Dubai is the capital of the emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. After achieving their independence from Great Britain in 1971, Dubai was officially born!
You might equate Dubai with artificial, air-conditioned, luxury living in the middle of the desert. You might think of the enormous sky-scrapers that dominate the city’s skyline, or of the man-made Palm Islands that involved using 94 million cubic meters of sand to build. Or you might not know too much about Dubai at all….
This young economic giant doesn’t have the longest of histories, but it does contain a whole lot of surprises! Are you ready to blow back through the sands of time and explore the history of this desert city?
1) Pearl Profiting
In the 18th century, the area around Dubai was documented as a small fishing village. Fishing wasn’t the only thing happening around here. The city quickly grew into a huge center for pearl-diving!
2) Bright Ideas
The ruling family of Dubai was as business-savvy back in the day as they are today! Even back then, they knew that keeping taxes low and inviting in foreign merchants was a bright idea. Dubai continued to explode in population and economic growth into the early 20th century!
3) Tolerant and Proud
Due to the huge population of foreigners, Dubai has one of the most liberal societies in the region. Thankfully, the city demonstrates religious tolerance. Plenty of Christian churches and Hindu temples dwell near the many mosques of Dubai.
4) The Modernization
Dubai is often described as a melting pot and a cosmopolitan city, as the population is such a big mix of expatriates. With skyscrapers, beaches, and a high volume of tourists threading in and out of the streets, Dubai has been likened to either the Singapore and Hong Kong of the Middle East!
5) The Tallest Building in the World!
The tallest building in the world is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, clocking in at a towering 828 meters high. Building it cost a pretty penny. We’re talking 4 Billion US Dollars, people! For some extra fun, the Burj Khalifa also has the world’s highest mosque on the 158th floor and the world’s highest swimming pool on the 76th floor!
6) Dubai Expo 2020
Expo 2020 (Arabic: إكسبو 2020) is a World Expo to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, originally scheduled for 20 October 2020 – 10 April 2021. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new dates are 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022. Despite being postponed, organizers will keep the name Expo 2020 for marketing and branding purposes.
The UAE selected the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and the sub-themes Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity.
“In today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment is key. While a married human mind, an individual country, or a specific community is both unique and remarkable, it is by working collaboratively that we truly advance.” Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in support of the bid.
The World Expo in Dubai in 2020 will be the first to be held in the MENA & SA (Middle East and North Africa & South Asia) region. On 27 November 2013, when Dubai won the right to host the expo 2020, fireworks erupted at the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. A national holiday was declared the following day for all educational institutions across the country. The Dubai Ruler promised Dubai would “astonish the world,” in 2020. The staging of the world fair and the preparations leading up to it are expected to result in 277,000 new jobs in the UAE, an injection of nearly $40 billion into the economy, and an increase in visitors of at least 25 million and up to 100 million. Director General of Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, said that they have the largest laboratory in the region, and can easily research new materials and technologies required for construction. The world’s tallest commercial tower to be built in Dubai, in Jumeirah Lake Towers, was given the name “Burj 2020” in honour of the World Expo 2020. Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum also went to the top floor of the Burj Khalifa to wave the UAE flag, a few days after the World Expo 2020 win.