Most of the area was covered with sand about 5000 years ago as the coast retreated inland, becoming part of the city's present coastline. The earliest record mention about Dubai is in 1905 in the Book of Geography by the Andalusian-Arab geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri. The Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi visited the area in 1580 and mentioned Dubai for its pearl industry. Dubai used to be an established fishing village and pearl diving centre in the early 18th century and was formed as a small town. Dubai was formally established by Sheikh Maktoum Bin Butti Al-Maktoum on 9th of June 1833 with around 800 members of his tribe, known as Bani Yas. By the beginning of the 20th century Dubai was established as an important port for the foreign trading and known for its pearl exports until the 1930s. Dubai Creek also known as Old Dubai was one of the most famous international trading ports with the connections with India and Africa. After years of exploration following the neighboring Abu Dhabi, Dubai discovered oil in 1966 that led Dubai to be recognized by the international oil companies that attracts thousands of workers from India and Pakistan as a result of which, between 1968 and 1975 the city's population increased over 300%. Dubai together with other 6 Emirates has long been a British protectorate with the British taking care of foreign policy and defense. Dubai together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm al-Quwain and Fujairah united on 2 December 1971 in the Act of Union to form the United Arab Emirates. Each emirate of United Arab Emirates is governed by a hereditary ruler who jointly forms the Federal Supreme Council, the executive body to run the country. The modern Dubai continued to grow from revenues generated from oil and trade leading towards the development of The Jebel Ali port in 1979 and Jebel Ali Free Zone in 1985 to provide foreign companies unrestricted import of labor and export.
Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and is roughly at sea level of 16 meter or above. The Dubai shares its border with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast and the Kingdom of Oman in the southeast.
Except for few months during summer, Dubai has very comfortable weather to visit for holiday, vacation or family visit. Most of the tourists visit Dubai during the winter months due to the pleasant and comfortable weather. Dubai has a hot desert climate and is extremely hot during the summer. The maximum temperature during summer is around 45?c with extreme hot, windy and humid weather in the hottest month August. Winters are warm with maximum temperature of 24?c and the night temperature going down up to 8?c overnight in January, the coldest month.
Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum family since 1833, the current ruler of Dubai is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the member of the Supreme Council of the Union. The Dubai Municipality was established by Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, in 1954 for the purposes of city planning, citizen services and the upkeep of local facilities.
The Dubai Police Force, founded in 1956 in the locality of Naif has law enforcement jurisdiction over the emirate; the police force is under direct command of Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai. Dubai has a modest dress code and is a part of Dubai's criminal law. Posters and stickers are widespread throughout Dubai's malls to inform visitors of the official dress code. During the month of Ramadan, it is illegal to publicly eat, drink or smoke between sunrise and sunset. This law applies to Muslims, non-Muslims and visitors.
According to the census, the population of Dubai is approximately about 3 million. Arabic is the national and official language of the United Arab Emirates and English is used as the second language. The other languages spoken in Dubai due to immigration are Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Malayalam, Tamil, Sindhi, Marathi, Telugu and Chinese.
The culture of Dubai is influenced by the religion of Islam and traditional Arabic Values. Dubai's culture has also been influenced by Persian culture, which is reflected in its art, architecture, music, attire, cuisine and daily lifestyle. Muslims are called to pray five times a day in mosques and Friday is considered a holy day by the Muslims and is a government off day. Dubai boasts one of the most beautiful and largest mosques, The Jumeirah Mosque, which is an example of Modern Islamic Architecture and is the only mosque in Dubai which is open for public every day except on Friday. United Arab Emirates provisional constitution declares Islam the official state religion of the UAE. The government of Dubai financially assists almost 95% of mosques and employs all Imams. All the mosques in the Dubai are managed by the Government of Dubai and all Imams are also appointed by the Government. Dubai also has large Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and other religious communities residing in the city. Non-Muslim groups can own their houses of worships including Churches, Temples and Gurdwaras or can practice their religion freely by taking a land grand and permission to build a compound.
