Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai (United Arab Emirates) logo of city

It is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's legislature. The city of Dubai is located on the emirate's northern coastline and heads the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area.

Dubai emerged as a global city and business hub of the Middle East.

It is also a major transport hub for passengers and cargo. By the 1960s, Dubai's economy was based on revenues from trade and, to a smaller extent, oilexploration concessions, but oil was not discovered until 1966. Oil revenue first started to flow in 1969. Dubai's oil revenue helped accelerate the early development of the city, but its reserves are limited and production levels are low: today, less than 5% of the emirate's revenue comes from oil.

The emirate's Western-style model of business drives its economy with the main revenues now coming from tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services.

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ubai was recently named the best destination for Muslim travellers by Salam Standard. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. The city has become iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Dubai has been criticised for human rights violations concerning the city's largely South Asian and Filipino workforce. Dubai's property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008–09 following the financial crisis of 2007–08, but the emirate's economy has made a return to growth, with a projected 2015 budget surplus.

As of 2012, Dubai was the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive city in the Middle East. In 2014, Dubai's hotel rooms were rated as the second most expensive in the world, after Geneva. Dubai was rated as one of the best places to live in the Middle East by U.S. global consulting firm Mercer.


Geography

Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and is roughly at sea level (16 m or 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 1,588 sq mi (4,110 km2), which represents a significant expansion beyond its initial 1,500 sq mi (3,900 km2) designation due to land reclamation from the sea.

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. The sand consists mostly of crushed shell and coral and is fine, clean and white. East of the city, the salt-crusted coastal plains, known as sabkha, give way to a north-south running line of dunes. Farther east, the dunes grow larger and are tinged red with iron oxide.


Climate in Dubai

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. Precipitation, however, has been increasing in the last few decades, with accumulated rain reaching 94.3 mm (3.71 in) per year. Dubai summers are also known for the moderate to high humidity level, which can make it uncomfortable for many.

Climate data Dubai: average air temperature

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.8
(89.2)
37.5
(99.5)
41.3
(106.3)
43.5
(110.3)
47.0
(116.6)
47.9
(118.2)
48.5
(119.3)
47.5
(117.5)
45.1
(113.2)
42.4
(108.3)
38
(100)
33.2
(91.8)
48.5
(119.3)
Average high °C (°F) 24.2
(75.6)
25.6
(78.1)
28.6
(83.5)
33.2
(91.8)
37.8
(100)
39.7
(103.5)
41.2
(106.2)
41.4
(106.5)
39.1
(102.4)
35.6
(96.1)
30.7
(87.3)
26.3
(79.3)
33.4
(92.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.3
(66.7)
20.6
(69.1)
23.2
(73.8)
27.2
(81)
31.4
(88.5)
33.6
(92.5)
35.7
(96.3)
36.0
(96.8)
33.4
(92.1)
30.0
(86)
25.4
(77.7)
21.3
(70.3)
28.09
(82.57)
Average low °C (°F) 14.4
(57.9)
15.5
(59.9)
17.7
(63.9)
21.2
(70.2)
24.9
(76.8)
27.5
(81.5)
30.2
(86.4)
30.5
(86.9)
27.7
(81.9)
24.3
(75.7)
20.0
(68)
16.3
(61.3)
22.5
(72.5)
Record low °C (°F) 6.1
(43)
6.9
(44.4)
9.0
(48.2)
13.4
(56.1)
15.1
(59.2)
18.2
(64.8)
20.4
(68.7)
23.1
(73.6)
16.5
(61.7)
15.0
(59)
11.8
(53.2)
8.2
(46.8)
6.1
(43)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18.8
(0.74)
25.0
(0.984)
22.1
(0.87)
7.2
(0.283)
0.4
(0.016)
0.0
(0)
0.8
(0.031)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.1
(0.043)
2.7
(0.106)
16.2
(0.638)
94.3
(3.711)
Average precipitation days 5.4 4.7 5.8 2.6 0.3 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.1 0.2 1.3 3.8 25.2
Average relative humidity (%) 65 65 63 55 53 58 56 57 60 60 61 64 59.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 254.2 229.6 254.2 294.0 344.1 342.0 322.4 316.2 309.0 303.8 285.0 254.2 3,508.7
Percent possible sunshine 75 75 68 75 85 81 74 78 86 82 86 75 78.3

Climate data Dubai: average sea temperature

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) 23.4
(74.2)
21.9
(71.4)
23.2
(73.8)
25.5
(77.9)
28.8
(83.8)
31.6
(88.8)
32.7
(90.9)
33.5
(92.3)
33.1
(91.5)
31.3
(88.4)
28.6
(83.4)
25.4
(77.8)
28.3
(76.6)
Average Ultraviolet index 6 8 10 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11 8 6 5 9.1

Governance and politics

Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum family since 1833; the emirate is an absolute monarchy with no elections

(other than the few thousand Dubai citizens participating in the electoral college for the Federal National Council of the UAE). The ruler, High 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 8 members in two-term periods to the Federal National Council (FNC) of the UAE, the supreme federal legislative body.

