During centuries, Dubai was one of the poorest regions in the world, a small fisherman village with no resources. At the beginning of the 20th century, Dubai turns into a successful port. The souk of Deira was the largest on the coast with 350 shops and a steady throng of visitors and businessmen. Dubai’s position as a major trading and re-export hub.
When oil was discovered in 1966, Sheikh Rashid utilized the oil revenues to spur infrastructure development in Dubai. Schools, hospitals, roads, a modern telecommunications network … the pace of development was frenetic. Dubai leaders were focused on high-quality infrastructure, an expatriate-friendly environment, zero tax on personal and corporate income and low import duties. The result was that Dubai quickly became a business and tourism hub for a region that stretches from Egypt to the Indian sub-continent and from South Africa.
Since the 1960s, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum had dreamed of creating a federation of the Emirates in the region. Their dreams were realized in 1971 when Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah, joined to create the United Arab Emirates.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Dubai took a strategic decision to emerge as a major international-quality tourism destination. Billions of dollars were invested in tourism infrastructure. The UAE has developed into one of the richest countries in the world… and that’s why here everything is the biggest, fastest, deepest and over the top… ofcourse, there’s always a bad side, Dubai is not perfect, this is the city of the super rich and the super poor… the town was built on the backs of a huge working-class population predominantly from the Indian subcontinent and from less prosperous areas of the Gulf.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DUBAI
- Facts about Dubai: About 24% of the world’s cranes are currently operating in Dubai.
- The local-born Emiratis, only make up about 12% of the population
- About 85% of Dubai’s residents are foreigners.
- Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands imported enough sand to fill 2.5 Empire State Buildings.
- The construction of Dubai’s Palm Islands required 94 million cubic meters of sand.
- The Burj Al Arab uses enough gold inside to cover 46,265 Mona Lisa paintings.
- The interior of the Burj Al Arab is decorated with approximately 1,790 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf. The surface area of the Mona Lisa is 0.3869 square meters.
- You can see the Burj Khalifa from 95 km away.