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Transport in Dubai is controlled and run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), an agency of the government of Dubai. The bus system services 140 routes. Taxi services licensed under RTA are easily accessible and identified by the color and roof. Dubai has two well developed international airports, Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport. These airports are the busiest airports in the world in terms of passenger traffic handling. The Metro Rail consists of two lines, Red Line and Green Line which run through the major financial and residential areas of the city. Dubai Metro is the best option to travel around Dubai which is connected to major tourist attractions, airports and places of city. The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai also runs Abras, traditional water boats used to carry passengers across the backwaters from Bur Dubai to Deira and back. In addition, RTA has also started running water ferry from multiple destinations of Dubai since 2011 including Al Mamzar, Dubai Marina and Al Ghubaiba. These ferry runs multiple times a day for an hour and each boat can carry up to 100 passengers on each trip, comfort with a snack bar on board and accessible for wheelchair users. The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a transport link on the Pam Jumeirah connecting the Gateway Station at the entry to the Palm to the Atlantis Hotel at the far end. The Palm Monorail is not yet linked and connected to the Dubai Metro and Dubai Tram system. Dubai has also launched Dubai Tram System starting in the famous Jumeirah Residence up to the Al Sufouh as the last station.
Arabic Food is very popular and is available easily everywhere in the city from small restaurants to the big restaurants and hotels. Due to the increasing number of immigrants from different countries Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Pakistani and Continental cuisines are available widely in Dubai. The sale of pork is legal nowadays in the designated areas of supermarkets and airports only for non-Muslims. The sale of alcoholic beverages is regulated in hotels, bars and restaurants within the hotels. Dubai is also famous for the nightlife and bars. Most of the clubs and bars are found inside the hotels due to the liquor laws. A Liquor permit which is issued by the municipality and which applies only for non-Muslims is required to purchase the alcoholic drinks for the people who are on employment visa in Dubai.
Dubai follows a part of the Khaliji Tradition. The celebrations in Dubai consists singing and dancing activity, Yowalah is the traditional dance of the United Arab Emirates where young girls dance by swinging their long black hair and swaying their bodies in time to the strong beat of the music. Men present battles fought or successful hunting expeditions symbolically using sticks, sword or rifles. Nowadays Hollywood and Bollywood movies are quite popular in Dubai. Since 2004, the city has hosted the Dubai International Film Festival. The top musicians, singers and actors from around the globe including Aerosmith, Santana, Rick Ross, Elton John, Shakira, Celine Dion, Cold Play, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bibber and Selena Gomez have performed their live shows and concerts in Dubai
Dubai provides all the modern telecommunication service including landline phone and fax services, mobile networks and internet services. Most of the hotels offer international direct dialing facilities along with the Wi-Fi services. The most established mobile networks and service providers in the United Arab Emirates are Etisalat and Du. Sim Cards are available on the airport, groceries and the gift shop in the hotels issued only after being provided the original identity proof. The customer care numbers for Etisalat is 101 and that for Du is 155.
Dubai boasts numerous public and private hospitals and healthcare centre that are well equipped with modern technologies and standards. The first public hospital in Dubai was built in the late 1950 AD and now there are numerous public and private hospitals, healthcare centers and medical clinics throughout Dubai.
Dubai is also known as the shopping capital of the Middle East, exceptionally Dubai boasts more than 70 shopping centers, including Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world. The large amount of tourist and visitors from Eastern Europe, Africa and Indian Sub-continent come to Dubai and are impressed by the shopping facilities in Dubai. In addition Dubai is also known for the traditional souk market, Dubai Creek played vital role to grow the country's economy being the business hub for east and west during the establishment of Dubai. Numerous numbers of boutiques and jewellery stores are found in the city and also known as the City of Gold. The major gold market of Dubai situated in Deira comprises over 250 retail gold shops.
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