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What Country is Dubai in?

By Adam Hill
Updated May 23, 2024
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The city of Dubai is located in the Persian Gulf nation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE consists of seven different emirates or principalities, the largest of which contains the capital city, Abu Dhabi. The UAE is an Islamic nation, where the religion of Islam is heavily integrated into the governments of each emirate. Dubai is the most populous city in the UAE, with over 2 million inhabitants. Unlike many other places in the Middle East, petroleum and energy only represent a small percentage of the city's revenues, and it is known instead for its real estate and financial services industries, as well as tourism and trade.

The city has attracted attention from the whole world because of its bold and innovative real estate projects. Most notable among these is the construction of the Burj Dubai — Arabic for “Dubai Tower” — which is billed as the world’s tallest man-made structure, at nearly twice the height of New York City’s Empire State Building. This building is rumored to have undergone several increases in its planned height since its inception. It is constructed of steel and reinforced concrete.

Little is known about the emirate's origins, but it has long been an important location because of its geographical proximity to trade routes leading to and from India. Only in the latter part of the 20th century did it start on its way to becoming the important economic center that it is now. Electricity and telephone services, as well as aviation, were established there in the 1950s. The discovery of oil there in 1966 led to a 300% population increase over the next decade.

On 2 December 1971, the emirate joined with six other Arab emirates to form the UAE. In 1973, a uniform currency was adopted. Latent hostility from border disputes with Abu Dhabi was settled in 1979 when a formal compromise was reached.

Dubai has a very hot climate, which is sometimes accompanied by humidity. The warmest month on average is August, with an average high temperature of 106°F (41.3°C). It lies directly within the Arabian Desert, and the landscape is dominated by sand, with wild grasses and some palm trees. Although the official language is Arabic, English is widely spoken and understood in the city. Islam is the official state religion, but non-Muslim groups are permitted to worship and own houses of worship in there, subject to certain conditions.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By dubaivisas — On Oct 31, 2013

Dubai is a place where that really fancy resort is. It's in the United Arab Emirates, it's not its own country.

By anon350509 — On Oct 05, 2013

All people gossip about Dubai and say that people are rude, etc., but I've been there and I've made a lot of friends from the Emirates. In fact, I met a princess (or a ''sheika'' as they call them). She was so nice and invited me over for dinner. It did truly open my eyes to all the lies and criticism about Islam and Arabs.

By fBoyle — On Sep 01, 2012

@ZipLine-- Dubai is an interesting place. I think UAE is not so strict about Dubai since it's a very touristic locale. And there are a lot of foreigners working in Dubai. So there are a lot of non-Muslims there. For that reason, I think UAE has to be accommodating to non-Muslims, since without them Dubai wouldn't thrive as much.

I'm also looking at Dubai jobs and I'm not Muslim. If I do end up moving there for a couple of years, I think I will fit in just fine.

Anyone here actually living and working in Dubai?

By ZipLine — On Aug 31, 2012

It's hard to believe that Dubai is in UAE and UAE is an Islamic country. I have friends who've been to Dubai and they were telling me that they went to clubs and had a lot of fun there.

How can that be if Dubai is a part of an Islamic nation?

By SteamLouis — On Jun 04, 2011

The transformation of Dubai in just ten years is amazing. I saw a picture of a street in Dubai in the early 1990s and then the same street in early 2000s and couldn't believe my eyes! It's towers and highways everywhere!

Dubai is growing faster than China and most of the new construction was completed in just five years! I don't know if any other city in the world could keep up with it. After the palm tree islands which can be seen from space, there is news of a new project of 300 new islands. And wait till you hear this, when it's completed, the islands are going to look like the map of the earth!

I think the architects of Dubai are having the time of their life! I can't wait to see it honestly.

By candyquilt — On Jun 03, 2011

I have heard a lot of good things about Dubai, but I have also heard a lot of criticisms.

Some Muslims are frustrated with the way Dubai is. They feel that the city is really not suited for a Muslim way of life because of its strong entertainment sector and tourism. Apparently, you can find a bar next to a mosque and next to another bar. Since alcohol is not allowed in Islam, I think it bothers some Muslims that such an important city like Dubai is this way.

Another criticism I have heard about Dubai is the way in which the palm islands were constructed. These islands were made by filling in sea water to create more land. Some experts say that these islands are not suitable for residents. They think that the island might go underwater in the future and is a big risk for people living there.

The last criticism I've heard, which is probably the most serious is claims about exploitation of workers in Dubai. Most of them are foreign, as others have mentioned. They apparently live in large slums with horrible conditions and are overworked for minimum wages. Actually many of these workers are not complaining because they go to Dubai from very poor villages in India and elsewhere where there is no work. They are able to support their families with the money they make in Dubai. But the claims about exploitation of both foreign construction workers and foreign house maids are pretty strong.

By turquoise — On Jun 01, 2011

I have several friends who work in Dubai. The employment sector is pretty large there, so I think people from all around the world go to Dubai to work. Most of my friends there work in management, marketing or business sector. But I know that it is also a huge center for construction work and a lot of workers from Southeast Asia go to work there.

I have heard Dubai described as a really different place, sort of like a wonderland. It has huge malls, beaches, entertainment centers. It's very developed too. TV showed just the other day that they have air conditioned bus stops for people, which I think is absolutely fantastic. They also have a huge ski resort (yes, a ski resort in Dubai!), where people can walk inside from over 100 degrees heat into snow, put on snow costumes and ski.

I would love to go and see it sometime. I think it will be a memory of a lifetime.

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