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الإمارات العربيّة المتّحدة
Al-Imārāt al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttahidah
Dubai or Dubayy (in Arabic: دبيّ, IPA /ðʊ'bɪ/, generally
/dʊ'baɪ/ in English) refers to either
one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab
Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula, or
that emirate's main city, sometimes called "Dubai City" to
distinguish it from the emirate.
The ruler of Dubai was the late H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin
Rashid Al Maktoum, who was also the Vice-President of the
federation of the United Arab Emirates. The new Ruler who is
also the Vice-President and the Prime Minister of the UAE is
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was earlier
the crown prince of Dubai is one of the Sheikh's younger
Dubai is the most populous and second largest emirate (in
terms of size) in the federation after Abu Dhabi. The
emirate is located on the Persian Gulf, southwest of Sharjah
and northeast of Abu Dhabi, and reaches into the interior.
The town of Hatta is an exclave of the emirate of Dubai and
borders Al Wajajah, Oman.
Dubai is distinct from other members of the UAE in that
revenues from oil account for only 6% of its gross domestic
product. A majority of the emirate's revenues are from the
Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ)  and now, increasingly, from
Dubai City as seen from spaceThere are records of the
town of Dubai from 1799. Earlier in the 18th century the Al
Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in
Dubai which was a dependent of the settlement of Abu Dhabi
On 8 January 1820, the then sheikh of Dubai was a signatory
to the British sponsored "General Treaty of Peace" (the
General Maritime Treaty).
In 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty of the Bani Yas tribe left
the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over the town of Dubai,
"without resistance". From that point on, Dubai, a newly
independent emirate, was constantly at odds with the emirate
of Abu Dhabi. An attempt by the Qawasim pirates to take over
Dubai was thwarted. In 1835, Dubai and the rest of the
Trucial States signed a maritime truce with Britain and a
"Perpetual Maritime Truce" about two decades later. Dubai
came under the protection of the United Kingdom (keeping out
the Ottoman Turks) by the Exclusive Agreement of 1892. Like
four of its neighbours, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah
and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position on the route to India made
it an important location.
In March 1892, the Trucial States (or Trucial Oman) were
The rulers of Dubai fostered trade and commerce, unlike the
town's neighbors. The town of Dubai was an important port of
call for foreign tradesmen (chiefly Indians), who settled in
the town. Until the 1930s, the town was known for its pearl
After the devaluation of the Gulf Rupee in 1966, Dubai
joined the newly independent state of Qatar to set up a new
monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai riyal. Oil was discovered 120
kilometres off the coast of Dubai, after which the town
granted oil concessions.
On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five
other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former
protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971. In 1973,
Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a single, uniform
currency: the UAE dirham.
Silhouette of a dhow in the Bur Dubai creekDubai is
unusual in that its population comprises mainly expatriates,
with UAE nationals (Emiratis) constituting the minority. The
vast majority of these expatriates come from South Asia and
the South East Asia. A quarter of the population reportedly
trace their origins to neighboring Iran. The UAE
government does not allow any form of naturalization or
permanent residence to expatriates.
Nearly all of the commercial establishments are run by
expatriates with a silent local partner who merely "rents"
the business license for a negotiated annual fee without
taking part in any capital investment. The numerous free
trade zones allow for full expatriate ownership.
There is an increasing number of "freehold" villas and flats
on artificial islands such as the Palm Islands. The "lease"
on these freehold properties was first offered for 99 years
but was later changed to permanent ownership. It is,
however, illegal to seek employment on this visa. Ownership
of lease does not guarantee any form of legal residency
status in the UAE. The Federal Government is still
formulating laws pertaining to ownership of property and
considering issuing residency status to those who own such
The United Arab Emirates (also called the UAE) is a
Middle Eastern country situated in the southeast of the
Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf,
comprising seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajmān, Dubai,
Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qaiwain.
Before 1971, they were known as the Trucial States or
Trucial Oman, in reference of a nineteenth-century truce
between the British and some Arab Sheikhs. It borders Oman
and Saudi Arabia. The country is rich in oil.
