Dubai – A Desert Paradise


Dubai is an emirate of the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai City is the largest city of the UAE. Dubai is east of Saudi Arabia, and located on the Persian Gulf. The country is approximately 1,600 square miles or 4,100 square kilomotres. That would make the total area three times the size of New York City, New York. The land is covered with sand dunes, with no bodies of water, and lies in the Arabian Desert.


First records of Dubai date back to 1095, and the Dubai city’s records only date back to 1799. Due to the geographical location the city was used as a port of call for tradesmen and merchants from India. First major industry was pearl exports until the 1930’s followed by the discovery of oil in the late 1960’s. In the 1950’s, the British moved their local administrative offices to the city, bringing electricity, and telephones with them. The British also built the city’s first airport. Between 1968 and 1975 the city grew over 300% due to mostly Indian and Pakistans foreign workers who came to the area to work in the oil rigs.

During the Persian Gulf War (1990) trading communities moved their businesses to Dubai, and the Jebel Ali Port was used as a refueling base for allied forces. The port is the world’s biggest man made port and has been a free zone since 1979. The city now depends on trade and tourism as well as private real estate for their growing economy.


The emirate’s population in 2006 was recorded to be 1,422,000, 1,073,000 to be male and 349,00 female. The median age is 27, with an approximately 14% birth rate and only a 1% death rate.

Dubai’s official language is Arabic, and English is another main language.


The $37 billion (US) economy was built by the oil industy but now relies on Real Estate, Construction, Trade and Financial Services. The Dubai Fiancial Market is worth $95 billion (US) and trades local an foreign securities and bonds.

Buildings and Developments:

Dubai is home to some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, as well as the Burj Al Arab Hotel, the world’s tallest and most expensive, and other projects such as the man made Palm Islands, the Emirates Towers and the Burj Dubai.

1.) Burj Al Arab

– luxury hotel built by Said Shalil.

– name translates as “Tower of the Arabs”

– tallest hotel at 1,053 tf

– built on an artificial island and connected to themainland by a bridge

– the structure mimics the shape of the sail of the traditional Arab sailing vessels dhow

– construction started in 1994

– architect Tom Wright designed the building hoping it would become an symbolic statement, like Paris’ Eiffel Tower and Sydney’s Opera House

– built by Murray & Roberts (south Africa)

– cost $650 million (US)

2.) Mall of the Emirates

– largest shopping mall in the middle east

– 2,400,000 square feet of shops

– entire mall is 6.5 million square feet

– located in the Al Barsha area

– opened late 2005


– a 14 screen movie theater

– gaming arena

– dramatic theater

– indoor ski slope (Ski Dubai)

– shops, stores and food courts

3.) The World

– archipelago of 300 man made islands

– designed to look like a map of the earth

– located 2.5 miles off the coast

– 144 miles of shoreline

– built using sand dredged from the sea

– planned by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum

– built by Nakheel Properties

– islands are between 150,000 and 450,000 square feet

– average 328 feet between islands

– cost: estimated 14 billion (US)

– islands sell for 15 to 50 million (US)

– with some islands priced close to 250 million (US)

– started September 2003

– 60% of islands had been sold by 2008

– development of the islands finished in January 2008

– Coral Island Resort is being developed on “North America”

– Resort OQYANA on “Australia” and “New Zealand”

– Irish-themed resort on “Ireland”

– “Antarctica” will host a 65,000 sq foot entertainment center

– Fashion Tv resort on “Brunei”

– FTV Palace a fashion community on “Finland”

4.) Dubi Marina

– man made marina

– Emaar Properties is developing the project

– once completed will be bigger then Marina del Rey in Califonia, USA which currently is largest

5.) Business Bay

– business district

– downtown Dubai

– sykscrapers, commercial and residential developments totalling close to 230 buildings

5.) Dubai Metro

– fully automated metro network

– lines run underground in the centre of the city and elevated outside of the centre

– planned to open in 2009

– will be the longest fully automated rail system in the world

– approximately $12 billion (US) contract to design and build

– work began on March 21, 2006

– developing by Dubai Rail Link

– first phase of 22 miles at a $4.2 billion (US) cost to be completed by May 2009

– second phase will include extensions of initial routes

Red Line will be 31 miles, 35 stations

Green Line will be 12 miles with 22 stations

Blue Line will be 29 miles along Emirates Rd

Purple Line will be a 30 mile long express route between Dubai International and Al Maktoum

International Airports

– expected to carry 1.2 million passengers/day

– trains have Gold, Women and Childrens, and Silver Class accommodations

– trains are designed for 643 passengers

– trains are driverless

– Dubai got it’s first train in March 2008

6.) Dubailand

– entertainment complex

– 4 phases planned

– phase 1 to be completed early 2008

– final phase to be completed between 2015 and 2018

– expected to be bigger than Walt Disney World

– Dubai Autodrome and The Global Village are operational

6 worlds:

– Attractions & Experience World (5.2 sq miles)

– Retail and Entertainment World ( 1.6 sq miles)

– Themed Leisure and Vacation World ( 11.2 sq miles)

– Eco-Tourism World (28.9 sq miles)

– Sports and Outdoor World ( 7.4 sq miles)

– Downtown (0.7 sq miles)

7.) The Burj Dubai “Dubai Tower”

– skyscraper under construction

– located in “New DOwntown”

– expected to finish in 2009

– will cover 22 million sq ft of development

– centerpeice of large-scale development (30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 6 acres of parkland, 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and Burj Dubai Lake 30 acres of man made wetlands

– completed 500 acres development will cost $20 billion (US)

8.) Palm Islands : – 3 largest man made islands in the world

– Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira

– built to increase tourism to the city

Palm Jumeirah:

– shaped as a palm tree

– 5 by 5 km

– adds 78 km to the coastline

– created 4,000 residents

– connected to mainland by brigde and tunnel

– over 30 beachfront hotels by 2009 Including Atlantis, The Trump Internation Hotel and Tower, The Taj Exotica Hotel and Resort, Tiara Hotel, Oceana Resort and Spa, The Fairmont Palm Hotel and Resort, Hitel Missoni Dubai, and the Radisson SAS Hotel Dubai

– 2 F-100 Super Sabre fighters jets are sunk near the Palm to create an artificial reef

– construction started June 2001

– 94 million cubic metres of sand and 7 million tuons of rock

Palm Jebel Ali:

– construction began OCtober 2004

– expected completion date mid 2008

– will have 6 marinas, a water theme park, Sea Village Busch Gardens, homes and boardwalks

Palm Deira:

– development began October 2004

– expected to be complete by 2015

– will be largest of the 3 palms

– construction will use over a billion cubic meters of rock and sand

– 8.7 miles long

– 5.3 miles wide

– 861 million square feet

– will have 8,000 2 story town house residential properties, marinas, shopping malls, clubs and sports facilities

9.) Hydropolis Underwater Hotel and Resort

– planned underwater luxury resort

– 66 feet below the surface of the Persian Gulf

– off Jumeira Beach

– costs estimated $500 million (US)

– 220 suites

– developing by Crescent Hydropolis Holdings LLC

– 1.1 million sq feet

– will include suites, a ballroom, a shopping mall, a wedding chapel and a missile defense system

– costs up to USD $5,500/night

– originally expected to be completed by the end of 2007, it is now expected to be finished by 2009