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Dubai (in , ) is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emiratesmarker (UAE). It is located south of the Persian Gulfmarker on the Arabian Peninsula. The Dubai Municipalitymarker is sometimes called Dubai state to distinguish it from the emirate.

Written accounts document the existence of the city for at least 150 years prior to the formation of the UAE. 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 Dhabimarker. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the only two emirates to possess veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's legislature. Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty since 1833. Dubai's current ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE.

The emirate's main revenues are from tourism, property and financial services. Although Dubai's economy was originally built on the oil industry, revenues from petroleum and natural gas currently contribute less than 6% (2006) of the emirate's US$ 80 billion economy (2009). Property and construction contributed 22.6% to the economy in 2005, before the current large-scale construction boom. Dubai has attracted attention through its real estate projects and sports events. This increased attention, coinciding with its emergence as a Global City and business hub, has highlighted labour and human rights issues concerning its largely South Asian workforce. Established in 2004, the Dubai International Finance Centre was intended as a landmark project to turn Dubai into a major international hub for banks and finance to rivals New Yorkmarker, Londonmarker and Hong Kongmarker.

Etymology

In the 1820s, Dubai was referred to as Al Wasl by British historians. Few records pertaining to the cultural history of the UAE or its constituent emirates exist due to the region's oral traditions in recording and passing down folklore and myth. The linguistic origins of the word Dubai are also in dispute, as some believe it to have originated from Persian, while some believe that Arabic is the linguistic root of the word. According to Fedel Handhal, researcher in the history and culture of the UAE, the word Dubai may have come from the word Daba (a derivative of Yadub), which means to creep; the word may be a reference to the flow of Dubai Creekmarker inland, while the poet and scholar Ahmad Mohammad Obaid traces it through the same word, but in its meaning of locust

History

Very little is known about pre-Islam culture in the south-east Arabian peninsula, except that many ancient towns in the area were trading centers between the Eastern and Western worlds. The remnants of an ancient mangrove swamp, dated at 7,000 years, were discovered during the construction of sewer lines near Dubai Internet Citymarker. The area had been covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coastline retreated inland, becoming a part of the city's present coastline. Prior to Islam, the people in this region worshiped Bajir (or Bajar). The Byzantine and Sassanian (Persian) empires constituted the great powers of the period, with the Sassanians controlling much of the region. After the spread of Islam in the region, the Umayyad Caliph, of the eastern Islamic world, invaded south-east Arabia and drove out the Sassanians. Excavations by the Dubai Museummarker in the region of Al-Jumayra (Jumeirahmarker) found several artifacts from the Umayyad period. The earliest recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095, in the "Book of Geography" by the Andalusianmarker-Arab geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri. The Venetianmarker pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi visited the area in 1580 and mentioned Dubai (Dibei) for its pearling industry. Documented records of the town of Dubai exist only after 1799.

In the early 19th century, the Al Abu Falasa clan (House of Al-Falasi) of Bani Yas clan established Dubai, which remained a dependent of Abu Dhabi until 1833. On 8 January 1820, the sheikh of Dubai and other sheikhs in the region signed the "General Maritime Peace Treaty" with the British government. In 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty (also descendants of the House of Al-Falasi) of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over Dubai from the Abu Fasala clan without resistance. Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom by the "Exclusive Agreement" of 1892, with the latter agreeing to protect Dubai against the Ottoman Empire. Two catastrophes struck the town during the 1800s. First, in 1841, a smallpox epidemic broke out in the Bur Dubaimarker locality, forcing residents to relocate east to Deiramarker. Then, in 1894, fire swept through Deira, burning down most homes. However, the town's geographical location continued to attract traders and merchants from around the region. The emir of Dubai was keen to attract foreign traders and lowered trade tax brackets, which lured traders away from Sharjah and Bandar Lengehmarker, which were the region's main trade hubs at the time.



Dubai's geographical proximity to Iran made it an important location. The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen, chiefly those from Iran , many of whom eventually settled in the town. Dubai was known for its pearl exports until the 1930s; pearling was damaged irreparably by World War I, and later on by the Great Depression in the 1930s. With the collapse of pearling many residents migrated to other parts of the Persian Gulf. Since its inception, Dubai was constantly at odds with Abu Dhabi. In 1947, a border dispute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the northern sector of their mutual border, escalated into war. Arbitration by the British and the creation of a buffer frontier running south eastwards from the coast at Ras Hasian resulted in a temporary cessation of hostilities.

