Dubai (emirate)

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Saudi-Arabien Oman Iran Katar Oman Oman Abu Dhabi Dubai Dubai Adschman Adschman Adschman Schardscha Schardscha Schardscha Schardscha Fudschaira (Emirat) Fudschaira (Emirat) Fudschaira (Emirat) Fudschaira/Schardscha Umm al-Qaiwain (Emirat) Ra’s al-Chaima (Emirat) Ra’s al-Chaima (Emirat) Ra’s al-Chaima (Emirat)Location of the Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates
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Location of the Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates
Flags of the United Arab Emirates
coat of arms
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Basic data
Country United Arab Emirates
Capital Dubai
surface 3885 km²
Residents 2,213,845 (end of 2013)
density 570 inhabitants per km²
ISO 3166-2 AE-DU
emir Muhammad bin Raschid Al Maktum

Coordinates: 25 ° 12 '  N , 55 ° 18'  E

Dubai ( Arabic دبي Dubayy , IPA : dʊˈbæj) is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Persian Gulf .

The emirate of Dubai is located on the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf and is now the most populous emirate in the UAE, ahead of Abu Dhabi , with 3,885 km² and 2.2 million inhabitants . The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Muhammad bin Raschid Al Maktum , is Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE (head of state is the Emir of Abu Dhabi, see Electoral Monarchy ). The dominant center of the emirate is the city of Dubai. The emirate extends from there inland between Abu Dhabi in the southwest and Sharjah (common spelling in the Emirates: Sharjah) in the northeast. The Hatta exclave is located in the Hajar Mountains on the border with Oman . Most of the emirate consists of desert .

The capital of the emirate of Dubai is the city of Dubai , which is sometimes referred to as the Dubai city to distinguish it from the emirate . Since around 85% of the emirate's residents live in the capital, almost the entire economic, social, cultural and political life of the emirate takes place here.

Dubai is best known for its many spectacular construction projects such as skyscrapers, shopping malls, man-made islands and amusement parks.


Dubai has a hot, arid climate . Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, windy and dry with an average maximum temperature of around 40 ° C and night lows around 30 ° C. The sun shines most days of the year. Winters are cool and short with average highs around 23 ° C and night lows around 14 ° C. The amount of precipitation has increased in the last few decades and is currently around 150 mm per year.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Dubai Meteorological Office; Qwikcast
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Dubai
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 24.0 25.4 28.2 32.9 37.6 39.5 40.8 41.3 38.9 35.4 30.5 26.2 O 33.4
Min. Temperature (° C) 14.3 15.4 17.6 20.8 24.6 27.2 29.9 30.2 27.5 23.9 19.9 16.3 O 22.3
Temperature (° C) 19th 20th 22.5 26th 30.5 33 34.5 35.5 32.5 29 24.5 21st O 27.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 15.6 25.0 21.0 7.0 0.4 0.0 0.8 0.0 0.0 1.2 2.7 14.9 Σ 88.6
Rainy days ( d ) 5 7th 6th 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 Σ 28
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: Dubai Meteorological Office; Qwikcast


A small settlement of pearl divers and fishermen had long existed at the mouth of the Dubai Creek . The rule of the Al Maktum began in 1833 when they seceded from Abu Dhabi with the support of Sharjah . In 1853, Dubai signed a treaty with Great Britain that left the defense and foreign policy to it and thus became part of the Trucial States , as the later UAE were then called.

In the 20th century, the port of Dubai developed into an important trading center in the Gulf region. Although the pearl fishery collapsed in Dubai in 1930, the economic effects were not as devastating as in the neighboring emirates on the Persian Gulf because of the income from sea trade. With the first oil discoveries , the oil industry began to develop in 1966.

On December 2, 1971, Great Britain released the former Trucial States, including Dubai, into independence. Under the leadership of Abu Dhabi , the United Arab Emirates were founded from the former Trucial States, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain , Fujairah and Ajman (English: Ajman ). On February 10, 1972, Ra's al-Khaimah joined the federation as the seventh and last former Trucial State .

The ruling family of Dubai traditionally hold important government offices in the UAE with the Prime Minister , the Finance and Industry Minister and the Defense Minister .


