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Dubai – A Desert Paradise

Location:

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

Story:

The earliest records of Dubai date back to 1095, and Dubai City records only date back to 1799. Due to its geographical location, the city was used as a port of call for Indian traders and merchants. The first major industry was the export of pearls until the 1930s, followed by the discovery of oil in the late 1960s. In the 1950s the British moved their local administrative offices to the city, bringing with them electricity and telephones. The British also built the city’s first airport. Between 1968 and 1975, the city experienced a growth of more than 300% thanks to the mainly Indian and Pakistani foreign workers who came to the region to work in the oil platforms.

During the Persian Gulf War (1990), trading communities moved their businesses to Dubai and the port of Jebel Ali was used as a supply base for allied forces. The port is the largest man-made harbor in the world 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.

Demography:

The population of the emirate in 2006 was 1,422,000, 1,073,000 male and 349,000 female. The median age is 27, with a birth rate of around 14% and a death rate of just 1%.

The official language of Dubai is Arabic and English is another main language.

Economy:

The $37 billion (US) economy was built by the oil industry, but now relies on real estate, construction, trade and financial services. The Dubai Financial Market is worth $95 billion (US) and trades in local and foreign securities and bonds.

Buildings and developments:

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

1.) Burj Al Arab

– luxury hotel built by Said Shalil.

– the name translates as “Tower of the Arabs”

– highest hotel at 1,053 tf

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

– the structure imitates the shape of the sail of traditional Arab dhows

– construction started in 1994

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

– built by Murray & Roberts (South Africa)

– cost $650 million (US)

2.) Mall of the Emirates

– the largest mall in the Middle East

– 2,400,000 square feet of retail space

– the entire mall is 6.5 million square feet

– located in Al Barsha district

– opened end of 2005

Attractions:

– a cinema with 14 screens

– game arena

– dramatic theater

– indoor ski slope (Ski Dubai)

– shops, stores and food courts

3.) The world

– archipelago of 300 artificial islands

– designed to look like a map of the earth

– located 2.5 miles from the coast

– 144 miles of shoreline

– built with sand dredged from the sea

– planned by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum

– built by Nakheel Properties

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

– average of 328 feet between islands

– cost: estimated 14 billion (US)

– the islands sell for 15 to 50 million (US)

– with some islands at a price close to 250 million (US)

– started in September 2003

– 60% of the islands had been sold in 2008

– development of the islands completed in January 2008

– Coral Island Resort is under development on “North America”

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

– Irish themed resort on “Ireland”

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

– Fashion TV station on “Brunei”

– FTV Palace a fashion community on “Finland”

4.) Dubi Marina

– artificial marina

– Emaar Properties develops the project

– when completed, it will be larger than Marina del Rey in California, USA, which is currently the largest

5.) business bay

– business district

– Downtown Dubai

– skyscrapers, commercial and residential developments totaling nearly 230 buildings

5.) Dubai Metro

– fully automated metro network

– underground lines in the center of the city and elevated outside the center

– opening planned for 2009

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

– contract of approximately 12 billion dollars (US) for the design and construction

– work began on March 21, 2006

– developed by Dubai Rail Link

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

– the second phase will include extensions of the 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 expressway between Dubai International and Al Maktoum

International airports

– should carry 1.2 million passengers/day

– trains have Gold, Women and Children, and Silver class accommodation

– the trains are designed for 643 passengers

– trains are driverless

– Dubai had its first train in March 2008

6.) Dubailand

– entertainment complex

– 4 planned phases

– phase 1 to be completed in early 2008

– final phase to be carried out between 2015 and 2018

– should be bigger than Walt Disney World

– Dubai Autodrome and Global Village are operational

6 worlds:

– Attractions & Experience World (5.2 square miles)

– World of Retail and Entertainment (1.6 square miles)

– Theme world of leisure and vacation (11.2 square miles)

– Eco-Tourism World (28.9 square miles)

– Sports and outdoor world (7.4 square miles)

– Downtown (0.7 square miles)

7.) The “Dubai Tower” of Burj Dubai

– skyscraper under construction

– located in “New DOWNTOWN”

– should end in 2009

– will cover 22 million square feet of development

– centerpiece of a large-scale development (30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 6 hectares of parkland, 19 residential towers, Dubai Mall and Burj Dubai Lake, 30 hectares of artificial wetlands

– the completed 500-acre development will cost $20 billion (US)

8.) palm islands :- 3 largest artificial islands in the world

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

– built to increase tourism in the city

Palm Jumeirah:

– in the shape of a palm tree

– 5 per 5km

– adds 78 km to the coastline

– created 4,000 inhabitants

– connected to the mainland by bridge and tunnel

– more than 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 Radisson SAS Hotel Dubai

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

– construction started in June 2001

– 94 million cubic meters of sand and 7 million tons of rock

Palm Jebel Ali:

– construction started in October 2004

– expected completion date mid 2008

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

Palm Deira:

– development started in October 2004

– expected to be completed by 2015

– will be the tallest of the 3 palm trees

– the construction will use more than 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 townhouses, marinas, shopping malls, clubs and sports facilities

9.) Hydropolis Hotel and Underwater Resort

– planned underwater luxury resort

– 66 feet below the surface of the Persian Gulf

– off Jumeirah Beach

– estimated costs of 500 million dollars (US)

– 220 suites

– developed by Crescent Hydropolis Holdings LLC

– 1.1 million square feet

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

– costs up to 5,500 USD/night

– originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2007, now scheduled to be completed by 2009

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