Dubai, a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline.
At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On artificial islands just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.
When Dubai was in poor state before the exploration of oil, Indians supplied technology to develop Dubai.
Dubai, since the founding of the oil industry, has attracted thousands of migrants from all over the world notably from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines in search of jobs.
In this modern day, Indians and Filipinos have left their influence in the emirate: Indian restaurants and Pakistani bakeshops are everywhere while Filipino supermarkets are on the rise. Next to them the Europeans (mostly British and French) and Sri Lankans, form the next largest communities.
Chinese and Indonesian migrants are on the rise. Many Arab countries have passed policies like the UAE’s Emiratisation, which is a policy that prevents migrants from taking all the job opportunities and provides more jobs to local Emiratis.
Dubai has an arid sub-tropical climate with very hot, humid summer weather averaging 42 degrees (108F) in the daytime and 28 (84F) at night. Fall and Spring is still rather hot, with daytime temperatures between 25 and 40 degrees (80sF) and nights around 20 degrees (65-75F), with less humidity.
December to April generally produces the highest precipitation, which at 10 cm (5 in), still is little. Some years yield no more than a few minutes of shower in Dubai. November 2006 brought record rains up to 50 cm (25 in) of rain, with temperatures at record lows.
Dubai is like nowhere else on the planet. Often claimed to be the world’s fastest-growing city, over the past four decades it has metamorphosed from a small Gulf trading centre to become one of the world’s most glamorous, spectacular and futuristic urban destinations.
Dubai’s ability to dream (and then achieve) the impossible has ripped up expectations and rewritten the record books, as evidenced by stunning developments such as the soaring Burj Khalifa, the beautiful Burj al Arab and the vast Palm Jumeirah island.
Dubai is a testament to the ruling sheikhs’ determination to make the city one of the world’s essential destinations for the twenty-first century.
Any public display of drunkenness outside a licensed venue contravenes local law, and could get you locked up. Inappropriate public behaviour with members of the opposite sex can result in, at best, embarrassment, or, at worst, a spell in prison. Holding hands or a peck on the cheek is probably just about OK, but any more passionate displays of public affection are severely frowned upon. Giving someone the finger or even just sticking out your tongue might be considered rude at home but can get you jailed in Dubai.
Dubai has fascinated me with its energy, optimism and openness towards people from all over the world. I’m a die-hard foodie, so the staggering variety of authentic global fare is exhilarating, and even the shopping here is actually a joy.
Dubai is a place that’s constantly in flux and it’s been exciting to see it grow and mature as a city and as a society. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Dubai.