Sharia laws

Kissing in certain places is illegal and can result in deportation. Sometimes, certain narrow exemptions to Islamic law are made for adult non-Muslims. Adult non-Muslims are allowed to consume alcohol in licensed venues, typically within hotels, or at home with the possession of an alcohol license. Restaurants outside hotels in Dubai are typically not permitted to sell alcohol. Like other parts of the world, drinking and driving is illegal.

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Economy of Dubai

One of the world's fastest growing economies. Although a number of core elements of Dubai's trading infrastructure were built on the back of the oil industry,[114] revenues from oil and natural gas account for less than 5% of the emirate's revenues.

Historically, Dubai and its twin across Dubai Creek, Deira (independent of Dubai City at that time), were important ports of call for Western manufacturers. Most of the new city's banking and financial centres were headquartered in the port area. Dubai maintained its importance as a trade route through the 1970's and 1980's. Dubai has a free trade in gold and, until the 1990s, was the hub of a "brisk smuggling trade" of gold ingots to India, where gold import was restricted.

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 2006. The large-scale real estate development projects have led to the construction of some of the tallest skyscrapers and largest projects in the world such as the Emirates Towers, the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Islands and the most expensive hotel, the Burj Al Arab. Dubai's property market experienced a major downturn in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the slowing economic climate.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was established in March 2000 as a secondary market for trading securities and bonds, both local and foreign. As of fourth quarter 2006, its trading volume stood at about 400 billion shares, worth $95 billion in total. The DFM had a market capitalisation of about $87 billion. The other Dubai-based stock exchange is NASDAQ Dubai, which is the international stock exchange in the Middle East. It enables a range of companies, including UAE and regional small and medium-sized enterprises, to trade on an exchange with an international brand name, with access by both regional and international investors.

Dubai is also known as the City of Gold, because a major part of the economy is based on gold trades, with Dubai's total gold trading volumes in H1 2011 reaching 580 tonnes, with an average price of US$1,455 per troy ounce.

Tourism and retail

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 2013, Dubai was the 7th most visited city of the world based on air traffic and the fastest growing, increasing by a 10.7% rate. Dubai is expected to accommodate over 15 million tourists by 2015.

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Dubai (UAE) landmarks
full screen view Dubai (UAE) landmarks

Dubai has been called the "shopping capital of the Middle East". Dubai alone has more than 70 shopping centres, including the world's largest shopping centre, Dubai Mall. Dubai is also known for the traditional souk districts located on either side of its creek. Traditionally, dhows from East Asia, China, Sri Lanka, and India would discharge their cargo and the goods would be bargained over in the souks adjacent to the docks. Dubai Creek played a vital role in sustaining the life of the community in the city and was the resource which originally drove the economic boom in Dubai. As of September 2013, Dubai creek has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many boutiques and jewellery stores are also found in the city. Dubai is also referred to as "the City of Gold" as the Gold Souk in Deira houses nearly 250 gold retail shops.

Dubai Creek Park in Dubai Creek also plays a vital role in Dubai tourism as it showcase some of the most famous tourist attractions in Dubai such as Dolphinarium, Cable Car, Camel Ride, Horse Carriage and Exotic Birds Shows.


Transport of Dubai

With a vision of safe and smooth transport for all, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is responsible for planning and executing transport and traffic projects in Dubai, preparing legislation and strategic plans, developing other integrated solutions of road system and marine network that are safe and in line with the city's economic development plans and the highest international standards.

Due to its massive role in the development of infrastructure and transportation for Dubai, RTA administers itself through six agencies: Marine, Public Transport, Traffic & Roads, Rail, Dubai Taxi & Licensing Agency.

Dubai (UAE) metro map

Religion

Article 7 of the UAE's Provisional Constitution declares Islam the official state religion of the UAE. The government subsidises 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 Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department also known as "Awqaf" under the Government of Dubai and all Imams are appointed by the Government. Any person held preaching racism, religious hatred or promoting religious extremism is usually jailed and deported.

Minorities

Dubai also has large Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Bahá'í, Buddhist and other religious communities residing in the city.

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