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Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is rather like an independent city-state and is the most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE, developing at an unbelievable pace in the tourist and trade sectors especially. Recently Dubai won the bid to host EXPO 2020, a Universal scale Registered Exposition approved by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), Paris.
A relatively new tourist destination, Dubai was gaining popularity in recent years until the global economic crash of 2008.
Dubai is essentially a desert city with superb infrastructure, liberal policies (by regional standards), that became popular for its excellent tourist amenities. Just 5h from Europe and 3h by air from most parts of the Middle East, the Near East, and the subcontinent of India, Dubai makes a great short break for shopping, partying, sunbathing, fine dining, sporting events, and even a few sinful pleasures. It is a city of superlatives: for the fastest, biggest, tallest, largest and highest, Dubai is the destination. It has the largest immigrant population in the world.
The weekly day off is on Friday. Note that, since September 2006, a harmonized weekend of Friday and Saturday has been adopted for the public sector and schools. Government departments, multinational companies, and most schools and universities are now off on Friday and Saturday (after years of a mixed bag of Friday/Saturday and Thursday/Friday weekends). Some local companies still work half a day on Thursday with a full day on Saturday, but larger companies tend to permit relaxation and time off work for their employees on Friday and Saturday. Residents call themselves Dubaites, Dubaians or Dubaiers.
Dubai is divided into multiple districts or municipalities:
A diverse district whose residents are the Europeans to the Filipinos to the Pakistanis; a mixed Little Europe, Karachi and Manila. Jumeirah is much favored by Europeans due to the ease of access of the beach, Beautiful villas are seen here. Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence's the Walk and Jumeirah Mosque are the top attractions.
While Bur Dubai and Deira are traditionally considered "Downtown", the Downtown Dubai development is smack in the centre of the "New Dubai," between Dubai Marina on the south end and the border with the city of Sharjah to the north. It includes the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), the Dubai Mall (world's biggest), Dubai Fountain, and lots of other skyscrapers and hotels.
is a mega-development that borders Jebel Ali (the world's largest man-made port). It is full of skyscrapers and hosts the "Jumeirah Beach Walk" with a number of restaurants, hotels an open-air market when the weather permits, and frequent shows. Dubai Marina houses one of the highest concentrations of Westerns in Dubai.
One of Dubai's Little India and Little Manila, due to the presence of Filipinos and Indians, a rise in Filipino and Indian restaurants, shops, supermarkets are seen here. Gold and textiles is what people come here for, Gold Souk might be your top destination but Satwa too has gold shops and is hassle free, not so crowded.
More of like a mixed commercial residential district, one of Dubai's Little Indias and Little Manilas, cheap eats and cheap buys are the top things here.
A historical district and Bur Dubai is usual term for the area from Jumeirah to the creek, the creek separates Bur Dubai from Deira. Tourist attractions from abras to souks to floating restaurants to the famous creek are found here.
Dubai's old Financial centre, today Deira is a bustling commercial-residential district with some old souks, including one specializing in spices.
Arabian Ranches and Emirates Hills
These are two separate places, residential rents here are expensive due to the land value, just like the whole of Dubai, these two are Man-made.
A commercial-residential district which is somewhat newly built and lies directly under the flight path to Dubai International Airport. City Centre Mirdif is one of the attractions. This is another residence for the well-to-do.
Just a simple residential area in the middle of the desert, what's special about it is its architectural design, the residential rents here are cheap and is somewhat the next Chinatown as many Chinese businessmen and women reside here.
Once isolated from the main bulk of Dubai back in the 70's, Jebel Ali is now a major residential and industrial hub encompassing the southern portions of the city. The main attraction popular with locals and tourists alike is the easily recognizable Ibn Battuta Mall, styled on the countries visited by the famous explorer. The mall is built adjacent to the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel that's large archway can be seen from afar. Surrounding the mall is the Gardens apartments, an ethnically diverse district with a strong Indian community. Jebel Ali village, a 35 year old community built on the side of Jebel Ali (Ali Mountain) for the European builders of Jebel Ali Port is still popular with western expats. The coastal side of the Sheihk Zayed Road in Jebel Ali consists of many unattractive power and desalination plants that somewhat ruin the view. The port was the 9th busiest in the world in 2011.