Emirates in the UAE
The Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's legislature. Its geographical location made it an important trading hub and by the beginning of the 20th century, it was an important port. A free trade zone was built around the Jebel Ali port in 1979, allowing foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital.
Today, Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business hub. Although Dubai's economy was built on the oil industry, currently the emirate's model of business, similar to that of Western countries, drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. This increased attention has highlighted labour rights and human rights issues concerning its largely South Asian workforce.
Dubai's gross domestic product as of 2008 was US$ 82.11 billion. Although Dubai's economy was built on the back of the oil industry, revenues from oil and natural gas currently account for less than 6% of the emirate's revenues. It is estimated that Dubai produces 50,000 to 70,000 barrels (11,000 m3) of oil a day and substantial quantities of gas from offshore fields. The emirate's share in UAE's gas revenues is about 2%. Real estate and construction (22.6%), trade (16%), entrepôt (15%) and financial services (11%) are the largest contributors to Dubai's economy. Dubai's top exporting destinations include India, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Dubai's top re-exporting destinations include India (US$ 6.53 billion), Iran (US$ 5.8 billion) and Iraq (US$ 2.8 billion). The emirate's top import sources are India, China and the United States. As of 2009 India was Dubai's largest trade partner.
Dubai's Jebel Ali port, constructed in the 1970s, has the largest man-made harbour in the world and was ranked seventh globally for the volume of container traffic it supports. Dubai is also a hub for service industries such as information technology and finance, with industry-specific free zones throughout the city. Dubai Internet City, combined with Dubai Media City as part of TECOM (Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority) is one such enclave whose members include IT firms such as EMC Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft, and IBM, and media organisations such as MBC, CNN, BBC, Reuters, Sky News and AP.
Dubai is fast becoming a centre of business activities, not only regionally but internationally as well. The reasons are many. Some of these are:
the location in the middle of UAE coast
free & balanced economic policy
establishment of complete infrastructure of projects along with other services & utilities
More over the excellent leadership that Dubai enjoys.
International Trade Fairs & Exhibitions
Throughout the year Dubai Hosts international events which are organized in the venues that are highly developed technically & safe & secure as well.
Tourism and retail
Dubai Mall is one of the largest malls in the world.
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 2007, Dubai was the 8th most visited city of the world. Dubai is expected to accommodate over 15 million tourists by 2015. Dubai is the most populous emirate of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. It is distinct from other members of the UAE in that a large part of the emirate's revenues are from tourism.
Dubai has been called the "shopping capital of the Middle East". Dubai alone has more than 70 shopping malls, including the world's 7th largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. The city draws large numbers of shopping tourists from countries within the region and from as far as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. While boutiques, some electronics shops, department stores and supermarkets operate on a fixed-price basis, most other outlets consider friendly negotiation a way of life.
Dubai is also known for its souk districts located on either side of the creek. Traditionally, dhows from the Far East, China, Sri Lanka, and India would discharge their cargo and the goods would be bargained over in the souks adjacent to the docks. Many boutiques and jewellery stores are also found in the city. Dubai is known as "the City of Gold" and Gold Souk in Deira houses nearly 250 gold retail shops. Dubai Duty Free at the Dubai International Airport offers merchandise catering to the multinational passengers using the airport. The most striking feature of Dubai is the establishment of its Free Zones in several sectors.
Transport in Dubai is controlled by the Roads and Transport authority. The public transport network faces huge congestion and reliability issues which a large investment programme is attempting to address, including over AED 70 billion of improvements planned for completion by 2020, when the population of the city is projected to exceed 3.5 million. In 2009, according to Dubai Municipality statistics, there were an estimated 1,021,880 cars in Dubai. In January 2010, the number of Dubai residents who use public transport stood at 6%. Although the government has invested heavily in the Dubai's road infrastructure, this has not kept pace with the increasing number of vehicles. This, coupled with the induced traffic phenomenon, has led to growing problems of congestion.
Five main routes — E 101 (Sheikh Zayed Road), E 311 (Emirates Road), E 44 (Dubai-Hatta Highway), E 77 (Dubai-Al Habab Road) and E 66 (Oud Metha Road) — run through Dubai, connecting the city to other towns and emirates. Additionally, several important intra-city routes, such as D 89 (Al Maktoum Road/Airport Road), D 85 (Baniyas Road), D 75 (Sheikh Rashid Road), D 73 (Al Dhiyafa Road), D 94 (Jumeirah Road) and D 92 (Al Khaleej/Al Wasl Road) connect the various localities in the city. The eastern and western sections of the city are connected by Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Al Shindagha Tunnel, Business Bay Crossing and Floating Bridge.
The Public Bus Transport system in Dubai is run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The bus system services 140 routes and transported over about 109.5 million people in 2008. By the end of 2010, there will be 2,100 buses in service across the city. The Transport authority has announced the construction of 500 air-conditioned (A/C) Passenger Bus Shelters, and has plan for 1,000 more across the emirates in a move to encourage the use of public buses.