Border disputes between the emirates continued even after the formation of the UAE; it was only in 1979 that a formal compromise was reached that ended hostilities.Dubai. Carter, T and Dunston, L. Lonely Planet Publications Electricity, telephone services and an airport were established in Dubai in the 1950s, when the British moved their local administrative offices there from Sharjahmarker. In 1966 the town joined the newly independent country of Qatarmarker to set up a new monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai Riyal, after the devaluation of the Persian Gulf rupee. Oil was discovered in Dubai the same year, after which the town granted concessions to international oil companies. The discovery of oil led to a massive influx of foreign workers, mainly Indians and Pakistanis. The city's population from 1968 to 1975 grew by over 300 percent, by some estimates.

On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulfmarker in 1971."Six Persian Gulf Emirates Agree to a Federation". New York Times. Jul 19, 1971. pg. 4 In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a uniform currency: the UAE dirham. In the 1970s, Dubai continued to grow from revenues generated from oil and trade, even as the city saw an influx of immigrants fleeing the civil war in Lebanonmarker."Beirut Showing Signs of Recovery From Wounds of War". New York Times. 26 May 1977. pg.2 The Jebel Alimarker port (reputedly the world's largest man made port) was established in 1979. Jafza (Jebel Ali Free Zone) was built around the port in 1985 to provide foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital.[30155]. UAEFreeZones.com.

The Persian Gulf War of 1990 had a huge effect on the city. Depositors withdrew massive amounts of money from Dubai banks due to uncertain political conditions in the region. Later in the the 1990s many foreign trading communities — first from Kuwaitmarker, during the Persian Gulf War, and later from Bahrainmarker, during the Shia unrest — moved their businesses to Dubai. Dubai provided refueling bases to allied forces at the Jebel Ali free zone during the Persian Gulf War, and again, during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Large increases in oil prices after the Persian Gulf War encouraged Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and tourism. The success of the Jebel Ali free zone allowed the city to replicate its model to develop clusters of new free zones, including Dubai Internet Citymarker, Dubai Media Citymarker and Dubai Maritime City. The construction of Burj Al Arabmarker, the world's tallest freestanding hotel, as well as the creation of new residential developments, were used to market Dubai for tourism. Since 2002 increased private property development has recreated Dubai's skyline with such projects as The Palm Islands, The World Islandsmarker, Burj Dubaimarker and The Dynamic Tower. Recent robust economic growth has been accompanied by high inflation (at 11.2% as of 2007 when measured against Consumer Price Index) which is attributed in part due to the near doubling of commercial and residential rents. Robust growth poses threat of inflation to high-flying Dubai. Kuwait Times. Mar. 8, 2007

Geography

City level map of Dubai.


Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and is roughly at sea level ( above). The emirate of Dubai shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjahmarker in the northeast, and the Sultanate of Omanmarker in the southeast. Hattamarker, a minor exclave of the emirate, is surrounded on three sides by Oman and by the emirates of Ajmanmarker (in the west) and Ras Al Khaimahmarker (in the north). The Persian Gulf borders the western coast of the emirate. Dubai is positioned at and covers an area of 4,114 km² (1,588 mi²).

Dubai lies directly within the Arabian Desert. However, the topography of Dubai is significantly different from that of the southern portion of the UAE in that much of Dubai's landscape is highlighted by sandy desert patterns, while gravel deserts dominate much of the southern region of the country. The sand consists mostly of crushed shell and coral and is fine, clean and white. East of the city, the salt-crusted coastal plains, known as sabkha, give way to a north-south running line of dunes. Farther east, the dunes grow larger and are tinged red with iron oxide. The flat sandy desert gives way to the Western Hajar Mountains, which run alongside Dubai's border with Oman at Hatta. The Western Hajar chain has an arid, jagged and shattered landscape, whose mountains rise to about 1,300 meters in some places. Dubai has no natural river bodies or oases; however, Dubai does have a natural inlet, Dubai Creekmarker, which has been dredged to make it deep enough for large vessels to pass through. Dubai also has multiple gorges and waterholes which dot the base of the Western Al Hajar mountains. A vast sea of sand dunes covers much of southern Dubai, and eventually leads into the desert known as The Empty Quartermarker. Seismically, Dubai is in a very stable zone — the nearest seismic fault line, the Zargos Fault, is 120 km from the UAE and is unlikely to have any seismic impact on Dubai. Experts also predict that the possibility of a tsunami in the region is minimal because the Persian Gulf waters are not deep enough to trigger a tsunami.

