"Dubai, United Arab Emirates" Dubai by SWFC_Fan
Dubai Travel Guide: 2,721 reviews and 8,020 photos
Dubai has developed from a small town into an ultra-modern metropolis in the last half century.
While oil revenues were initially the catalyst for this phenomenal growth, Dubai is no longer dependent on oil production for its prosperity. In fact, today less than 10% of Dubai's GDP derives from oil, and the city has established a diversified economy in which tourism and consumerism play a vital role.
The city of Dubai is split by a creek, with Deira on one side and Bur Dubai on the other. The luxury beach hotels are situated several miles from the city, in the area of Jumeirah.
Dubai already exhibits some stunning architecture, such as the Burj al Arab hotel, the Emirates Towers, the Dusit hotel and the National Bank building, but future developments promise to be mind-blowing!
One such major development is that of Palm Island, a residential, commercial and beach district which is in the process of being built. The development is to be shaped like a palm tree and will stretch from the shore near Jumeirah. Around 150km of extra beach will be created and the luxury beachside apartments have already been snapped up by the likes of the Beckhams and Tom Cruise, so rumour has it.
Other developments in the city include a marina with luxurious apartment blocks, which is to be connected to the creek by flooding the land around it; the world's largest shopping mall, complete with a huge aquarium; and the world's tallest building.
Despite all this development, the core of Dubai is still traditional, with bustling souks,(dedicated to gold, spices, fruit and vegetables amongst other items). The presence of dhows being loaded with goods for exporting to Iran, Pakistan, India and other countries in the region, also conjures up images of the city's past as a major trading centre. And, of course, the abras (wooden water taxis) which transport locals and tourists across the creek are anything but modern!
Dubai is a fantastic city, with a forward-looking outlook. It has successfully modernised and developed an infrastructure that is capable of sustained development in future, but has also managed to retain its traditions.
I will be amazed if Dubai does not become one of the world's key cities in the 21st century!
- Pros:Year-round sunshine, futuristic architecture, opulent malls.
- Cons:Stifling summer heat, beer restricted to hotel bars.
- In a nutshell:THE city of the 21st Century!
I called in at Iranian Sweets to buy some cakes during my visit to Dubai in December 2006. I had walked past this cake... more travel advice
Golden Fork is a Filipino restaurant chain with a number of branches throughout Dubai, as well as in other major cities... more travel advice
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