About Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Arabian Peninsula. The Crown Prince and ruler of Dubai is HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is also the Prime Minister of the Federation of UAE.

Facts & Figures

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. Dubai city is a bustling metropolis, while outside the city itself the Emirate is sparsely inhabited and characterized by desert vegetation.

Population : Current population approx. 1.77 million. Eighty percent comprises of Expatriates - Arab, Asians, European, and others.

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.

Dubai lies between 55°16 East and 25°16 North.

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% other

Currency : Emirati Dirham (AED)

Brief History

A trip to Dubai transports you on a journey through time. Although the early history of the area is not very well documented, archeological discoveries suggest that small fishing communities have lived along the coast of the Arabian Gulf on the site of modern Dubai for as long as 4000 years. It is also believed that the natural sheltered harbour afforded by the Dubai Creek was a busy port of call on the ancient trade route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. In recent years, archeologists have unearthed hundreds of artifacts, including pottery, weapons and coinage that point to civilized settlements dating back to the third millennium B.C. These historic finds have been carefully preserved and are now permanently housed in the Archeological Section of Dubai Museum. Modern Dubai, however, traces its origins to the 1830s. At that time, the small fishing village on the Shindagha peninsula at the mouth of the Creek was settled by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe, originally from the Liwa oasis to the south, led by the Maktoum family who still rule the emirates today.

Places to Stay

Visitors to Dubai have an extensive choice of places to stay, which offer superb service and facilities. There are a number of deluxe hotels on the beach and all are close to major tourist attractions in the city.

Getting Around

Cars are the main method of getting around Dubai and the major hotels provide shuttle bus services for guests. The Dubai Municipality operates the public bus service from 06:00-23:00. Depending on the destination adult fares vary and these are paid to the driver upon boarding. It is useful to have the exact change.

Dubai is really two Cities, Dubai and Deira. Divided by the Creek, they are a paradise for sightseeing and both have their own unique characteristics. Visitors will be amazed at the diversity of architecture and cultures ranging from traditional Arab houses to magnificent modern towers of steel and glass. The Creek is the main artery of Dubai, winding inland from the Gulf for about six miles. On its clear waters you will see traditional teak trading dhows plying their trade across the Gulf, heading as far as India. At night, the waterfront is a hive of activity, as Abras, the local water taxis, crisscross the Creek carrying people to their chosen restaurant or attraction for the evening.

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