Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is one among the seven emirates. It is situated on the Arabian Peninsula along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. To distinguish it from the emirate, Dubai city is sometimes referred to as the Dubai Municipality. This city has been estimated to have existed for more than one hundred and fifty years prior to the formation of UAE. Within the federal framework, Dubai shares economic, political, military and legal functions with its fellow emirates.
However, each country has its own jurisdiction over special functions such as upkeep of local facilities, provision of local facilities and civic law enforcement (Brown, 2006, p. 15). In this union, Dubai has the largest population and is the second largest after Abu Dhabi. In the country’s legislature, veto power is exercised on matters that are considered of national importance. In the early 19th century, Dubai was established and operated independently until 1833. With the British government, the country signed the general maritime peace treaty.
In 1892, the country came under the protection of the United Kingdom after an exclusive agreement. The country has a history of being an important port for foreign based traders, most of them coming in from India. Ultimately, many of the traders ended up settling in the nation because of the conducive investment and trading environment the nation had. The fame of the country started as early as 1820s and is still very much pronounced today. Today, the nation is mostly referred to as the City of Dubai (Omar, 2006, p. 11). During these times, Dubai was very well known for exporting pearl.
Unanticipatedly, the trade was dismissed by the events of the World War 1 in 1930s. The effects of the great depression in the late 1920s also devastated the growth and development of the city. In the realm of the economic challenges the city faced, it experienced massive migration of people to seek better living in parts of the Persian Gulf. The 1950s marks the time when the British moved its local administration offices to Dubai and thus airport, telephone and electricity services were established in the city. The town joined Qatar in 1966 to form a new monetary unit, Dubai/Qatar Riyal.
This move led to the devaluation of the Gulf Rupee that had previously lasted as the medium of exchange. Still in 1966, oil was discovered in Dubai and the town granted concessions towards international oil companies. When it was discovered, a large influx of foreign workers mainly Pakistanis and Indians was experienced by the city (Ciecko, 2006, p. 19). Through some estimates, the population of the town grew by more than 300% from 1968 to 1975. The Britain protectors left the Persian Gulf in 1971, leading the emirates to join and form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai joined fellow emirates in adopting a uniform currency, the UAE dirham.
Despite the influx of the Lebanese immigrants fleeing civil war in Lebanon in 1970, the city continued to grow rapidly because of the revenues collected from trade and oil. In 1979, Jebel Ali port was established, becoming the largest manmade port around the world. This port enabled the foreign companies to have an unrestricted importation of labor as well as export capital (Rugh, 1997, p. 23). In 1990, the effects of the Persian Gulf War had a large impact on the city. This war created uncertainty in the political fields within the whole region. As a result, the economy experienced a shock as Dubai banks withdrew their funds massively.
During the Persian Gulf War, Kuwait trading community moved their businesses to Dubai. During the Shia unrest, communities from Bahrain also moved their businesses to the city since it was felt as the best investment site in the region by then. During the Persian Gulf War, the city provided refueling services at Jebel Ali free zone to allied forces. The town provided the same services during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After the Persian Gulf War ended, oil prices increased largely, encouraging the nation to highly focus on tourism and free trade. The model to develop clusters of new free zones was fueled by the success of the port.
The clusters included Dubai Maritime City, Dubai Media City and the Dubai Internet City. Dubai marketed its tourism sector through the construction of Burj Al Arab which up to now serves as the tallest freestanding hotel in the world, and also as the most developed residential holdings. In creating Dubai’s skyline, the country since 2002 has experienced increases in private real estate investments. This development was aided through engaging in projects such as Burj Dubai, The World Islands and The Palm Islands (Khalaf, 2000, p. 27). In the recent years, the city had robust economic growth, which has been accompanied by high inflation rates.
