Situated in the Persian Gulf, Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Since oil was found in 1966, Dubai has continually developed into one of the world’s most modern cities. Of modern, sometimes even avantgarde architecture, its many skyscrapers rise like a glass and steel forest and the city glows – literally – in the intense light of the desert sun.
Dubai’s economy, built initially on the oil and gas resources of the country, has boomed so much in recent years that currently oil and gas make only 6% of the country’s income, the major contributions coming from real estate investment, trade and financial services. A cosmopolitan city whose residents are 85% expats, Dubai has world fame as a shopping centre. More and more tourists are drawn especially to its huge malls, filled with almost all the luxury brands in the world.
Dubai is a city of superlatives and it holds quite a few world records: the highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, 828 meters tall, the highest restaurant in the world (Atmosphera, on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa), as well as the only 7-star hotel in the world, the famous Burj al Arab. Another spectacular feature is its artifficial islands, Palm Island being emblematic for Dubai.