Dubai

dubaiDubai or Dubayy (in Arabic) is one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Arabian Peninsula, in the Southwest corner of the Arabian Gulf. It is extremely well known for its warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage, and the Emirati people are welcoming and generous in their approach to visitors. With year-round sunshine, intriguing deserts, beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels and shopping malls, fascinating heritage attractions and a thriving business community. Dubai receives millions of leisure and business visitors each year from around the world. The city of contrasts, where the old and new makes it a mysterious exciting place to its visitors. It is a very welcoming city and increasingly becoming very well known worldwide.

Dubai Rulers

Since 1833 the reigning Al Maktoum families have ruled Dubai. Under their wise and progressive leadership Dubai has prospered and it is now the business and tourism hub for a region that stretches from Egypt to the Indian sub-continent and from South Africa to the CIS countries.

The eighth ruler from the Al Maktoum family, the late His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai from 1958 to 1990, guided the Emirate with compassion and understanding. He realised what was necessary to transform Dubai into the cosmopolitan, prosperous city. Sheikh Rashid along with Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is credited with playing a key role in establishing the federation of the United Arab Emirates.

Following the death of Sheikh Rashid in November 1990, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum became Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, positions he held until he passed away in January 2006.

On January 4th, 2006, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum became the Ruler of Dubai following the death of Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Under his leadership Dubai is fast becoming one of the major cities in the world. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is also the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE.

On 1st February, 2008, H.H.Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum was proclaimed Crown Prince of Dubai. He is also Chairman of Dubai’s Executive Council. The Deputy Rulers of Dubai are: H.H.Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and H.H.Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. H.H.Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is also the UAE’s Minister of Finance.

The ruler of Dubai is H.H.Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is also the Prime Minister of the federation of UAE. The crown prince is H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Population

Current population approx. 1.67 million, 80% comprises of Expatriates – Arab, Asians, European, and others.

Geography

The second largest of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is located on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf and halfway between Europe and Asia, few destinations take more than 8 hours direct flying time to or from Dubai. Dubai city is a bustling metropolis, while outside the city itself the Emirate is sparsely inhabited and characterised by desert vegetation.

Climate

Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular. Falling mainly in winter, it amounts to some five days a year. Temperatures range from a low of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit to a high 118 degrees. The mean daily maximum is 75 degrees Fahrenheit in January rising to 105 degrees Fahrenheit in July.

Local time

Dubai Time is + 4 Hours GMT or 4 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time. GMT is used for all 24 of the world’s time zones.

Language: The official language is Arabic, Arabic and English are commonly used in business and commerce. Hindi and Urdu are also widely used.

Religions: 96% Muslim, Hindu, Christian, 4% others

Country Dialling Code: 971

Internet Country Code: .ae

Currency: Emirati Dirham (AED)

Exchange Rates: Emirati dirham’s per US dollar 3.67

Electricity: 220 or 240 volts AC 50HZ

Attractions

Dubai is a unique destination that is both a dynamic business centre and a tourist paradise, offering more attractions, shopping, fine dining and quality hotels. From the timeless tranquility of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors.

The Emirate embraces a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. In a single day, the tourist can experience everything from rugged mountains and awe-inspiring sand dunes to sandy beaches and lush green parks, from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping malls.

The Emirate is both a dynamic international business centre and a laid-back tourist escape; a city where the sophistication of the twenty-first century walks hand in hand with the simplicity of a bygone era. But these contrasts give Dubai its unique flavour and personality; a cosmopolitan society with an international lifestyle, yet with a culture deeply rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia.

Culture & Heritage

Dubai’s culture is rooted in Islam, providing a strength and inspiration that touches all aspects of everyday life. Virtually every neighbourhood has its own mosque, where the faithful congregate for prayer five times every day. One of the largest and most beautiful mosques is Jumeirah Mosque – a spectacular example of modern Islamic architecture. Built of stone in medieval Fatimid style, the mosque is particularly attractive at night when subtle lighting throws its artistry into sharp relief.

Courtesy and hospitality are among the most highly prized of virtues in the Arab world, and visitors will be charmed by the warmth and friendliness of the people their traditions, customs and religion of the UAE.

Hotels

Dubai offers a range of hotels to suit every taste, whim and budget! From the glitzy, opulent and the most expensive to the very affordable, only seven star hotels in the world all the way through. There are a lot of resorts in the desert where tourists can experience unmatched peace and tranquility. Whatever the choice, it will definitely be an unforgettable stay as a tourist or business traveller.

Shopper’s Paradise

Dubai is ranked the second world’s most popular destination for shopping after the United States and ahead of popular shopping destinations like Singapore, France, UK and Hong Kong among others. With a long history as a trading hub, today Dubai is synonymous with shopping. From souks to shopping malls, Dubai has all — duty free, gold, electronics, textiles and cars — and is a true shopper’s paradise. Perfect for the shop-o-holics and for retail therapy!

Nightlife

Dubai has a lively nightlife. Hotel bars range from sophisticated cocktail lounges to typically informal British and Irish pubs and Western-style lounges. Most of them serve food and many feature pianists, guitarists, duos and bands nightly. After dinner travellers can enjoy the latest sounds in a number of hotel nightclubs, each with its own ambience.