The City of Wonders
Say Dubai and all that comes flashing into mind is superlatives: best, largest, tallest, most luxurious, and the like. In fact, “the city of superlatives” has lately become a clichéd synonym with Dubai. Other popular titles conferred on the city are “the city of wonders”, “tourists’ heaven” and “financial center of the world”. Teeming with surprises that range from outstanding architectural feats to irresistible tourist attractions, featuring a conducive business atmosphere and a first class infrastructure, Dubai is considered as the ultimate stop for residents, holidaymakers, job seekers and investors globally.
Located on the Eastern Coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai plays a melting pot hosting a number of cultures, ethnicities, religions, races and nationalities from across the globe. Dubai’s rich cultural heritage and the warmth of local population add to the reasons that make it a must-visit destination. For many years now, Dubai’s has been the fastest growing economy throughout UAE with the city serving as a heaven for business investments of all sorts and sizes. With a check on nearly every facility and attraction, Dubai has the amazing potential to meet all demands of its multiplying visitors.
A Retrospective Look
Unbelievable is the sight of a bustling metropolis having morphed from an 18th century fishing village inhabited by the members of the Bin Yas tribe. The turn of 20th century saw Dubai become a rich port attracting settlers from Iran, India and Balochistan. As the rise in Indian population continued, Dubai’s souks flourished for it was the Indians who were particularly active in the shops and alleys of the souks. Given its cosmopolitan atmosphere and an air of tolerance, Dubai continued to attract foreign settlers.
Time flew by and foreigners continued to move to Dubai attracted by the city’s amazing business potential and bustling life. By the 1930’s, Dubai’s population had risen to 20,000 with a quarter of the populace being foreign- comprising a mix of Persian, Baluch, Indian, Bahraini, Kuwaiti and Saudi nationals. In 1954, the British established a political agency in Dubai making it their center on the coast.
International trade continued and slow progress for the port city followed. In the late 1960’s, the start of oil production accelerated Dubai’s growth and made up for it’s declining pearling industry (due to competition in the 1930’s from Japanese cultured pearls and a drop in trade in the Second World War).
As a matter of fact, the credit for Dubai’s consistent development goes to the extended rules of its visionary rulers. Though the discovery of oil greatly facilitated Dubai’s development, the inhabitants’ entrepreneurial abilities have also been a huge contributing factor.
Today Dubai has greatly reduced its dependability on petrodollars by maintaining a focus on its services industry. The city is an important tourist destination and a financial hub of the present day headed towards setting new benchmarks of development, growth and success.
A Culture With Deep Roots In Islam
Dubai’s culture has deep roots in Islam, an inspirational religion touching all aspect of everyday life. Every area in Dubai has its own mosque where Muslims gather five times a day to say prayers. Of Dubai’s many mosques, Jumeirah Mosque is the largest and the most beautiful.
The mosque, built with white stone, is a perfect example of modern Islamic architecture. Ramadan is the Holy month which necessitates all Muslims to fast from dawn to dusk. Non-Muslims in Dubai are also required to respect the sanctity of the month by not eating or drinking anything openly.
Leisure and Entertainment Options
Whatever your taste, you’ll find Dubai a culinary heaven. Food from all over the world is served in Dubai’s hundreds of restaurants and eateries. Go to the world renowned Nobu, Zuma, Okku, Manhattan Grill or any other eat-out of your choice and satisfy your taste buds.
If you’re addicted to sports, it doesn’t get better than Dubai. The city hosts a range of sports events such as the world’s richest horse race called Dubai World Cup, Dubai Tennis Championship, Dubai Rugby Sevens, Dubai Polo Gold Cup and Dubai Desert Classic Gold Championship.
Dubai also lets you indulge in a number of fun sports like water sports, desert safari, snow boarding, skiing on real ice even in the highest of temperatures and indoor skydiving to name a few things.
Movies & Theatre
Dubai has numerous theatres that screen the latest movies from around the globe. Many venues also screen drama and opera. Whichever of the three you’re into, head straight to the Madinat Theatre located at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah which features regular screening of opera, drama and films. Community Theater and Arts Center, which is located at the Mall of the Emirates, is a non-profit community specializing primarily in theatrical productions.
Say “festival” in Dubai and the first thing that comes to mind is shopping! Yes, Dubai Shopping Festival is the ultimate place to be for global shopaholics. Other prominent festivals in Dubai include Dubai Summer Surprises and the Global Village.
Entertainment for Kids
Dubai doesn’t fall short on entertainment options for kids. They can be members of Children’s City or be at Kidzania at Dubai mall for having a great fun time. You can also take your kids to Dubai Aquarium where kids can be face to face with sharks. Or head straight to any of Dubai’s top water parks, Wild Wadi for one, to give your child the ultimate fun experience. Dubai Dolphin Show at Dubai Creek Park is also one of Dubai’s most popular shows.
Like a jewel in the crown of the UAE, not only is the city of Dubai one of the fastest growing cities in the world, it is also famous as an epicenter for employment and new job opportunities. Being truly cosmopolitan, Dubai welcomes every one with open arms and is therefore regarded as the city of dreams for many who see it as a destination to earn and live.
What is more, for those wishing to set up their own business, the Dubai Government offers a host of incentives to overseas businesses in order to help them set themselves up successfully in their relative free trade zones. There are currently 15 free trade zones, with the singular aim of helping foreign businesses to grow without corporate taxes or a mixed shareholding structure. Business prospects in Dubai for 2011 and beyond definitely appear to be more rosy than expected.