In 2007, the rate of inflation stood as 11. 2%, measured against consumer price index. The inflation rise is attributed to doubling trend of residential and commercial rental costs, which have caused substantial increase of living costs for the citizens. The city lies directly within the Arabian Desert. Its topography is however different from the ones within the emirates zone, making the city appear unique. A larger portion of Dubai’s landscape is highlighted by gravel deserts and sandy desert patterns. Gravel deserts dominate the southern part of the city. The sand is composed of coral and crushed shell and it is also white, clean and fine.
The eastern part of the city is made up of a north south running line of dunes formed with salt crushed coastal plains. Far to the east, the dunes are tinged red with iron oxide (Sultan, et al, 1999, p. 31). There is a flat sandy desert forming a paving path towards the Western Hajar Mountains that found to stretch along the Dubai’s border with Oman at Hatta. These mountains have a landscape that in shattered, jagged and arid, rising to a height of 1300 meters. The city does not have any natural water body or oases, but only a natural inlet called Dubai creek, dredged to make it deeper for use by large vessels.
The city has multiple waterholes and gorges, at the base of Western Al Hajar Mountains. The vast sea of sand dunes in the southern part forms a desert known as the Empty Quarter. The city is located in a very stable zone, bearing in mind that Zargos Fault which is the nearest seismic fault line is one hundred and twenty kilometers from the UAE territory, limiting the possibilities of seismic impacts on Dubai. Through expertise consultation, the region has minimum possibilities of experiencing tsunami because the waters of the Persian Gulf are not deep enough to trigger the disaster (Marios, 2007, p.
16). The sandy desert that surrounds the city nurtures occasional date palm trees and also supports wild grasses. In the east of the city, desert hyacinths grow as ghaf and acacia trees grow in the flat plains. Dubai’s natural parks are composed of both indigenous and imported trees. The indigenous trees include neem and date palm whereas the imported trees mainly include eucalyptus. The parks still have a variety of animals such as Arabian Oryx, falcon, desert fox, caracal, striped hyena and the houbara bustard.
This city lies in a migration path of birds towards and from Africa, Asia and Europe, through which about 320 migratory birds pass during autumn and winter. The waters of Dubai also harbor more than 300 species of fish, with hammour being the most popular. The city has a hot and humid climate with monthly recordings of over 40 degrees Celsius. The highest recorded temperature is usually 47. 3 degrees whereas the lowest recorded is seven degrees. The city receives light rains of about 150 millimeters annually, precipitations coming in March, February and January. Heavy rains usually come in winter months, recording 120mm.
High humidity levels are experienced in cooler winter periods and the mean humidity in the country is 60% (Daniela, 2002, p. 24). Dubai has a multicultural and diverse community. This was after the arrival of nationals and ethnic groups, first Iranians, Indians and Pakistanis. Only infrequent and minor episodes of ethnic tensions have ever been reported despite the diversity of the whole population. The common conflicts occur between expatriates who are recently and frequently visiting the city. In 1994, Muslim laborers and the Hindu clashed leading to deportation and detainment of Pakistani and Indian workers.
The cosmopolitan nature of the society is indicated by the diversity of cuisine. Arab food is readily available and very popular. The consumption and sale of pork is regulated though not illegal, being sold in designated areas and to non Muslims. To purchase alcohol within the city, a liquor permit is required, or else obtained from restaurants and bars within five and four star hotels. Bollyhood and holly wood movies have made the city fame through their popularity. The city attracts celebrities from international cinema and the Arab community because it is where annual Dubai international film festival is held.
The nation has an active musical scene, with musicians Phil Collins, Celine Dion, Shakira, pink, Elton John, Santana, Aerosmith, Tarkan, Diana Haddad and Amrdiab having frequent visits to the city and making musical performances (Martin, 1993, p. 67). It is globally recognized as the tourism and commercial capital which is the most sophisticated, cosmopolitan and futuristic. The city is being regarded as something of a unique phenomenon. It is the fastest growing in terms of foreign population in the world composed of Muslim society which has developed harmony successfully through ethnic diversity.