The sandy desert surrounding the city supports wild grass and occasional date palms. Desert hyacinths grow in the sabkha plains east of the city, while acacia and ghaf trees grow in the flat plains within the proximity of the Western Al Hajar mountains. Several indigenous trees such as the date palm and neem as well as imported trees like the eucalypts grow in Dubai's natural parks. The houbara bustard, striped hyena, caracal, desert fox, falcon and Arabian oryx are common in Dubai's desert. Dubai is on the migration path between Europe, Asia and Africa, and more than 320 migratory bird species pass through the emirate in spring and autumn. The waters of Dubai are home to more than 300 species of fish, including the hammour.

Dubai Creekmarker runs northeast-southwest through the city. The eastern section of the city forms the locality of Deiramarker and is flanked by the emirate of Sharjahmarker in the east and the town of Al Aweermarker in the south. The Dubai International Airportmarker is located south of Deira, while the Palm Deira is located north of Deira in the Persian Gulfmarker. Much of Dubai's real-estate boom is concentrated to the west of the Dubai Creek, on the Jumeirahmarker coastal belt. Port Rashidmarker, Jebel Alimarker, Burj Al Arabmarker, the Palm Jumeirahmarker and theme-based free-zone clusters such as Business Baymarker are all located in this section. Five main routes — E 11 (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 Bridgemarker, Al Garhoud Bridgemarker, Al Shindagha Tunnelmarker, Business Bay Crossingmarker and Floating Bridgemarker.

Climate

Dubai has a hot arid climate. Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, with an average high around 40 °C and overnight lows around 30 °C. Sunny days can be expected throughout the year. Winters are warm and short with an average high of 23 °C and overnight lows of 14 °C.

Governance and politics

Dubai's government operates within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, and has been ruled by the Al Maktoum family since 1833. The current ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emiratesmarker and member of the Supreme Council of the Union (SCU). Dubai appoints 8 members in two-term periods to the Federal National Council (FNC) of the UAE, the supreme federal legislative body. The Dubai Municipalitymarker (DM) was established by the then ruler of Dubai, Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1954 for purposes of city planning, citizen services and upkeep of local facilities. DM is chaired by Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and comprises several departments such as the Roads Department, Planning and Survey Department, Environment and Public Health Department and Financial Affairs Department. In 2001, Dubai Municipality embarked on an e-Government project with the intention of providing 40 of its city services through its web portal (Dubai.ae). Thirteen such services were launched by October 2001, while several other services were expected to be operational in the future.

Dubai and Ras al Khaimahmarker are the only emirates that do not conform to the federal judicial system of the United Arab Emirates. The emirate's judicial courts comprise the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Cassation. The Court of First Instance consists of the Civil court, which hears all civil claims; the Criminal Court, which hears claims originating from police complaints; and Sharia Court, which is responsible for matters between Muslims. Non-Muslims do not appear before the Sharia Court. The Court of Cassation is the supreme court of the emirate and hears disputes on matters of law only. The Dubai Police Force, founded in 1956 in the locality of Naifmarker, has law enforcement jurisdiction over the emirate; the force is under direct command of Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai. Dubai Municipality is also in charge of the city's sanitation and sewage infrastructure. The city's rapid growth has resulted in its limited sewage treatment infrastructure’s being stretched to its limits.

Article 25 of the Constitution of the UAE provides for the equitable treatment of persons with regard to race, nationality, religious beliefs or social status. However, many of Dubai's 250,000 foreign laborers live in conditions described by Human Rights Watch as being "less than human." NPR reports that workers "typically live eight to a room, sending home a portion of their salary to their families, whom they don't see for years at a time." On 21 March 2006, workers at the construction site of Burj Dubaimarker, upset over bus timings and working conditions, rioted: damaging cars, offices, computers, and construction tools. The global financial crisis has caused the working class of Dubai to be especially hard hit, with many workers not being paid but also being unable to leave the country.
Dubai Police in a BMW Sedan


Judicial rulings in Dubai with regard to foreign nationals were brought to light by the alleged attempts to cover up information on the rape of Alexandre Robert, a 15-year-old French-Swiss national, by three locals—one of whom was HIV positive[49]—and by the recent mass imprisonment of migrant laborers—most of whom were from India—on account of their protests against poor wages and living conditions.[50] Prostitution, though illegal by law, is conspicuously present in the emirate because of an economy that is largely based on tourism and trade. Research conducted by the American Center for International Policy Studies (AMCIPS) found that Russian and Ethiopian women are the most common prostitutes, as well as women from some African countries, while Indian prostitutes are part of a well organized trans-Oceanic prostitution network.[51] A 2007 PBS documentary entitled Dubai: Night Secrets reported that prostitution in clubs is tolerated by authorities and many foreign women work there without being coerced, attracted by the money.