Main article: History of the United Arab Emirates
The seven Trucial Sheikdom States of the Persian Gulf coast
granted the United Kingdom control of their defense and
foreign affairs in nineteenth-century treaties. In 1971, six
of these states — Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah,
Dubai, and Umm al-Qaiwain — merged to form the United Arab
Emirates. They were joined in 1972 by Ras Al Khaimah.
Arab oil producing states such as the UAE use revenue from
oil to finance national development. This view shows urban
expansion in Dubai.Main article: Economy of the United Arab
The UAE's wealth is largely based on oil and gas output,
some 33% of GDP. It is the third largest oil producer in the
Persian Gulf after Saudi Arabia and Iran (Iraq's oil output
has fluctuated due to war). Since 1973, the UAE has
undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished
region of small desert principalities to a modern state with
a high standard of living. The country's per capita GDP is
not far below the GDPs of the leading West European nations.
Its generosity with oil revenues and its moderate foreign
policy stance have allowed it to play a vital role in the
affairs of the region. In recent years the government has
sought to diversify its sources of income and lessen its
dependence on finite oil reserves. One result of these
efforts is a steadily developing tourism industry, centered
on coastal, desert and sporting resorts and infrastructure.
The success of these ventures, along with other factors like
the relatively low price of commodities, the warm
temperatures that prevail for most of the year, the
engineering marvels such as Burj Al Arab and The Palm
Islands, and friendliness to the West have led many to call
it the Hong Kong of the Middle East.
Human rights and labor issues
It is common practice for employers in the UAE to retain
employees' passports for the duration of the employment
contract to prevent expatriate employees from changing jobs.
This is an illegal practice, but it is almost never
investigated, let alone punished by the government. On
termination of an employment contract, certain categories of
expatriates are banned from obtaining a work permit in the
country for six months.
The United States Department of State has cited widespread
instances of blue collar labor abuse in the general context
of the United Arab Emirates .
The government has been criticized by human rights agencies
such as Human Rights Watch for its inaction in addressing
the discrimination against Asian workers in the emirate.
Salary structures based on nationality, sex, age, and race
rather than on qualification are common .
According to Ansar Burney Trust, an illegal sex industry
thrives in the emirates, especially in Dubai. This
complements the tourism and hospitality industry, a major
part of Dubai's economy . Antislavery.org accuses the UAE
of illegally using child jockeys in camel racing, and
further accuses the industry of violating child sex laws.
The UAE's human rights record, particularly in relation to
migrant workers, was widely criticised during the trials of
Sarah Balabagan in 1995.
A website www.mafiwasta.com is campaigning to pressure the
government of the UAE into signing up to International
Labour Organisation core conventions on freedom of
association. Strikes and unions are currently banned in the
UAE and many labourers are virtual prisoners, having paid
huge agents' fees in order to obtain jobs and visas.
The national airline of the UAE was formerly Gulf Air,
operated jointly with Bahrain and Oman. On September 13,
2005, the UAE announced that they were withdrawing from Gulf
Air to concentrate on Etihad Airways, their new national
carrier established in 2003.
In 1985, Dubai established a local airline called Emirates,
which has become one of the most popular in the world.
The Trucial States of the Persian
Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense
and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In
1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al
Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn -
merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They
were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's
per capita GDP is not far below those of leading
West European nations. Its generosity with oil
revenues and its moderate foreign policy stance have
allowed the UAE to play a vital role in the affairs
of the region.
Middle East, bordering the Gulf of
Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi
24 00 N, 54 00 E
82,880 sq km
land: 82,880 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maine
border countries: Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of
the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
desert; cooler in eastern mountains
flat, barren coastal plain merging
into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland;
mountains in east
Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
petroleum, natural gas
Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian
23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes
Westerners and East Asians) 8% (1982)
note: less than 20% are UAE citizens (1982)
Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), Christian,
Hindu, and other 4%
Arabic (official), Persian, English,
Emirati dirham (AED)
Emirati dirhams per US dollar -
central bank mid-point rate: 3.6725 (since 1997),
Internet country code:
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