In just a few decades, Dubai has built itself from a sleepy Gulf trading and fishing town to one of the world's most important business and tourism hubs.
Home to almost two million people and 200 nationalities, the city is the capital of Dubai emirate, the second biggest of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, and is now probably the most recognized Gulf city in the world.
Lacking the rich energy resources of its wealthy neighbouring emirate, Abu Dhabi, Dubai forged its own path, establishing itself as a powerful trading city along the lines of Hong Kong and Singapore.
Dubai's world-class infrastructure, international outlook and liberal government policies have made it the de facto business hub for the Middle East and North Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and neighbouring markets: a combined population of some one and a half billion people.
Business sectors such as trade, transport, tourism, industry and finance have shown strong growth and helped the economy to achieve a high degree of expansion and diversification.
Emirates, the world's fastest growing airline, has revolutionized the global air industry, with Dubai at the heart of its operations. Dubai's International Airport receives 50 million passengers a year, linking 85 airlines to over 130 global destinations.
The city boasts world-leading conference facilities, with Dubai World Trade Centre hosting the region's biggest trade expos, seminars and conferences.
Dubai is served by more than 350 hotels, including the Burj al Arab, the world's first 7-star hotel, and the world's first Armani hotel, located in the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa.
A bustling, cosmopolitan city, its vibrant nightlife, world-class restaurants, and internationally recognized sporting and cultural events have propelled Dubai into the spotlight as the most exciting destination in the Gulf.
Some useful links:
- Dubai tourism
- Dubai city guide
- Dubai on wikipedia
- Useful government links
Dubai at a glance