Demographics

Year Population
18221 1,200
19001 10,000
19301 20,000
19401 38,000
19541 20,000
19601 40,000
1968 58,971
1975 183,000
1985 370,800
1995 674,000
2005 1,204,000
1 The town of Dubai first conducted a census in 1968. All population figures in this table prior to 1968 are estimates obtained from various sources.
According to the census conducted by the Statistics Center of Dubai, the population of the emirate was 1,422,000 as of 2006, which included 1,073,000 males and 349,000 females.

The region covers 497.1 square miles (1,287.4 km2). The population density is 408.18/km2 more than eight times that of the entire country.Dubai is the second most expensive city in the region, and 20th most expensive city in the world.

As of 1998, 17% of the population of the emirate was made up of UAE nationals. Approximately 85% of the expatriate population (and 71% of the emirate's total population) was Asian, chiefly Indian (51%), Pakistani (15%), Bangladeshimarker (10%) and others (10%). A quarter of the population however reportedly traces their origins to neighboring Iranmarker. In addition, 16% of the population (or 288,000 persons) living in collective labour accommodation were not identified by ethnicity or nationality, but were thought to be primarily Asian. The median age in the emirate was about 27 years. The crude birth rate, as of 2005, was 13.6%, while the crude death rate was about 1%.

Although Arabic is the official language of Dubai, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Chinese and other languages are spoken in Dubai. English is the lingua franca of the city and is very widely spoken by residents.

Article 7 of the UAE's Provisional Constitution declares Islam the official state religion of the UAE. The government subsidizes almost 95% of mosques and employs all Imams; approximately 5% of mosques are entirely private, and several large mosques have large private endowments. Country Profile: United Arab Emirates (UAE). United States Library of Congress

Dubai also has large Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and other religious communities residing in the city. Non-Muslim groups can own their own houses of worship, where they can practice their religion freely, by requesting a land grant and permission to build a compound. Groups that do not have their own buildings must use the facilities of other religious organisations or worship in private homes. Non-Muslim religious groups are permitted to openly advertise group functions; however, proselytizing or distributing religious literature is strictly prohibited under penalty of criminal prosecution, imprisonment, and deportation for engaging in behaviour offensive to Islam.

Economy



Dubai's gross domestic product as of 2005 was US$37 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 240,000 barrels of oil a day and substantial quantities of gas from offshore fields. The emirate's share in UAE's gas revenues is about 2%. Dubai's oil reserves have diminished significantly and are expected to be exhausted in 20 years. Property and construction (22.6%), trade (16%), entrepôt (15%) and financial services (11%) are the largest contributors to Dubai's economy.

A City Mayors survey rated Dubai as 44th among the world's best financial cities, while another report by City Mayors indicated that Dubai was the world's 33rd richest city, in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). Dubai is also an international financial centre and has been ranked 37th within the top 50 global financial cities as surveyed by the Mastercard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (2007), and 1st within the Middle East.

Dubai's top re-export destinations include Iranmarker (US$ 790 million), Indiamarker (US$ 204 million) and Saudi Arabiamarker (US$ 194 million). The emirate's top import sources are Japan (US$ 1.5 billion), China (US$ 1.4 billion) and the United States (US$ 1.4 billion).

Historically, Dubai and its twin across the Dubai creek, Deira (independent of Dubai City at that time), became important ports of call for Western manufacturers. Most of the new city's banking and financial centres were headquartered in the port area. Dubai maintained its importance as a trade route through the 1970s and 1980s. Dubai has a free trade in gold and until the 1990s, was the hub of a "brisk smuggling trade" of gold ingots to Indiamarker, where gold import was restricted.

