At first glance, the city presents a predominantly modern face, an ever-changing skyline of new developments, from striking glass and concrete towers to gracious modern buildings incorporating traditional Arabian architectural motifs and features.
Dubai embraces a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. These contrasts give Dubai its unique flavor and personality; a cosmopolitan society with an international lifestyle, yet with a culture deeply rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia.
If we build it, they will come, so runs the Al-Maktoum family mantra, and so they built. A sleepy fishing village not half a century ago, before the discovery of oil and subsequent building boom, the dust of the desert is now clearing to reveal a thriving metropolis with a sophisticated network of highways and high-rises, a plethora of glittering malls and an awesome concentration of top-notch hotels and attractions, all beautifully green by gallons and gallons of de-salinated water. The limitations of environment, geography and history were not going to get in the way of global recognition and acclaim!
This is a city built on the visionary determination of its rulers, whose zeal has attracted entrepreneurs and adventurers from around the globe in search of a slice of the action. With over 70 different nationalities calling Dubai 'home', the city is a cultural crossroads - a bit of a microcosm surrounded by its traditionally Arab and inward looking Middle Eastern neighbors. For the tourist, this rich mix of cultures has created a feast for the eyes, spirit, stomach and shopping bag. The ever-employed builder is in the process of drilling the world's first underwater luxury resort, apart from a series of 200 man-made islands in the shape of the countries of the world, not to mention the world's tallest building.
The Supersonic city & the Vibrance of Dubai
It's entirely possible to lose yourself in a whirlwind of fine dining, hedonistic activities, designer shopping and other Gucci pursuits, but a little time out from this frenetic activity can reveal another side to Dubai, appealing in quite a different way. Coursing through this open-minded society is an undercurrent of Islamic tradition in which tolerance and hospitality are key.
Its willingness to accept all nationalities and all cultures, and the way the abras plying the Creek carry a kaleidoscope of sun-tinted tourists sitting cheek by jowl with colourful, sari-wrapped Indians and locals sporting spotless dish dashes. It's noticeable further afield, too, as you head out of town to explore the barren beauty of the desert or rolling beaches of the East Coast. Almost without exception, everyone you meet will be friendly, unassuming, and willing to enter into conversation, blithely ignoring the lack of a common language.
Dubai has a sub-tropical and arid climate; sunny blue skies and high temperatures may be expected most of the year and rainfall is infrequent and irregular, falling mainly in the winter.
Temperatures range from a low of around 10 degrees Celsius in winter to a high of 48 degrees Celsius in the summer. The mean daily maximum is 24 degrees Celsius in January, rising to 41 degrees Celsius in August.
Culture and Customs
Dubai's culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. In some parts of the world, Islamic fundamentalism has given the 'outside' world a very extreme and different view of the religion. In contrast to this image, however, Dubai is very tolerant and welcoming; visitors are free to practice their own religion, alcohol is served in hotels and in restaurants and the dress code is liberal. Women face little discrimination. Among the most highly prized virtues are courtesy and hospitality and visitors are charmed by the genuine warmth and friendliness of the people.
The official language of the UAE is Arabic, although English, Hindi and Urdu are spoken widely, particularly in the business sector.
Traveling around Dubai:
Dubai has a very modern Bus and Metro transport system that is run and operated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The city also has an extensive Taxi system, which is the most used public transport in the Emirate, these are both government and privately owned cab companies.
All Metro stations have convenient feeder bus connections and taxi pick up.
Aside from these preferred means of transportation, tourists can also enjoy the traditional mode of transport that has been enjoyed by many… locals and tourist alike. Waterbuses, ferry and Abras are available everyday.
To know more about Dubai, please click on the links below:
The Official Dubai Portal
The Road and Transportation Authority of Dubai
The Dubai Police
Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Dubai Money, Currency0 and Banks
Definitely Dubai: A Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing Official Video
Dubai: A Business Hub for Tourism & Trade