Political system

The Emirate of Dubai is an absolutist monarchy that has been ruled by the Maktum family since 1833. There is no parliament, in the traditional Majlis residents can turn to the ruler. Since 1971, Dubai has been part of the federal system of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of seven semi-autonomous emirates (with a constitution from 1971). The Emir of Dubai has a right of veto at the federal level and is traditionally Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Defense.

The Dubai Executive Council has existed since 2003 and is Dubai's own central government apparatus. At the end of 2006, the Hereditary Prince Hamdan bin Muhammad Al Maktum was appointed chairman of the council. The Executive Council supports the ruler of the emirate and Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Muhammad bin Raschid Al Maktum , in the preparation of development plans for Dubai and in the formulation and implementation of laws at the emirate and federal level.

Rulers of Dubai

The rulers of Dubai in detail ( bin means "son of", thus e.g. Muhammad bin Raschid "Muhammad, son of Raschid"):

Demography and Labor Migration

In Dubai, as in the rest of the country, the emirates are in the minority. About 85% of the population are foreigners and they provide the largest part of the economic output. Most of the labor migrants come from southern Asia ( India , Pakistan , Bangladesh , Sri Lanka ) and the Philippines , but also from Africa ( Sudan , Egypt , Algeria , Somalia , Ethiopia , Kenya , Nigeria , Tanzania ), Europe (including approx. 8,000 from Germany ) and from the USA and Canada . Often they have to hand in their passport on entry ( see also the section on immigrant workers in the article “United Arab Emirates”, the article Kafala ). Since it is mainly younger, strong men who are recruited for low-skilled jobs (especially in construction), only about a quarter of all residents are currently female. This disproportion will only relax once the migrant workers are allowed to have their relatives come to join them.

While the native population and highly skilled migrant workers from Europe and North America are typically very wealthy, most unskilled migrant workers have extremely low incomes of less than $ 5 per working day.

According to the World Wealth Report, there are 68,000 US dollars in Dubai - millionaires who make up just under 4.6% of Dubai's population. This is one of the highest density of millionaires in the world. This ratio becomes even more unusual if one assumes that the majority of these 68,000 dollar millionaires are to be found among the 15% or so local people, i.e. among around 200,000 people. The average per capita income in 2005 was approximately $ 28,000.

Religion and language

Islam is the state religion . The majority of Dubai's residents are Sunnis . However, there are also Hindus , Sikhs , Shiites and Christians . The Catholic parish of the city of Dubai has around 70,000 members. Dubai is the only UAE emirate that has a Hindu temple and a Sikh Gurudwara .

The official language of the emirate and the city of Dubai is Arabic , but English is very common as an everyday language. Almost all of the younger emirates and a large part of the recruited workers can communicate in English, which makes it easier to live together in this highly multicultural, coexisting society.

The weekend in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates has been Friday and Saturday since September 2006 (previously Thursday and Friday). All state and public institutions, government institutions and private schools are bound by this regulation. However, for the majority of migrant workers there is a six-day week with the weekend only being Friday.


Foreigners (e.g. tourists and guest workers ) often do not know that the judiciary in Dubai is tougher than in many other Muslim countries. This is based on the Sharia and largely does not correspond to its Western counterparts , both in the severity of the judgments and in the question of which offenses constitute criminal offenses .

For example, there are different prison sentences for drug possession , for attracting public attention through alcoholism , homosexuality and for the possession of pornographic material as well as for the possession of medication that has not been prescribed by a doctor.

The case of a 15-year-old French man who was raped in Dubai by three locals, one of whom was HIV-infected, and who was threatened with criminal prosecution by a doctor after he was accused of being homosexual, attracted international attention in July 2007 . However, there were no proceedings against the young person. On December 12, 2007, two of the three rapists were sentenced to 15 years in prison each.

In 2013, a Norwegian reported to the police in Dubai that she had been raped by a work colleague; she was temporarily arrested and later sentenced by a court to 16 months' imprisonment for extramarital sex and lost her job for "inappropriate behavior". After international protests, she was pardoned.

