Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai. It is located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai aims to be the business hub of Western Asia. It is also a major global transport hub for passengers and cargo. Oil revenue helped accelerate the development of the city, which was already a major mercantile hub. Today, less than 5% of the emirate's revenue comes from oil. A centre for regional and international trade since the early 20th century, Dubai's economy relies on revenues from trade, tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial services. It is famous for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On artificial islands just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.
Data and facts
- In 2016, the population of Dubai was over 2.5 million, and the city is expected to see continued steady increase in the years ahead.
- Dubai is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and it is the second largest by area, measuring 4,114 square kilometers, and coming second only to Abu Dhabi, which comprises 87% of the UAE’s total area and shares borders with Dubai.
- Dubai’s ratio of males to females is skewed, with approximately 75% of the population being male.The population is also composed of just 15% native residents, with the remaining 85% being composed of expatriates.
- About 85% of the expatriate population – or 71% of the total population -- is Asian, primarily from India (accounting for 51%). Other Asians in Dubai are originally from Pakistan (17%), Bangladesh (9%) and the Philippines (3%). The city also has a high number of Somalis, and British expatriates make up the largest population of Western expatriates.
- The local Emiratis only make up 15% of the population. 85% of its total population are foreigners.
- There is no income tax in Dubai. Some of the richest people in the world do business here, and many foreigners come here as well. The zero tax policy on its residents is one of the major benefits of living in Dubai.
- Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building. Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building.
- There were only 13 cars registered in 1968. Today, however, there are almost 2 million cars.
The Government of Dubai governs the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven constituent monarchies which make up the United Arab Emirates. The executive authority of the government is the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Dubai Municipality and numerous other governing entities are under its jurisdiction.
Dubai's gross domestic product as of 2018 was US $102.67 billion. The Great Recession slowed the construction boom.
The International Herald Tribune has described it as "centrally-planned free-market capitalism." Although Dubai's economy was initially built on revenues from the oil industry, revenue from petroleum and natural gas currently account for less than 5% of the emirate's gross domestic product. Dubai became important ports of call for Western manufacturers. Most of the new city's banking and financial centers were headquartered in the port area. Dubai maintained its importance as a trade route through the 1970s and 1980s. The city of 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. Today, Dubai has focused its economy on tourism by building hotels and developing real estate. Port Jebel Ali, constructed in the 1970s, has the largest man-made harbor in the world, but is also increasingly developing as a hub for service industries such as IT and finance, with the new Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Emirates Airline was founded by the government in 1985 and is still state-owned; based at Dubai International Airport, it carried over 49.7 million passengers in 2015.
Dubai continues to inject capital into its economic and social infrastructure, producing an emirate that can now boast:
- World-leading aviation infrastructure
- Highly developed surface transport infrastructure
- State-of-the-art telecommunications and virtual ‘smart’ infrastructure
- A sophisticated financial and service sector
- Industry-leading exhibition and conference venues
- High-quality office and residential accommodation
- Reliable power and water utilities
- First-class hotels, hospitals, schools, shops, parks and recreation facilities
The UAE has emerged as a leader in the technology space in the Middle East, hosting top global international firms and several top-tier tech conferences and events. Dubai has its sights set firmly on technology and innovation, and is working towards transforming the emirate into a leading global Smart City. The emirate also aims to become a benchmark for innovation for smart cities looking towards global sustainability and competitiveness.
One recent example of this is the Mostaqbal Portal, launched by the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation. The initiative aims to cement the UAE as a leader in science and research, and will publish studies and research in the following sectors: space science, health, science, artificial intelligence, smart networks, and virtual reality, among others.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Education in Dubai covers the levels of primary, secondary and collegiate education. The school system in Dubai is not different from the education system in the United Arab Emirates. There are many public and private schools catering to Emiratis and expatriates. The Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates is responsible for accreditation of schools. Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) supervises all schools, institutes, vocational institutions, adult and special needs centers, day care centers and government and private universities in Dubai.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is a government organization overseeing the health system of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) was formed in 2007 under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. The program was launched in March 2008. Before the DHA was established, the body overseeing healthcare in the emirate was known as the Department of Health and Medical Services, which was established in 1973.
Beyond general oversight of Dubai’s healthcare sector the DHA provides healthcare services through hospitals and other facilities that fall under its direct jurisdiction. These include Latifa Hospital, Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital and Hatta Hospital, in addition to other specialty centres and DHA primary health centres throughout Dubai.
Other aspects of the DHA’s services are:
- Creating and ensuring the execution of policies and strategies for healthcare in Dubai’s public and private healthcare sectors.
- Enabling partnerships between healthcare providers.
- Licensing and regulating medical professionals and facilities.
A city of many faces, Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Home to the tallest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa, this global city is known for its lavish architecture, incredible skylines and a plethora of tourist attractions that break records to be the tallest, longest and biggest. Dubai has abundant opportunities when it comes to adventure activities like Desert Safaris through golden Arabian Dunes, Skydiving over the beautiful Palm Islands, Reef and wreck diving, kite surfing, wakeboarding, etc.
Flaunting its glittering infrastructure amid the glorious Arabian desert, the city of Dubai was once known to be a barren land. Today, this man-made miracle is filled with shimmering skyscrapers, fancy hotels, shopping malls and restaurants. Burj Khalifa - the tallest manmade building, Dubai Fountain with jets and lights choreographed to music, Atlantis, the Palm and an aquarium resort are among the top tourist destinations in Dubai. With the biggest population of all the seven emirates and the second largest in size, Dubai will overwhelm you with its amalgamation of futuristic marvel and ancient Arabian traditions.