Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. The main city of the emirate is Dubai. The city is sometimes called "Dubai City" to prevent it from being confused with the emirate.
Dubai is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf.
Dubai is roughly at sea level. The emirate of Dubai shares borders with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast, and the Sultanate of Oman in the southeast.
A decade ago the sand was the ruler of this emirate located on the edge of the Arabian Desert with no discernible natural advantages. Nowadays the sand has been dethroned by the luxurious futuristic skyscrapers and the exclusive cosy villas scattered around the coastline.
The city has become symbolic for its skyscrapers and high buildings, in particular the world´s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Dubai´s geographical proximity to Iran made it an important trade location. The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen, chiefly those from Iran, many of them eventually settled in the town. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was an important port. Dubai was known for its pearl exports until the 1930s; the pearl trade was damaged irreparably by the Great Depression in the 1930s and the innovation of cultured pearls.
Tourism is an important part of the Dubai government´s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate. Dubai´s lure for tourists is based on shopping and its possession of other ancient and modern attractions.
It is also increasingly becoming a center for service industries such as IT and finance. Transport links are helped by its rapidly-expanding Emirates Airline. The airline is based at Dubai International Airport and carries over 12 million passengers every year.
It´s hard to believe that thirty years ago, Dubai was mostly desert. Today, it´s a metropolis that boasts the world´s largest mall, tallest tower, biggest dancing fountain and highest-rated hotel.