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Dubai News: Facts & News From The Fastest Growing City In The World

Sep 17, 2008
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 Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm al Quwain - merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ras Al Khaimah. The UAE's per capita GDP is on par with 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.

Location: Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Area: Total UAE: 83,600 sq km; Dubai: 3,885 sq. km i.e less than 5% of UAE. And 4 times the size of Singapore.

Land boundaries: With Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km

Weather: Normally a desert climate. Hottest in July and August when temperatures reach 48 Deg C with RH of around 85%.

Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

Highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m

Environment - current issues: Lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills.

Environment - international agreements: Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protectionsigned, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note: Strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil.

Population Dubai: 1.5 mn 2007E

Age Group 15-64 years [79% of total population]: Male 73% Female: 27%

According to current dubai news, about 80% of Dubai's population consists of foreigners in the age group between 15 and 64 since visas are normally issued only for working people or investors and people over 60 years need to pay extra to get annual visas instead of 3 year ones. So there are few foreigners in the other age groups.

Ethnic groups: Recent Dubai news indicates that the break up is: Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 30%, Westerners and East Asians 28%.

Religion: Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), other (includes Christian, Hindu) 4%

Languages: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu.

Government type: Federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates.

Time difference: GMT+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Independence: 2 December 1971 (from UK), which is a national holiday.

Legal system: Based on a dual system of Shari'a and civil courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Judicial branch: Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president).

Economy overview: Dubai has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Successful efforts at economic diversification, have made oil and gas a small percentage of the total output. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, Dubai has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living.

The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement. Dubai's Free Trade Zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors. Higher revenue, strong liquidity, housing shortages, and cheap credit in 2005-07 led to a surge in asset prices (shares and real estate) and consumer inflation. Rising prices are increasing the operating costs for businesses in the Dubai and adversely impacting government employees and others on fixed incomes.

GDP (purchasing power parity): $167.3 billion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate): $192.6 billion (2007 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 7.4% (2007 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11% (2007 est.)

Currency (code): Emirati dirham (AED)

Exchange rates: Emirati dirhams per US dollar - 3.673 (2007), 3.673 (2006), 3.6725 (2005), 3.6725 (2004), 3.6725 (2003)note: officially pegged to the US dollar since February 2002

Disputes - international: Boundary agreement was signed and ratified with Oman in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah enclaves, but contents of the agreement and detailed maps showing the alignment have not been published; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which Iran occupies.
About the Author
Ramapati Singhania specializes in creating and managing web businesses. His latest website http://www.incorporation-offshore-saves-wealth.com focuses on helping you to incorporate offshore companies in Seychelles, Mauritius and BVI. You can also visit his blog, http://www.ramapatisinghania.com
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