Dubai's Jebel Alimarker port, constructed in the 1970s, has the largest man-made harbour in the world and was ranked eighth globally for the volume of container traffic it supports. Dubai is also developing as a hub for service industries such as IT and finance, with the establishment of industry-specific free zones throughout the city. Dubai Internet Citymarker, combined with Dubai Media Citymarker 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.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was established in March 2000 as a secondary market for trading securities and bond, both local and foreign. As of fourth quarter 2006, its trading volume stood at about 400 billion shares, worth US$ 95 billion in total. The DFM had a market capitalisation of about US$ 87 billion.

The government's decision to diversify from a trade-based, but oil-reliant, economy to one that is service and tourism-oriented has made property more valuable, resulting in the property appreciation from 2004–2006. A longer-term assessment of Dubai's property market, however, showed depreciation; some properties lost as much as 64% of their value from 2001 to November 2008. The large scale real estate development projects have led to the construction of some of the tallest skyscrapers and largest projects in the world such as the Emirates Towersmarker, the Burj Dubaimarker, the Palm Islands and the world's second tallest, and most expensive hotel, the Burj Al Arabmarker.

Dubai's property market has experienced a major downturn in 2008/2009, as a result of the slowing economic climate. Mohammed al-Abbar council of the sheik told the international press in December 2008 that Emaar had credits of US$ 70 billions and the state of Dubai additional US$ 10 billions while holding estimated 350 billion in real estate assets. By early 2009, the situation had worsened with the global economic crisis taking a heavy toll on property values, construction and employment. As of February 2009 Dubai's foreign debt was estimated at apprx. USD 100 billion, leaving each of the emirate's 250,000 UAE nationals responsible for 400,000 USD in foreign debt. However, it should be noted that little of this is soverign debt.

Transportation



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 AED70 billion of improvements planned for completion by 2020, when the population of the city is projected to exceed 3.5 million.

Dubai International Airportmarker (IATA: DXB), the hub for Emirates Airline, services the city of Dubai and other emirates in the country. Dubai International Airportmarker served a total of over 37 million passengers and handled over 1.8 million tons of cargo in 2008. In 2008, Dubai International Airportmarker was the 20th busiest airport in the world and, with over 35 million international passengers, the 6th busiest international airport in the world, in terms of international passenger traffic. In addition to being an important passenger traffic hub, the airport is one of the busiest cargo airports in the world, handling 1.824 million tonnes of cargo in 2008, making it the 11th busiest airport in the world, a 9.4% increase of cargo traffic since 2007. Emirates Airline is the national airline of Dubai, and operates internationally to 101 destinations in 61 countries across 6 continents.

The development of Al Maktoum International Airportmarker, currently under construction in Jebel Ali, was announced in 2004. The first phase is expected to be completed by 2010, and once operational the new airport will host foreign airlines and emirates with an exclusive terminal for them.

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 1000 more across the emirates in a move to encourage the use of public buses.

A $3.89 billion Dubai Metro project is under construction for the emirate. The Metro system was partially operational by September 2009 and will be fully operational by 2012. UK-based international service company Serco is responsible for operating the metro. The metro will comprise four lines: the Green Line from Al Rashidiya to the main city center and the Red Line from the airport to Jebel Alimarker. It also has a blue and a purple line. The Dubai Metro (Green and Blue Lines) will have 70 kilometers of track and 43 stations, 37 above ground and ten underground. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula. All trains and stations are air conditioned with platform edge doors to make this possible.

A monorail on the Palm Jumeirahmarker opened in 2009. It is the first monorail to be built in the region. Two trams are expected trams to be built in Dubai by 2011. The first is the Downtown Burj Dubai Tram System and the second is the Al Sufouh Tram. The Downtown Burj Dubai Tram System is a 4.6 km tram service that is planned to service the area around the Burj Dubai, and the second tram will run 14.5 kilometres along Al Sufouh Road from Dubai Marina to the Burj Al Arab and the Mall of the Emirates.

One of the more traditional methods of getting across Bur Dubaimarker to Deiramarker is through abras, small boats that ferry passengers across the Dubai Creekmarker, between abra stations in Bastakiya and Baniyas Road. The Marine Transport Agency, is in the process of implementing the Dubai Water Bus System.

There are two major commercial ports in Dubai, Port Rashidmarker and Port Jebel Alimarker. Port Jebel Ali is the 7th busiest port in the world. Jebel Ali is the world's largest man-made harbour and the biggest port in the Middle East.

