The Stunning City of Dubai: City Guide

By: Mahnoor Shaheen

  • Population - 2.718 million

  • Location in the country - In the northeast of the United Arab Emirates, near the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf.

Basic Facts

  • Brief history of Dubai - The earliest noted history of Dubai was in 300 BC. Dubai declared independence on June 9th, 1833, by the ruler Maktoum Bin Butti’s tribe. Going further, in the 1950s oil was first discovered in the trucial states. After this advancement, everything went forward. This is when all of the large achievements and advancements happened. One of the most important events was the United Arab Emirates being created for more security and prosperity. This made Dubai join the Arab league.

Brief History 

  • Geography - Dubai is the second largest emirate, and is said to further expand once there’s construction in the desert. An interesting feature is the Dubai Creek, which separates the the city into two regions. The creek is made of an inlet in the Persian Gulf. Because of Dubai’s location, it is easy to connect with other gulf states, and trade with them. Other features are the Palm Islands, and the Dubai Waterfront. These are both man-made features.

 

  • Climate -The Tropic of Cancer passes through Dubai leaving the climate to be warm year round. In the winter in the daytime the temperature stays at around 25 degrees celsius or 77 degrees fahrenheit and humidity reaching over 90%. The extreme summers reach to around 40 degrees celsius. As you can tell Dubai is very hot, humid, and sunny.

 

Geography and Climate

  • Historic sites-

    • Al Ahmadiya School was the first ever school to be made in Dubai. It was made in 1912, and now serves as a museum. It shows how schools were in UAE more than one hundred years ago. This school is one of the most prestigious ancient schools. It was also the first semi-formal school in Dubai. The school was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmouk, and it was named in his honor later on.

    • Jumeirah Mosque is the largest mosque in Dubai, and is a place to learn about Islamic Culture. The special thing is that anyone can come to the mosque to admire it. Since it’s constructed out of stone, the style of architecture is Traditional Medieval Fatimid.

    • The Dubai Creek, a saltwater creek that extends past the Persian Gulf, was responsible for splitting Dubai in two. The main sections were Deira and Bur Dubai, but the creek was the only port/harbour in Dubai at the time. This creek was also responsible for the settlements of the Maktoum Dynasty in the 19th century.

    • The Heritage and Diving Village is located on the Bur Dubai side of the Dubai Creek. This village shows the early fishing villages in Dubai, before all of the modern innovations. The reconstructed village features mud-brick and palm houses. The village was originally created in 1997.

Historic Sites

  • Neighborhoods -

    • Jumeirah, meaning beautiful in Arabic, is a residential neighborhood near the coast in Dubai. It has low-rise private homes, with expensive, detached properties. There are also more modest townhouses where immigrants tend to live. Jumeirah is also popular with tourists.

    • Mirdif’s population consists of Europeans, South Asians, and other Emirates. This is a sophisticated, high-end community is connected to to the whole city. It has mostly European-styled private villas.

    • Downtown Dubai, used to be known as Downtown Burj Dubai, is a large mixed-scale complex. It includes some of the city’s major landmarks. Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall hold the status of the tallest and largest. There’s also the impressive Dubai Fountain. Downtown Dubai comprises high-rise residential towers and the Emaar Square.

 

Neighborhoods 

Downtown Dubai is a popular neighborhood area with lots of tall apartment buildings.

  • Transportation - Many tourists, and people that live there use Dubai’s public transportation. One of the most effective ones is the Dubai Metro, a driverless rail system that can transport passengers from the Dubai Airport to popular tourist attractions. One of the restrictions on the metro is eating and drinking. Another popular public transportation is taxis. In Dubai taxi fare is cheap, and the taxis are well maintained. A helpful app was created to pinpoint a person’s location and find the nearest taxi.

Transportation 

Dubai taxis are more convenient and have cheaper fare than other taxis.

The Dubai Metro system is high-tech and modern.

Camel Racing in action, with the crowd cheering the participaters on.

  • Sports/Recreation - Dubai is filled with adventurous sports and activities to watch and to do. Camel racing is a cultural, heritage sport. It is played during the winter time, from October to March. There is no admission fee, and the prize for winning is usually a considerable amount of money. These races take place on certain racetracks. This activity is fun to watch and cheer on. Golf is another major sport. There are many exotic, impressive golf courses around UAE as a whole. There are also coaching facilities, that train some incredible golf players. Last but not least the most popular national sport in the UAE, soccer, or football. There are many stadiums where soccer is played, and it is widely watched throughout the Dubai and the UAE.

Sports and Recreation 

A high-class golf course near downtown Dubai.

  • Arts/Culture - In Dubai there is an arts and culture government authority, and they preserve cultural scene and heritage. This program was established in 2008 by the ruler Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. One reason was to manage arts and culture infrastructure. The culture in Dubai, and UAE as a whole is diverse. It is influenced by Persian, Arabian, Islamic, and other cultures. These are shown in Dubai’s art, architecture, attire, cuisine, and lifestyle. Dubai hosts an annual art fair that showcases not only Dubai’s, but other countries artworks also. This fair expresses Dubai’s love for art and culture, and shows how the modern Dubai came to be.

Heritage/Cultural Site to visit

Arts and Culture

Art exhibit at Dubai Art Fair

Restaurant on observatory of a hotel in Dubai.

  • Food - Just like everything else Dubai has multicultural cuisine, and chefs from around the world. These intricate dishes can be found in small cafes or fancy restaurants. One of the most popular foods is falafel, and it can be served in different platters or dishes. This food is made from a combination of chickpeas and spices. This fried dish originally came from the middle east, one of the cultures shown in Dubai. Shawarma is a widely eaten dish in Dubai, and is found in many restaurants around the city. It is made up of lamb or chicken meat, varieties of vegetables, and flavorful sauces. There are different variations of this dish from place to place. Tabbouleh is a great vegetarian dish in Dubai. The salad is made of tomatoes, green onions, and cucumber, and it’s flavored with fresh mint and lemon juice. This dish is known to quench hunger in a balanced way. The dessert Mahalabiya is a well-known dessert that is suitable with all age groups. This pudding is made from pistachios and rosewater. Other than these traditional dishes, Dubai provides almost every type of cuisine you could think of. Restaurants with these dishes can be found in the malls of Dubai and around downtown.   

Food and Cuisine 

Shawarma filled wrap

  • Languages/Local Dialects - Official language, Arabic, English is the most spoken, others are Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Persian.
  • Any additional information - Today Dubai holds some of the largest records in the world. One of them is having the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Even before this skyscraper, In 1991, The Dubai World Trade Center was known as the only skyscraper in the city. Other than that Dubai is popular with tourists around the world because of its breathtaking malls, attractions, and other amusements. Dubai gives tax-free earnings, and this in turn attracts people of all places to come seeking jobs. Nonetheless 80% of Dubai’s population is made up of immigrants and tourists. The population continues to increase as around 100,000 new residents shift to Dubai. Overall Dubai is a stunning, unique city with a fast running economy and lots of surprises.

Additional Information