Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Situated towards the south of the Persian Gulf of the Arabian Peninsula, it has the largest population and the second largest land territory after Abu Dhabi. The earliest settlement in Dubai dates back to 1799. It was formally established in the early 19th century. Its geographical location held a lot of importance and made it a very important trading hub by the start of the new century. When in 1966 oil was discovered it marked the start of a new era in the history of Dubai. The oil economy lead to a rapid increase in the number of workers coming into the country and with this the city expanded by 300% and many companies from abroad showed their interest in the oil Dubai had.
The location of Dubai is very important. It shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast and Oman in the southeast. Dubai does not have any natural rivers but it does have an inlet, Dubai Creek. This has been dredged in order to make it deep enough so that large ships can pass through. The Dubai Creek runs throughout the city. Much of the real estate boom is directed towards the west of the Dubai Creek. Port Rashid, Jebel Ali, Business Bay and Palm Jumeirah are located there and are some of the benefits that the Dubai Creek has given to the residents of Dubai.
Dubai has gained a lot of importance and Western manufacturers are using its ports in order to transport their goods. This trade route was used during the 1970s and 1980s. It was also considered to be the centre of smuggling trade as there was free trade in gold. Dubai also has free zones for information technology. Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City combined in one hub which includes organizations such as EMC Corporation, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. Media organizations like MBC, CNN and Reuters are also part of Dubai Media City.
The government of Dubai later decided that they had to diversify from their trade-based oil-reliant economy to one that focuses on tourism. Dubai`s property market was another way to attract tourism as property prices skyrocketed in the years 2004-2006. Although when the government did a long-term assessment on the property market of Dubai, it showed that properties had lost over 60% of their value. This led to a large scale real estate project which is the reason why Dubai has the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa and other prominent landmarks such as the Emirates Towers, Palm Islands and the most expensive hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab.
Tourism has always been an important part of Dubai's governmental strategy to maintain the foreign exchange coming into the country. The main lure for tourists are the ancient and modern attractions that Dubai has to offer and the shopping. There are many malls which include the world's 7th largest mall, Dubai Mall. Dubai is referred to as the 'shopping capital of the Middle East'. With over 70 shopping malls and the world's best designers and boutiques available, tourists tend to come here.
Dubai is also well known for its souk districts and the famous dhow cruise. The dhow cruise is a must when you visit Dubai. It's a wooden boat that carries passengers from one side of the creek to another. This 2hr journey is an amazing trip and will provide memories you will never forget.
The Burj Khalifa is another skyscraper that was opened to the public on January 4th, 2010. The tallest building in the world has been a huge attraction for the residents of Dubai and for tourists. There are many people who have specifically come from abroad in order to see this building. The Dubai Fountain that is part of the Burj Khalifa, is illuminated by over 6000 lights, it has over 50 projected screens and it is an attraction that you have to see at least once in your lifetime.
Dubai has been a huge financial market and graduates not only from Dubai but from all around the world are guaranteed a good job and good starting salary. The only time Dubai had financial trouble was between 2008 and 2009 when there was little or no economic growth and many employees had to be laid off. The foreign debt of Dubai was at $80 billion and they had no way to get the money to pay off the debt.
Despite this problem, Dubai is ranked 44th among the world's best financial cities and ranked 33rd in terms of purchasing power parity. Dubai has gone past its trouble and is moving ahead with a bang. The Dubai Metro and Burj Khalifa are two prime examples of this. With development on the rise and the growing economy, Dubai is the best place to be and if someone gets such an opportunity, they should definitely take it.