There are also severe crackdowns in cases of public cross-dressing and transvestism . Show of mutual affection in public (such as kissing or exchanging tenderness) can result in imprisonment, fines or deportation; sex outside of marriage is a criminal offense; Unmarried couples living together is also illegal.

The case of a 29-year-old Austrian who was raped in Dubai in December 2013 caused a stir. After reporting to the police, she not only had to surrender her passport, but was also faced with the possibility of jail if she did not marry her tormentor. After an intervention by the Austrian Foreign Minister, the woman was able to leave Dubai on January 30, 2014.


Before 1990, the income from the sale of crude oil still accounted for around 50 percent of the emirate's total gross domestic product, 20 years later it is just 5 percent. The total gross domestic product in 2007 was around 198 billion dirhams (around 42.5 billion euros). The per capita income was the equivalent of around 31,000 euros.

Dubai's extraordinary growth over the last few decades is due not only to its oil wealth but also to its very liberal economic policy . There are few regulations that restrict commercial traffic. The environmental protection requirements are low, there is hardly any control of finances and business transactions. In addition, Dubai is considered a tax haven : There are no direct taxes , in particular no income tax, and no corporate taxes are levied on companies - with the exception of financial institutions and the oil industry . In the free trade zones (e.g. Jebel Ali Free Zone , Dubai Healthcare City ), investors are guaranteed tax exemption for 50 years. Dubai's economy is dominated by two large state-owned companies, Dubai World and the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).

Dubai passed Law No. 7 on Property Rights and Land Registration in March 2006. This law regulates the property rights of real estate and the entry in the land register. It currently only deals with the property rights of villas and townhouses, i.e. H. for properties on delimited properties. For frequently sold part ownership in apartment complexes, e.g. B. in The Greens, the Jumeirah Lake Towers or the Dubai Marina there is still no uniform form that regulates the entry in the Land Departments. The transfer of ownership is only possible via the Master Developer Emaar , Nakheel and Dubai Properties and there are still discussions about e.g. B. the contributions for maintenance measures as well as the general ancillary costs (maintenance, service fees, etc.). The government is therefore striving to resolve the outstanding issues as soon as possible in order to offer foreign property buyers the necessary legal security. The emirate finances its state budget from the income from oil - now mostly with the contractual allocations from Abu Dhabi - from customs duties and a few indirect taxes : a tax on luxury goods of 10%, a tobacco tax of 100%, a sales tax for the catering trade of 5% and a rental tax of 5% or 10%.

Effects of the Great Depression

Dubai World is the emirate's state-owned investment company. It includes the port operator DP World, the project developer Nakheel and the holding company Istithmar World . The global economic crisis that began in 2007 has also put the financial structure of the state construction and service providers under pressure. For example, real estate prices have fallen by around 50 percent, loan servicing has stalled, debts have piled up. The once rapid pace of construction has been reduced to normal and, at best, order processing has been reduced, new plans are currently not being presented. Nakheel has already had to lay off 12,000 workers as a result of the crisis.

Many of the internationally diversified investors, on whom almost all projects depend, failed or have withdrawn. So far, state-owned bankruptcies have only been prevented with massive help from the Dubai investment fund, backed by the UAE government. In addition, on November 25, 2009, the Dubai government decreed a six-month delay in payment of the loans due to its holding company Dubai World and its subsidiary Nakheel. The announcement triggered a worldwide drop in share prices on the stock markets and led to Moody's downgrading the creditworthiness of the state-owned and state-affiliated companies in Dubai . At the beginning of December 2009 the violent reaction of the financial markets was judged to be too nervous and exaggerated, but a loss of confidence in Dubai's unbroken stability and reliability remains to be seen. The figures, as far as they are published or realistically estimable, do not look scary on a global scale: $ 3.5 billion deferred payment; Total debt officially announced: 80 billion; assumed debt burden: USD 130–150 billion.

Construction projects

Selected construction projects in Dubai, status 2010

Dubai is best known for its many spectacular construction projects; It is home to the world's largest concentration of current and planned real estate projects, which - almost exclusively financed by loans - contain a high potential for speculation.