Dubai also has an extensive taxi system, by far the most frequently used means of public transport within the Emirate. There are both government-operated and private cab companies. There are more than 3000 taxis operating within the emirate. Taxi cabs in Dubai make an average of 192,000 trips every day, lifting about 385,000 persons. In 2009 taxi trips exceeded 70 million trips serving around 140.45 million passengers.
Dubai International Airport, the hub for the Emirates Airline, serves the city of Dubai and other emirates in the country. The airport was the 15th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic handling 40.9 million passengers in 2009. The airport was also the 6th busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic. In addition to being an important passenger traffic hub, the airport is the 7th busiest cargo airport in world, handling 1.927 million tonnes of cargo in 2009, a 5.6% increase compared to 2008 and was also the 4th busiest International freight traffic airport in world. Emirates Airline is the national airline of Dubai. As of 2009, it operated internationally serving 101 destinations in 61 countries across six continents.
The development of Al Maktoum International Airport, was announced in 2004. The first phase of the airport, featuring one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million passengers per year, has been opened. When completed, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tons of cargo.
A $3.89 billion, Dubai Metro project is currently operational although partly under-construction. The Red Line is operational and runs through the heart of the city. The Metro system was partially opened on September 2009 and will be fully operational by 2014. UK-based international service company Serco Group is responsible for operating the metro. The metro comprises the Green Line from Al Rashidiya to the main city center and the Red Line from the airport to Jebel Ali. A Blue and a Purple Line have also been planned. The Dubai Metro (Green and Blue Lines) will have 70 km (43.5 mi) of track and 43 stations, 37 above ground and ten underground. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula.
'The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a monorail line on the Palm Jumeirah. The monorail connects the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, with a planned further extension to the Red Line of the Dubai Metro. The line opened on 30 April 2009. Two trams systems are expected to be built in Dubai by 2011. The first is the Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System and the second is the Al Sufouh Tram. The Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System is a 4.6 km (2.86 mi) tram service that is planned to service the area around the Burj Khalifa, and the second tram will run 14.5 km (9 mi) along Al Sufouh Road from Dubai Marina to the Burj Al Arab and the Mall of the Emirates.
Dubai has announced it will complete a link of the UAE high speed rail system which will eventually hook up with the whole GCC and then possibly Europe. The High Speed Rail will serve passengers and cargo.
There are two major commercial ports in Dubai, Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali. Port Jebel Ali is the world's largest man-made harbour, the biggest port in the Middle East, and the 7th-busiest port in the world. One of the more traditional methods of getting across Bur Dubai to Deira is through abras, small boats that ferry passengers across the Dubai Creek, between abra stations in Bastakiya and Baniyas Road. The Marine Transport Agency has also implemented the Dubai Water Bus System.
The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab and Bedouin culture. In contrast, the city of Dubai is a highly cosmopolitan society with a diverse and vibrant culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques which are scattered around the country. Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise between Friday's holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of Saturday-Sunday.
In 2005, 84% of the population of metropolitan Dubai was foreign-born, about half of them from India. The city's cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogenous pearling community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals—first by the Iranians in the early 1900s, and later by Indians and Pakistanis in the 1960s. Dubai has been criticised for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes.
Major holidays in Dubai include Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and National Day (2 December ), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates. Annual entertainment events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) attract over 4 million visitors from across the region and generate revenues in excess of $2.7 billion. Large shopping malls in the city, such as Deira City Centre, Mirdiff City Centre, BurJuman, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall as well as traditional souks attract shoppers from the region.
Dress and etiquette
The Islamic dress code is not compulsory, unlike in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Most Emirati males prefer to wear a kandura, an ankle-length white shirt woven from wool or cotton, and most Emirati women wear an abaya, a black over-garment covering most parts of the body. This attire is particularly well-suited for the UAE's hot and dry climate. Western-style clothing is, however, dominant because of the large expatriate population, and this practice is beginning to grow in popularity among Emiratis.
Etiquette is an important aspect of UAE culture and tradition, to which visitors are expected to conform. Recently, many expatriates have disregarded the law and been arrested for indecent clothing, or lack thereof, at beaches. Western-style dress is tolerated in appropriate places, such as bars or clubs, but the UAE has maintained a strict policy of protecting highly public spaces from cultural insensitivity.
The United Arab Emirates is a part of the khaliji tradition, and is also known for Bedouin folk music. During celebrations singing and dancing also take place and many of the traditional songs and dances have survived to the present time. Yowalah is the traditional dance of the UAE. Young girls would dance by swinging their long black hair and swaying their bodies in time to the strong beat of the music. Men would re-enact battles fought or successful hunting expeditions, often symbolically using sticks, swords or rifles.
Hollywood and Indian movies are popular in Dubai. Since 2004, the city has hosted the annual Dubai International Film Festival which serves as a showcase Arab film making talent. Musicians Amr Diab, Diana Haddad, Tarkan, Aerosmith, Santana, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Pink, Shakira, Celine Dion, Coldplay, Keane , Phil Collins, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and A R Rahman have performed in the city. Kylie Minogue was reportedly paid 3.5 million dollars to perform at the opening of the Atlantis resort on 20 November 2008. The Dubai Desert Rock Festival is also another major festival consisting of Heavy metal and rock artists.
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