RulerH. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. On 4 January 2006, he became the Ruler of Dubai following the death of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. On 5 January, the members of the UAE Supreme Council elected him as the UAE's Vice President. President H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan nominated Sheikh Mohammed as the Prime Minister; the Supreme Council approved this nomination.
HistoryDubai was established in 1833, when some 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe, led by the Maktoum family, settled by the Dubai creek. The creek was a natural harbour; this helped Dubai to become a centre for fishing, pearling and sea trade. By the beginning of 20th century, Dubai had developed into a successful port city. Markets started flourishing on the Deira side of the creek. It was the largest market on the coast with 350 shops and a steady throng of visitors and businessmen. In the 1950s, the creek began to silt. H. H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the then Ruler of Dubai, decided to dredge the creek. Marine traffic and trade increased after this strengthening Dubai's position as a trading hub.
How it was namedThere are many theories about how the emirate got its name. According to one theory, the name came from a word meaning money, as people coming to Dubai were believed to have money. The other theories are that it was named after a woman called Dubaa and who lived in the area and that the name was derived from the word Yadub, which means to creep; referring to how the creek crept into the land. In the 1820s, British historians referred to Dubai as Al Wasl. That geographical area included the present-day areas of Jumeirah, Shindagha, Deira and Bur Dubai.
GeographyDubai is located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, in the Southwest corner of the Arabian Gulf. Dubai is roughly at sea level (16 m/52 ft above). The emirate shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast and the Sultanate of Oman in the southeast. Dubai is the second largest emirate with an area of 4,114 sq km.
Nature and environmentDubai is characterised by the historic creek, which divides Dubai city into Deira and Bur Dubai areas. It has a coast and several sandy beaches on the western side, a mangrove at the eastern end of the creek, many deserts in the interior and western regions and wadis in the Hatta region.
EconomyDubai's economy relies on trade, services and finance sectors. In more recent years, the emirate has become a major venue for:
- Meetings, conferences, exhibitions
- Corporate regional headquarters
- Regional transport, distribution and logistics centre
- Banking, finance and insurance
- Business and industrial consulting
- Information and Communications Technology
- Light and medium manufacturing
Major landmarksLandmarks in Dubai include both historic and modern structures; some of which are Dubai Museum, Hatta Heritage Village, Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall.
PopulationDubai's population was estimated at 2.3 million as of 2014.For a daily population number update, you can check population clock on the website of Dubai Statistics Center. Useful links:
- The official portal of Dubai Government
- VisitDubai - The official tourism portal of Dubai
- The official website of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- The National Council of Tourism & Antiquities
Dubai Map View