Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with an enviable combination of things to do and see, from world-class hotels and restaurants to top-notch shopping and entertainment.
This emirate has long been known as a regional trade and pearling hub, but has since diversified its economy with luxury hotels, large port facilities, major air cargo services, and free-trade zones. The emirate also enjoys an excellent reputation as a tourist destination, primarily due to its shopping and entertainment opportunities.
The city center is dominated by skyscrapers lining Sheikh Zayed Road. Most notably among these is the Burj Khalifa, which at the time of its opening in 2010 was the world’s tallest building. In the nearby Downtown district is the Emirates Towers, built in the 1990s and early 2000s, which house a hotel and government offices.
Dubai has a hot desert climate, and its summer months of July and August are blisteringly hot. However, it’s possible to find some respite in the cooler months of November through March.
Most of the city’s 2.5 million residents are expatriates, and more than 70 percent are Asian. As such, Dubai’s culture and lifestyle are heavily influenced by its international residents.
In addition to a thriving economy, the city is also noted for its modern infrastructure and impressive architecture. It has two of the largest ports in the Middle East and a busy international airport. Its soaring skyline is dotted with iconic structures, including the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, the Dubai Mall, and the Palm Jumeirah man-made archipelago.
The emirate’s relatively small stretches of beach have spurred developers to construct artificial offshore islands. The most famous is the Palm Jumeirah, which resembles a palm tree when viewed from above. The island’s developers have also constructed the more recent Heart of Europe islands, a cluster of small islands positioned to resemble a map from above.
The city has a diverse economy, but it remains heavily dependent on oil. The UAE has six per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves, and petroleum exports account for over two-thirds of its GDP. In order to diversify, the UAE has made significant investments in other sectors, such as exhibitions, events, and information and communication technology (ICT). In 2021, the country became one of the first nations to require that 50 percent of its Federal National Council members be women. This has helped to promote a more inclusive environment and foster growth in the private sector. In addition, Dubai is a major global aviation hub, with Emirates, the country’s flagship airline, operating one of the most modern and extensive fleets in the world. In addition, the city hosts a wide range of sporting and cultural events. It is home to an NBA team and is the largest filming location in the Middle East. The city also has a vibrant art scene and has several museums, galleries, and performing arts venues.