The reason for the construction boom so far was less government funding; almost all projects are carried out by private investors ; Often the properties are financed widely through real estate funds. Rather, the causes are the few building regulations and the unbureaucratic handling of the projects by specially commissioned companies, which often (are allowed to) act by the state administration. As with all investments, there is also the expectation of future profits. The emir grants building permits for large projects personally according to his ideas and without environmental impact assessments or lengthy public participation . The already rapid pace of investment was accelerated again from 2002, when foreign private investors were legally allowed to acquire land and house shares in certain defined locations in Dubai.

The reason for the great profit expectations of the investors is that the emir wants to develop Dubai into a prosperous global metropolis, comparable to the city-state of Singapore . Due to the heavy construction activity and the enthusiasm for investment that remained unbroken until autumn 2008, this concept became a self-fulfilling prophecy for a long time . The construction activity aroused the interest of tourists and business people and demonstrated a prosperous economy.

The construction boom began with the World Trade Center in the late 1970s - at that time the tallest building in the Arab world. It plays a rather inconspicuous role in today's cityscape, because in the course of the following decades a large number of even higher, more modern and more interesting buildings were added; first in Deira, where the modern glass skyscrapers still offer a contrast to the ancient dhows anchored in front of them, which is popular with photographers . Since the mid-1990s, however, especially along the Sheikh Zayed Road, which stretches for many kilometers to the south, on which countless skyscrapers have been built, each of which would probably shape the cityscape of a major Central European city. In total, well over 200 skyscrapers with a height of more than 150 meters have been built or started to be built since 1990, 20 of them with a height of over 300 meters.

Ambitious hotel projects have made Dubai famous, especially since 1999 the city's landmark , the 321 meter high Burj al Arab in the shape of a sail, with "seven stars" (officially only 5 stars) one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. The Emirates Towers are also visible from afar, the taller of the two towers measures 355 meters. In 2008, Atlantis Dubai was built on one of the palm islands , a huge luxury hotel with 1,539 rooms and an attached aqua park.

Artificial island "The Palm, Jumeirah" off the coast of Dubai started in 2001, status: 2003

Large artificial islands for luxury villas, yacht harbors and tourist resorts have been and are being piled up off the coast of the city : the Palm Islands each in the form of a palm tree and The World Dubai , an artificial group of islands in the form of a world map .

By settling marine flora and fauna, one would like to compensate for the expected ecological damage caused by the land washings.

The Burj Khalifa ( Burj Dubai in the development phase ) was opened on January 4, 2010, is by far the tallest structure in the world with a height of 828 m and towers above all the television towers and transmission masts in addition to other skyscrapers. It forms the center of the new downtown Dubai , where in November 2008 one of the largest shopping centers in the world opened with the Dubai Mall .

The following applies to almost all construction projects: the global economic crisis and its specific variant of the Dubai financial crisis have at least a delaying effect on the scope, timeframe and follow-up investments of the projects; the previous objectives have practically been suspended since the beginning of 2009. Entire construction sites with numerous individual and group projects were shut down and the staff laid off. At the end of 2009, the consequences on the Dubai market as a whole are already being (purposefully) optimistically foreseeable and economically manageable despite the drop in property prices by around 50%. Other observers consider the Dubai real estate dream to be over for the time being: the overly one-sided concentration on large buildings, for which there is no realistic demand for a long time, will lead to the complete collapse of the real estate market.


Since the emir of Dubai has recognized that the emirate's oil reserves will be exhausted in the foreseeable future, tourism has increased significantly in recent years. The starting point for this was the construction of the luxury resort Madinat Jumeirah , the Hotel Burj al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which belong to the Jumeirah Group , a hotel chain owned by the ruling family of Dubai, the Al Maktum. In 2008 Dubai had a capacity of around 28,000 hotel rooms. Tourism has been an economic factor that has been growing rapidly for years (2005: 6 million tourists, 2012: 10 million). and Dubai currently brings in approximately 26.2% of its total revenue.

Since June 2007, Dubai has owned the Queen Elizabeth 2 , formerly under the flag of the British Cunard shipping company . The state-owned company Istithmar World bought the luxury liner for 100 million dollars and converted it into a premium-class floating hotel with an on-board shopper's paradise. On April 18, 2018, the Queen Elizabeth 2 opened as a luxury hotel in the port of Dubai.

