Welcome to Dubai, city of merchants, cultural crossroads, second largest of the seven emirates in the UAE. A country where the dust of the desert is clearing to reveal the potential for one of the most significant international cities of the 21st century.
Dubai. The tallest, the biggest, the fastest, the most of everything. Like Mick Jagger once said "Too much is never enough". And more. Dubai today is the undisputed capital of fast forward. Everything about Dubai is in the news. Global brands like Emirates, DP World, Isthitmar and Emaar are emerging out of this city. And what a city it is. Dubai is one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates, and the city of Dubai is the flagship brand of the region.
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. Dubai has the largest population and is the second largest emirate by area, after Abu Dhabi.
Soon, in the 1960's, with the discovery of oil, money started to pour in and Dubai's prominence and prosperity increased. But aware of the risks of oil-dependency, Sheikh Rashid actively promoted new industrial ventures. The Aluminium and Cement factory are the result of this endeavour.
The Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone - the fifth largest in the world within a short span of ten years, has attracted over 1000 international companies that include global giants - a few of these are General Motors, AEG, Aiwa, BP, Ciba, Geigy, Daewoo and Heinz. Dubai has changed dramatically over the last three decades, becoming a major business centre with a more dynamic and diversified economy. Dubai enjoys a strategic location and serves as the biggest re-exporting centre in the Middle East.
Its low logistical and operational costs and excellent infrastructure, international outlook and liberal government policies are attracting investors in a big way.
Activities such as trade, transport, tourism, industry and finance have shown steady growth and helped the economy to achieve a high degree of expansion and diversification.
Dubai's attractiveness not only lies in its trade. Like the rest of the U.A.E., it has also been actively promoted as a tourist destination. Today there are several landmarks that have become global icons. The Burj Al Arab Hotel - the only one in the 7-Star category globally, the world's tallest tower - The Burj Khalifa, located in downtown Dubai, the world's biggest shopping centre - The Dubai Mall, the World - a set of man-made islands that are shaped like countries, the three Palm developments, the list goes on.
Construction is booming every where in Dubai. There's a joke that goes around that says that Dubai's national bird is the crane! But on a more serious note, there are more cranes in Dubai at the moment than there are in the entire nation of Canada.