It is a city with architectural ambition and unrivalled levels of economic energy. It is a city where architectural and modern stunning skyscrapers stretch alongside beautiful structures of Arabic tradition. The attractions and experiences in the city are varied and numerous. They range from rich exotic, Arabian heritage to miles of immaculate beautiful white sandy beaches, from lively international nightclubs, restaurants and bars to awe inspiring majesty of the desert. Visitors to this city are always assured of an incredible experience which they can not forget in their lives.
In 2003, Conde Nast Traveler magazine conducted a survey in which Dubai emerged the safest holiday destination all over the world. Despite this argument, Dubai is even today recognized as one of the safest cities in the world (Luxner, 2001, p. 37). The environment of the city is crime free because the Dubai police ensure personal security and safety. Serious crimes are subjected to high degrees of severe punishment. Offences that are considered serious are usually related to drugs and alcohol. The economy of the city of Dubai is service driven.
This means that services ranging from banking to telecommunication are efficiently and abundantly offered. Industrialization and international trade are accelerated through specialist free trade zones, offshore status and provision of favorable taxation advantages. The city has involved itself in innovative projects such as Dubai Internet City and the foundation of Dubai Media City. These projects have brought the 21st century technological and innovative advancements in the world’s very first free zone which is committed to the adoption of E-business, the City of Dubai (Smith, 2000, p.
45). Having realized that there is large international influx to the city, many entrepreneurs have concentrated on accommodation issues, guaranteeing visitors comfortable accommodation facilities. The accommodation agents offer everything ranging from shared accommodation, luxury apartments to private villas. There is a lot of rationality in relocation of houses so as to fit lifestyle and budgetary requirements. The reason as to why the city is an international centre for companies and workers is that the citizens enjoy purchases at tax free prices.
Job opportunities in the country are plentiful and diversified, especially after the addition of internet and media cities. The city is therefore expanding its horizons at unrivalled rate. The night life within the city is quite excellent with typical Irish pubs, themed bars, wine bars and cocktail bars, all of which offer entertainment and food as well. In many restaurants, high standard international cuisine is provided. For lively evening entertainment, numerous night clubs are available with fair accommodation requirements. Some of the major clubs within the city attract international singers and DJs.
There are also Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern nightclubs which offer entertainment. The city welcomes international entertainment and international touring acts, catering for all ages and tastes from opera to international rock and pop bands, from traditional theatre groups to ballet and from low to high status. The first indoor ski resort in the Middle East is found in this city and is referred to as Ski Dubai. By considering the above attributes of this city, it would be logical to argue that the factors that have made this town famous and prosperous are many and diversified.
Growth of any city is given a big push by its relative economic ability. This is because it serves as the gear or the source of power through financing not only economic activities but also political, social and cultural aspirations. The economy of this city is one of the rapidly growing and expanding economies around the globe. Many investors have moved their business premises to the nation because of the investment climate prevailing in the city. The industrial sector of this city is very competitive worldwide because it has emerged a great threat to the developed world.
The manufacturing and industrial sectors have recently captured the attention of a large population around the world. This is because many exports especially by the developing world are sourced from the city, showing its diversity. In the city, it is said that items are cheaper compared to the rest of the world, making it a popular market area for many nations. The technology of the city in economic activities such as e-business has promoted it in the world of competition. Technological advancement is highly associated with innovations concerning ideas, goods and services (Alean, Graham, 2003, p. 13).
Through the innovation, high quality services are produced at lower costs. Therefore, the city is a place of mass production, high quality products, low costs and high profits. In a way, it has therefore ascended to the present heights because of the strong financial stability. Tourism serves as a big push mechanism through which nations and economies derive the power to advance in all spheres of life. The city of Dubai is now experiencing influx of populations from all over the world, some willing to stay there permanently and others temporarily. The tourism sector has given an aiding hand towards the budget of the city of Dubai.
