 the town joined the newly independent country of Qatar to set up a new monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai Riyal, after the deflation of the Gulf rupee. Oil was discovered in Dubai the same year, after which the town granted concessions to international oil companies. The discovery of oil led to a massive influx of foreign workers, mainly Indians and Pakistanis. As a result, the population of the city from 1968 to 1975 grew by over 300%, by some estimates.



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