The government has invested heavily in the Dubai's road infrastructure, although this has not kept pace with the increase in the number of vehicles. This, coupled with the induced traffic phenomenon, has led to growing problems of congestion.

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 around 7,500 taxis operating within the emirate.

Culture



In 2005, 84% of the population of metropolitan Dubai was foreign-born, about half of them from Indiamarker. 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 Indiansmarker and Pakistanismarker in the 1960s. Dubai has been criticized for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes. Despite the diversity of the population, only minor and infrequent episodes of ethnic tensions, primarily between expatriates, have been reported in the city. 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 US$ one billion. Large shopping malls in the city, such as Deira City Centremarker, BurJuman, Mall of the Emiratesmarker, Dubai Mallmarker and Ibn Battuta Mallmarker as well as traditional souks attract shoppers from the region.

Arab food is very popular and is available everywhere in the city, from the small shawarma diners in Deiramarker and Al Karamamarker to the restaurants in Dubai's hotels. Fast food, South Asian, Chinese cuisines are also very popular and are widely available. The sale and consumption of pork, though not illegal, is regulated and is sold only to non-Muslims, in designated areas. Similarly, the sale of alcoholic beverages is regulated. A liquor permit is required to purchase alcohol; however, alcohol is available in bars and restaurants within hotels. Shisha and qahwa boutiques are also popular in Dubai.

Hollywoodmarker and Bollywood movies are popular in Dubai. The city hosts the annual Dubai International Film Festival, which attracts celebrities from Arab and International cinema. Musicians Amr Diab, Diana Haddad, Tarkan, Aerosmith, Santana, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Pink, Shakira, Celine Dion, Coldplay, Keane and Phil Collins have performed in the city. Kylie Minogue was paid 4.4 million dollars to perform at the opening of the Atlantis resortmarker on November 20, 2008. The Dubai Desert Rock Festival is also another major festival consisting of Heavy metal and rock artists.

Football and cricket are the most popular sports in Dubai. Five teams — Al Wasl, Al-Shabab, Al-Ahli, Al Nasr and Hatta — represent Dubai in UAE League football. Current champions Al-Wasl have the second-most number of championships in the UAE League, after Al Ain. Cricket is followed by Dubai's large South Asian community and in 2005, the International Cricket Council (ICC) moved its headquarters from Londonmarker to Dubai. The city has hosted several India-Pakistan matches and two new grass grounds are being developed in Dubai Sports Citymarker. Dubai also hosts both the annual Dubai Tennis Championshipsmarker and The Legends Rock Dubai tennis tournaments, as well as the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament, all of which attract sports stars from around the world. The Dubai World Cup, a thoroughbred horse race, is held annually at the Nad Al Sheba Racecoursemarker.

Despite Dubai's progressive and ostentatious image, censorship is common in Dubai and used by the government to control content that it believes violates the cultural and political sensitivities of the Emiratis. Homosexuality, drugs and the theory of evolution are generally considered taboo.

Dubai is known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars are found mostly in hotels due to the liquor laws. The New York Times listed Dubai as its travel choice for partying in 2008.

Education

Dubai Knowledge Village was built to allow Universities to open branches and campuses in Dubai


The school system in Dubai does not differ from that of the United Arab Emiratesmarker. As of 2006, there are 88 public schools run by the Ministry of Education that serve Emiratis and expatriate Arab as well as 132 private schools. The medium of instruction in public schools is Arabic with emphasis on English as a second language, while most of the private schools use English as their medium of instruction. Most private schools cater to one or more expatriate communities. The New Indian Model School, Dubai (NIMS), Delhi Private School, Our Own English High School, the Dubai Modern High School, and The Indian High School, Dubai offer either a CBSE or an ICSE Indianmarker syllabus. Similarly, there are also several reputable Pakistani schools offering FBISE curriculum for expatriate children. Dubai English Speaking School, Jumeirah Primary School, Jebel Ali Primary School, the Cambridge High School (or Cambridge International School), Jumeirah English Speaking School, King's School and the Horizon School all offer British primary education up to the age of eleven. Dubai British School, Dubai College, English College Dubai, Jumeirah English Speaking School, Jumeirah College and St. Mary's Catholic High School are all British eleven-to-eighteen secondary schools which offer GCSE and A-Level. Emirates International School, along with the Cambridge High School, provides full student education up to the age of 18, and offers IGCSE and A-Level. Wellington International School, which caters for students aged from 4 to 18, offers IGCSE and A-Levels. Deira International School and Dubai International Academy also offer the IB program including the IGCSE program. Jumeirah English Speaking School caters for pupils from 4 through to 18 and offers the British curriculum up to 16 (GCSE) and the International Baccalaureate .Dubai has several schools with an Americanmarker curriculum such as Dubai American Academy, American School of Dubaimarker and the Universal American School of Dubai.

The Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates is responsible for school's accreditation. The Dubai Education Council was established in July 2005 to develop the education sector in Dubai. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was established in 2006 to develop education and human resource sectors in Dubai, and license educational institutes.

Approximately 10% of the population has university or postgraduate degrees. Many expatriates tend to send their children back to their home country or to Western countries for university education and to Indiamarker for technology studies. However, a sizable number of foreign accredited universities have been set up in the city over the last ten years. Some of these universities include Michigan State University Dubai (MSU Dubai), the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani - Dubaimarker(BITS Pilanimarker), Heriot-Watt University Dubai, American University in Dubaimarker (AUD), the American College of Dubai, Mahatma Gandhi University (Off-Campus Centre),IMT-Dubai(INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY), SP Jain Center Of Management, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Institute of Management Technology and MAHE Manipal. In 2004, the Dubai School of Government in collaboration with Harvard Universitymarker's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Medical School Dubai Centermarker (HMSDC) were established in Dubai.

The Dubai Public Libraries is the public library system serving Dubai.

Media

Dubai has a well established network of print, radio, television and electronic media which service the city. Dubai is the home of the Arabian Radio Network, which broadcasts eight FM radio stations including the first talk radio station in the Middle East, Dubai Eye 103.8. Multiple international channels available through cable, while satellite, radio and local channels are provided via the Arabian Radio Network and Dubai Media Incorporated systems. Many international news agencies such as Reuters, APTN, Bloomberg L.P. and MBC as well as network news channels operated out of Dubai Media Citymarker and Dubai Internet Citymarker. Additionally, several local network television channels such as Dubai One (formerly Channel 33), and Dubai TV (formerly EDTV) provide programming in English and Arabic respectively. Dubai-based FM stations such as Dubai FM (93.9), Dubai92 (92.0), Al Khaleejia (100.9) and Hit FM (96.7) provide programming in English, Arabic and South Asian languages. Dubai is also the headquarters for several print media outlets. Al Khaleej, Al Bayan and Al Ittihad are the city's largest circulating Arabic language newspapers, while Gulf News and Khaleej Times are the largest circulating English newspapers. Dubai is also a hotbed for online information sources such as Explocity Dubai and Dubai City Guide.

Etisalat, the government owned telecommunications provider, held a virtual monopoly over telecommunication services in Dubai prior to the establishment of other, smaller telecommunications companies such as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC — better known as Du) in 2006. Internet was introduced into the UAE (and therefore Dubai) in 1995. The current network is supported by a bandwidth of 6 GB, with 50,000 dialup and 150,000 broadband port. Dubai houses two of four DNS data centers in the country (DXBNIC1, DXBNIC2). Internet content is regulated in Dubai. Etisalat uses a proxy server to filter internet content that is deemed to be inconsistent with the values of the country, that provides information on bypassing the proxy, dating, gay and lesbian networks, pornography, sites pertaining to the Bahá'í faith, sites originating from Israelmarker, and even sites that are critical of the UAE. Emirates Media and Internet (a division of Etisalat) notes that as of 2002, 76% of internet users are male. About 60% of internet users were Asian, while 25% of users were Arab. Dubai enacted an Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law in 2002 which deals with digital signatures and electronic registers. It prohibits Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from disclosing information gathered in providing services. The penal code also contains some provisions; however, it does not address cyber crime or data protection.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Dubai has 31 sister cities, and most of the twinning agreements have been done post-2002.





See also



References

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  30. Historic population statistics
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  48. Welcome to Dubai New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  49. Geraldine Bedell's novel banned in Dubai because of gay character
  50. Clubs Bloom in the Desert. New York Times. 9 December 2007
  51. HH Sheikh Mohammed issues decree establishing Dubai Education Council, DEC, 14 July 2005
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  57. Silenced - United Arab Emirates. Privacy International.
  58. Twinning Cities Agreements UAE Official Website

External links




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