Being the safest city in the Middle East, many people have sought refuge in the country in fear of political tensions, civil wars and intercommunity clashes. The geographical appearance and position of the city attracts many tourists from all parts of the world. The nature of the city has made it to act as a centre for diversity of the people, culture and experiences. This diversity has lifted the city’s ladder of business, justifying the nick name of the city as the business hub of Africa (Thiel, 2008, p. 41). The geographical aspects are the ones contributing to the mix of communities in the city.
It has been reported that people wish to explore the city at very young ages. Kids who happen to visit the city enjoy themselves through sledding hill by the use of rubber tubes and toboggans, where they bundle up in pastel colored snow clothes. Tall buildings are accessed by the use of comfortable and safe ski lifts. The beaches of this city are described as ‘‘bring your own towel’’ types because signs are in English, Arabic and Russian designs. Dubai is perceived as a third world racing to overtake the first world. It is a city that is surviving in dusty, garbage strewn and hidden neighborhood which is undocumented.
Following the friendly environment, nomadic Durban’s live in shacks and shanties behind condos. They have been nicknamed as bidoun, implying a person without passports, without a country and without national identification. However, this cream of society contribute magnificently to the national building, as some of them serve as low level police officers, contributing to the welfare of the city economically and socially. Within the city, there is an area where it is believed possible to spot the old Dubai. This is the museum of the city, called the Dubai museum. The museum is housed in an old fortress.
This is a funny zone in which people interact to the highest levels possible. It is considered funny because it encompasses all styles of life with mannequins of tea hawkers, carpenters, spice workers and hookah smokers. It is a place that makes people to feel ancient. The food store within this area is composed of carnation condensed milk, Libby’s canned pineapple and tide detergents. The presence of this ancient foods and exhibits makes people feel that they were in the days before the discovery of oil, which was Dubai in the early 1960s. The future of this city is deemed bright and prosperous.
This assumption is based on the way the city is adopting innovative and inventive ideologies. The high manpower and quality of the man power promises a stable future. The size of the economy gives hope to investors not only now, but also in the years to come. The world is joining the country to shape its future through participation in economic pillars of the city. Grabbing large population to act as the city’s customers and clients means that the world is building the city. The population influx from the neighborhoods and other parts of the world indicates that the world can see hope in the city for the days to come (Amin, 1997, p.
26). Since the geographical configuration of a nation can hardly change, the city will remain an attraction center for many years. This implies that the tourism sector will keep on expanding and thus push the economy forward. The strategies used by the investors give a healthy promise of good performance of the economy and welfare of the city generally. Products from the city competes the rest of the world in both quality and quantity. It has therefore the learned principles of mass production at low costs, low profitability but large sales.
Trade can only be deterred or accelerated by the pricing of the commodities in question for it is related to chasing away customers. Buyers around the globe consider Dubai a fair dealer in business work because of the fair prices they brand their commodities. Through this spirit, the city ends up selling more, earning less profits. When the low profits are accumulated at a high frequency, excellence in the margin of profits is arrived at (Crabtree, 2007, p. 10). The above arguments about the trust in future of the city of Dubai are however not automatic. This is because the world is very dynamic and challenging in all horizons and fields.
As we witness the economy of the city flourish, it can also take very short duration to collapse. For one, the global economy is characterized by high competition. Entrepreneurs around the globe must be thinking day and night on how to contain the challenges posed in the market by Dubai. The city should therefore realize that the world is not only watching but also thinking on how to rise to the top of the competition ladder. As a centre of globalization, it should be realized that conflicts do arise because technology is increasing the terrorism attacks. The peace of the city therefore depends on several components as time goes by.
In general terms, it will be wise to say that according to the infrastructural structures existing in the city of Dubai, the future off the city is seemingly bright. The fame and development of the city may continue to flourish in the coming ages. It is also wise to point out that the city should not reduce its attention towards change in economic, political, social and cultural concerns. This is because the time it will close its eyes, competitors will take the advantage and weed the city out. This means that for the city to flourish, reinstatement of the existing structures towards modernism is required.
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