Cities and Regions

The city of Dubai is divided by Khor Dubai, a natural harbor which places Dubai in a strategic location on the international trading map. Duabi is a leading trading, commercial, and recently also tourism destination. A few of its achievements are:


• The Dubai World Trade Centre is regarded as the best Exhibition and Conference center in the Gulf Region, hosting numerous International Fairs and events that attract customers from all over the world.


• Dubai International Airport, currently handles 7.3 million passengers a year with a growth rate of 12% that is double that of any other airport in the world.


• The Dubai Shopping Festival held every year is a major attraction for tourists worldwide.


• The Dubai Air Show is ranked the third most significant international air show, the first being Farnborough in the UK, the second Le Bourget in Paris.


• Gold prize: best destination in the Middle East in the 1996 World Travel prizes ceremony, and silver medal for the best tourism and conference center in the Middle East.


• The Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, the fifth largest in the world, has attracted over hundreds of international companies such as General Motors, AEG, Aiwa, BP, Ciba, Geigy, Daewoo and Heinz.


The Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, succeeded his father Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1990.

The Maktoum family is part of the Baniyas tribe who first settled in Abu Dhabi, but took control of Dubai in 1833. Dubai's growth can be traced back to the early years of the century when the grandfather of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum persuaded British shipping to make Dubai their main port of call in the 1940s, developed trade connections with India, and established industry with the aluminum and cement factory.


Mushrif National Park, a natural woodland reserve, lies just outside the city.