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Dubai is the most heavily populated city in the United Arab Emirates, and the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the country.

In the past few decades, since oil exports began, Dubai has transformed itself into symbol of opulence. The city is packed with gleaming hotels and skyscrapers, including Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world. In 2014, guest accommodations at Dubai's hotels were found to be the second most expensive in the world, second only to Geneva, Switzerland. Dubai is the most expensive city in the Middle East.

Funded by foreign investors and oil wealthy patrons from the neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi, Dubai has embarked on building projects almost reaching the limits of imagination. As a case in point, the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago that extends into the Persian Gulf, and is part of a larger series of developments known as the Palm Islands, built in the shape of a palm tree with a circle around it, connected to the mainland by a monorail.

Then there is the Dubai Mall, the largest in the world.

Prior to the building boom in Dubai, the city only had a few neighborhoods. For the most part, one was either east or west of the creek. In recent years, the city has grown into several loose districts, all of which were well planned. Today, there are seven main neighborhoods in Dubai.

Old Dubai refers to traditional Dubai, situated mostly around the coastal end of Dubai Creek, in the northern part of the city. Old Dubai includes Deira, north of the creek, and Bur Dubai to the south.

Dubai Festival City is a recent inland development, close to the creek.

Sheikh Zayed Road is the main highway that leads through the center of Dubai, and the area surrounding the most densely developed portion of this road is known as the SZR and includes the area between the World Trade Centre and Burj Khalifa.

Downtown Dubai refers to the region around the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.

Jumeirah and Umm Suqueim are the exclusive coastal areas where many of the city's wealthiest residents continue to live in original beachfront villas.

Palm Jumeirah is the artificial archipelago discussed above, where many of the rich and famous have recently bought villas, and which includes the Atlantis Hotel.

Dubai Marina is made up of new residential developments, and is situated to the south toward Jebel Ali.

Dubai also consists of several well-known landmarks, which are commonly used in directions. These include Burj Al Arab, Bastakiya, Burj Khalifa, Clock Tower, Dubai Airport, Dubai Creek, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, Dubai World Trade Centre, Emirates Towers, Festival City, Jebel Ali, Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Jumeirah Mosque, Media City, Meena Bazaar, Meydan, Sheikh Zayed Road, and Ski Dubai in Malls of the Emirate.

Only about 15% of the Emirate of Dubai is made up of Emirati or UAE nationals, with about 85% of its population comprised of expatriate workers, chiefly Indian or from other Asian countries, although there are about 100,000 British expatriates living in Dubai City.

Arabic is the official language and Islam is the official religion of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai includes large Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Baha'i, and Buddhist communities, and non-Muslims are allowed to operate houses of worship and practice their religion, but are not permitted to advertise, distribute literature, or proselytize Muslims.

Although people have inhabited the region of Dubai as early as 7000 BC, the earliest record of Dubai was in a book of geography published in 1095 AD, at which time it was a small fishing village.

Once ruled by Abu Dhabi, Dubai separated in 1833, and was often at odds with Abu Dhabi. In 1947, a border dispute escalated into a war that was arbitrated by Britain. Nevertheless, border disputes continued even after the United Arab Emirates was formed, up until 1979 when a compromise was reached.

The Dubai Municipality was created in 1954, and charged with city planning, resident services, and infrastructure maintenance. The Dubai Police Force has jurisdiction throughout the emirate, however.

Topics related to Dubai City or to any government offices, industries, businesses, religious institutions, schools, or organizations in Dubai are the focus of sites listed in this category.



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