Energy industry

The oil reserves created the boom in Dubai and made the huge infrastructure investments of the past decades possible despite low taxes. But the emirate's oil reserves are limited; it is estimated that they will be exhausted by 2030. Therefore, Dubai has been trying for a long time to become independent of oil and instead to grow in the areas of trade, finance and tourism. Only about 5% of the gross domestic product comes from the oil industry.

In order to make itself more independent of oil, Dubai is planning a massive expansion of renewable energies , which should supply 75% of all Dubai's energy by 2050. In 2017 the state energy supplier of the oil state Dubai placed an order for a solar tower power plant with a nominal output of 700 MW. The power plant is to become part of the Mohammed bin Raschid al-Maktum solar park , which is to be expanded to an output of 5,000 MW by 2030. The solar thermal power plant is to be the largest solar tower power plant ever built, costing around $ 3.9 billion and generating electricity production costs of 6 ct / kWh.


Dubai with Dubai Creek - tradition and modernity

Dubai is considered one of the largest trading centers in Asia. The favorable geographical location along the sea and air routes from Asia to Europe, the spacious and modern port facilities Mina Rashid and Jebel Ali , the large and modern Dubai International Airport and the three free trade zones, the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone , Dubai Internet City and Dubai International Financial Center, contribute to this at. Dubai is currently planning to build the world's largest airport. A commercial and residential city is to be built around the airport on a total area of ​​240 square kilometers. The first part, the logistics city of Dubai, should be completed in 2008 and form the first module of the airport city.

Trading has a long tradition in Dubai. The traditional dhows have been docking in the creek for centuries to bring goods from India and China to the Arabian Peninsula.

While Dubai's oil reserves are largely depleted, Abu Dhabi's enormous reserves, which account for 10% of OPEC production, will last for another 40 years. The other five small emirates in the UAE have no oil reserves.

Main article: Dubai Mercantile Exchange


  • Gérard Al-Fil: Living and Working in Dubai. GD-Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-941045-09-5 .
  • Elisabeth Blum, Peter Neitzke (ed.): Dubai. City out of nowhere. 231 pages. Basel / Boston / Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-7643-9952-8 .
  • Bettina Müller: glittering metropolis Dubai. Diversification and image creation of an economy based on oil revenues. 238 pages. Tectum-Verlag, Marburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-8288-2375-4 .
  • Michael Schindhelm: Dubai speed. An experience. With photos by Aurore Belkin. 256 pages. Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-423-24768-9 .
  • Heiko Schmid: Economy of Fascination: Dubai and Las Vegas as Themed Urban Landscapes. Borntraeger, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-443-37014-5 (Urbanization of the Earth, 11).

Individual evidence

  1. a b Dubai Statistics Center ( Memento of the original dated January 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Dubai Statistics Center: No. of Estmimated Population by Sector & Community - EMIRATE OF DUBAI End of Year 2010  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  3. a b climate. (No longer available online.) Dubai Meteorological Office, archived from the original on December 18, 2010 ; Retrieved November 4, 2010 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ Records and Averages of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (No longer available online.) Qwikcast, archived from the original on July 18, 2011 ; Retrieved November 4, 2010 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Special customs regulations in the UAE . Retrieved January 26, 2011 .
  6. Welt Online: raped boy fights for justice
  7. Dubai: Norwegian pardoned after rape sentence. In: , July 22, 2013, accessed on November 21, 2017.
  8. pardoned raped Norwegian  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  9. Travel information from the BMaA requested on October 3, 2011
  10. Elisalex Henckel: Viennese woman in Dubai: raped student is threatened with forced marriage. In: . January 22, 2014, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  12. Le Monde diplomatique: The best Dubai in the world (from March 12, 2010)
  13. WAM Emirates News Agency: Government of Dubai announces restructuring of Dubai World  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  14. ^ FAZ November 30, 2009: Bettina Schulz: "Stubborn hope for the year-end rally"
  15. Dubai crisis plunges stock markets deep into the red Spiegel Online of November 26, 2009
  17. - ( Memento of the original from August 11, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. Accessed June 13, 2012
  19. Dubai awards billions in the expansion of solar energy . In: Reuters , September 17, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.

Web links

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