Dubai is located on the Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, in the south west corner of the Arabian Gulf. It is extremely well known for its warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage, and the Emirati people are welcoming and generous in their approach to visitors. With year-round sunshine, intriguing deserts, beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels and shopping malls, fascinating heritage attractions and a thriving business community, Dubai receives millions of leisure and business visitors each year from around the world.
The local currency is the dirham, which is pegged at AED 3.67 to 1 US dollar. Dubai is tolerant and cosmopolitan and all visitors are welcome. However, Islam is a way of life in the city, and therefore tourists should adopt a certain level of cultural and religious sensitivity for the duration of their stay.
Since 1833 the reigning Al Maktoum family have ruled Dubai. Under their wise and progressive leadership Dubai has prospered and it is now the business and tourism hub for a region.
Some 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe, led by the Maktoum Family, settled at the mouth of the creek in 1833. The creek was a natural harbour and Dubai soon became a centre for the fishing, pearling and sea trade.
The past few decades have witnessed incredible growth throughout all sectors of the Dubai economy. The emirate's government is constantly working to improve its commercial transparency and introduce dynamic regulations that aid the formation of small and medium enterprises. Dubai's economy is no longer reliant on oil, but is more diversified, relying heavily on trade, services and finance sectors. With its central geographic location between Asian and European markets, Dubai has worked hard to establish itself as an integral part of the global trade mechanism. Its central location has also allowed Dubai to become a popular and accessible tourist destination.
Although Dubai is seen as a relatively young destination, it has a fascinating history and a vibrant heritage that offers visitors an intriguing glimpse into Arabian culture. A good place to start exploring the history and heritage of Dubai is the Dubai Museum: it is located inside Al Fahidi Fort, one of Dubai's oldest buildings dating back to 1787. There are other museums in Dubai and in surrounding emirates that also offer important insights into the history and growth of the city and of the United Arab Emirates.
Culture & Heritage:
Courtesy and hospitality are among the most highly prized of virtues in the Arab world, and visitors will be charmed by the warmth and friendliness of the people. Dubai 's culture is rooted in Islam, providing a strength and inspiration that touches all aspects of everyday life. Virtually every neighbourhood has its own mosque, where the faithful congregate for prayer five times every day. One of the largest and most beautiful mosques is Jumeirah Mosque- a spectacular example of modern Islamic architecture.
Dubai, with an area of 3,885 square kilometres, is the second largest emirate in the UAE. Situated on the banks of the Dubai Creek, a natural inlet from the Gulf which divides the city into the Deira district to its north and Bur Dubai on its south.
Culture & Etiquette:
Dubai is a modern city that welcomes visitors from around the world. However, as it is also a Muslim city, there are certain factors to take into consideration in terms of dress code and behaviour. Religion plays a significant role in the culture of Dubai. Mosques can be found throughout the city and at sunset the call to prayer can be heard across the rooftops. It is possible for non-Muslim tourists to visit certain mosques in Dubai; perhaps the most impressive is the Jumeirah Mosque, tours of which can be booked through the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
For more information visit www.dubai.ae
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