Return to GVPedia

Sunday 19 April 2015



"It isn't too early for me to say to the world that the Dubai narrative is all about changing people's lives for the better through smart capitalism, willpower and positive energy."   -H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.




Dubai is one of the seven emirates and most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.  Written accounts document the existence of the city for at least 150 years prior to the formation of the UAE.  Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty since 1833. The emirates' current ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE.




The emirate's main revenues are from trade, real estate and financial services.  Petroleum and natural gas contribute less than 6% (2006) of Dubai's US$37 billion economy (2005).  Real estate and construction, contributed 22.6% to the economy in 2005, before the current large-scale construction boom.  Dubai has attracted worldwide attention through innovative real estate projects and sports events.


Dubai RSS Feeds

Best of Dubai Publications

Volume 2


Volume 3


Desert Dreams Deciphered: Overview of Dubai

As the sun slowly sets across the Arabian Gulf, the curtain rises on a glittering phenomenon that's making the rest of the world sit up and take notice.  It's a phenomenon called Dubai.  From growth levels unprecedented in the annals of modern business to real estate projects that defy conventional wisdom, this curiously multicultural melange of nearly 200 different nationalities is dancing to its own tune.  A fascinating confluence of luxury hotels, old-world souks, beach-side retreats, stark desert vistas and tax-free living, the Dubai experience is one which appears to have been crafted solely for the purpose of garnering superlatives.


Growth levels of close to 20 per cent hint at a desert Emirate that must be doing something right.  Dubai has etched out a new blueprint for economic sustainability.  The cit's proposition is simple - entice the multinationals and ambitious entrepreneurs alike through incentives that are hard to resist.  Minimal red tape, relative absence of bureaucracy, state-of-the-art business enclaves, industry-specific Free Zones, strategically planned trade shows and a  fierce onus on tourism that channels luxury  hotels and massive marketing campaigns towards guaranteeing a healthy deluge of activity.  It's a chain of commerce whose wheels are kept rolling smoothly all year round.

History of Dubai



In the early 19th century, the Al Abu Falasa clan (House of Al-Falasi) of Bani Yas clan established Dubai, which remained a dependent of Abu Dhabi until 1833.  On 8 January 1820, the sheikh of Dubai and other sheikhs in the region signed the "General Maritime Peace Treaty" with the British government.  However, in 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty (also descendants of the House of Al-Falasi) of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over Dubai from the Abu Fasala clan without resistance.  Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom by the "Exclusive Agreement" of 1892, with the latter agreeing to protect Dubai against any attacks from the Ottoman Empire.  


Two catastrophes struck the town during the mid 1800s. First, in 1841, a smallpox epidemic broke out in the Bur Dubai locality, forcing residents to relocate east to Deira. Then, in 1894, fire swept through Deira, burning down most homes. However, the town's geographical location continued to attract traders and merchants from around the region. The emir of Dubai was keen to attract foreign traders and lowered trade tax brackets, which lured traders away from Sharjah and Bandar Lengeh, which were the region's main trade hubs at the time.


Electricity, telephone services and an airport were established in Dubai in the 1950s, when the British moved their local administrative offices from Sharjah to Dubai.  In 1966 the town joined the newly independent country of Qatar to set up a new monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai Riyal, after the deflation of the Gulf rupee.  Oil was discovered in Dubai the same year, after which the town granted concessions to international oil companies. The discovery of oil led to a massive influx of foreign workers, mainly Indians and Pakistanis. As a result, the population of the city from 1968 to 1975 grew by over 300%, by some estimates.  




On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971.  In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a uniform currency: the UAE dirham. In the 1970s, Dubai continued to grow from revenues generated from oil and trade, even as the city saw an influx of Lebanese immigrants fleeing the civil war in Lebanon.  The Jebel Ali Free Zone, comprising the Jebel Ali port (reputedly the world's largest man made port) was established in 1979, which provided foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital.


The success of the Jebel Ali free zone allowed the city to replicate its model to develop clusters of new free zones, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Maritime City. The construction of Burj Al Arab, the world's tallest freestanding hotel, as well as the creation of new residential developments, were used to market Dubai for purposes of tourism. Since 2002, the city has seen an increase in private real estate investment in recreating Dubai's skyline with such projects as The Palm Islands, The World Islands and Burj Dubai.




"The Best of Dubai book has exceeded our expectations this year, it is a beautiful coffee table book and we hope that many people have a chance to look at it".


Klaas Boon

Operations Manager, Troon Golf Middle East  




"We enjoyed participating in this innovative annual book publishing project that works
well both as a corporate gift and a Public affairs tool ".


Nabeel Ghaith

Acting Director/Marketing Communications , Etisalat




"I just love the book – and look forward to exposing the book to our guests".


Tracey Meskin

PR & Marketing Director, Southern Sun Hotels




"Best of Abu Dhabi is great. We all loved it".


Maha Al Jamal

Finance House Dubai