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Dubai & the UAE


Dubai & the UAE

The region's leading tourism, culture and lifestyle destination

  • The United Arab Emirates

    Established on 2 December 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital of the UAE), as well as Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Fujairah.

    Since the establishment of the federation, the UAE has rapidly grown into a modern state to become one of the Middle East's most important economic powerhouses.

    As a federation, there are specific areas of authority constitutionally assigned to the UAE Federal Government (the 'Federal Government'), with supplementary powers reserved for member emirates.

    The Federal Government is responsible for foreign affairs, security and defence, nationality and immigration issues, as well as education, public health, currency, postal, telephone and other communication services such as air traffic control, licensing of aircraft, labour relations, financial services (including banking and insurance), delimitation of territorial waters, and extradition of criminals.

    Each of the seven emirates is governed by a hereditary Emir, or ruler. According to the UAE Constitution, the Federal Government comprises: The President (Head of State) The Vice President The Supreme Council The Council of Ministers (Cabinet) The National Assembly (also called the 'Federal National Council')


    United Arab Emirates



    The UAE is bordered in the north by the Arabian Gulf, in the East by Gulf of Oman, in the South by Sultanate of Oman and Saudi Arabia, and in the west by Qatar and Saudi Arabia

    His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
    Prime Minister:
    His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
    The official language is Arabic.
    English is commonly used in the business sector.
  • Working in Dubai

    Dubai has been an economically dynamic city since long before the establishment of the UAE in 1971. In the years since, Dubai has demonstrated a track record of remarkable economic growth and political stability. Over this period, Dubai has moved from being a small, local trading city into a global hub of commerce.

    In the early 1980’s, Dubai took a strategic move to reduce its dependence on the oil and gas to a broadly diversified economy based on international trade, banking,

    tourism, real estate and manufacturing.

    Since then, Dubai has attracted world attention through its world-class attractive infrastructure, outstanding business environment and a vibrant social atmosphere. It has now become the global economic hub and an immensely attractive business destination in the Middle East, providing investors with a unique and comprehensive value added platform.


    Dubai is at the centre of a region that is emerging as a major force in the global economy. Stretching from North Africa to South Asia and the Caspian to South Africa, this comprises of 42 countries, some of which are the world's fastest growing emerging markets. By combining a business friendly environment with world-class infrastructure, and increasingly deep trade, travel, business and investments ties not only with the rest of the Arab world but much of Africa, South Asia and other parts of Asia, Dubai has emerged as the leading regional commercial hub. In fact, it is the world's third-largest re-export hub. Through its flag carrier, Emirates Airlines connecting Dubai to more than 140 destinations in six continents, the Dubai International Airport has handled more 70.4 million passengers in by September 2015. Moreover, with its excellent logistics, warehousing, transportation facilities, telecommunication networks and a city offering high-quality lifestyle and welcoming nationalities from across the globe, Dubai has become a significant business destination.


    The UAE as a whole has established a reputation for being a low-crime and politically stable country, and Dubai is no exception. The emirate's well-developed banking system ensures extensive credit facilities and ample liquidity and the state has shown consistent commitment to business friendly and liberal economic policies. Much of Dubai's remarkable economic development and growth can be attributed to a progressive government, with a clear vision and strategy for Dubai's economy. It is also a government that has a remarkable track record for executing large, complex and ambitious projects in a timely and efficient manner.


    Dubai's open economic policy, minimal government control and private sector regulation have played an instrumental role in attracting vast foreign direct investment (FDI). In order to further encourage foreign investment, a number of economic free trade zones have been established across the UAE, offering foreign businesses attractive concessions and a number of investment incentives. The main concessions and incentives offered to entities that establish in the free zones include 100 percent foreign ownership (foreign ownership restrictions apply across the UAE outside of the free zones) and the guarantee of zero percent taxes for a specified period of time (usually for 50 years). Dubai has more than 20 free zones catering to a wide range of business sectors or activities, such as media (Dubai Media City), manufacturing (Jebel Ali Free Zone) and information, communication and technology (Dubai Internet City).


    Dubai's policy of investing heavily in its transport, telecommunications, energy and industrial infrastructure has significantly enhanced its attractiveness to international business. The Emirate has seven industrial areas, one business park and three highly successful specialised free zones, two world class seaports, major international airports and cargo village, a modern highway network, state-of-the-art telecommunications, a Rapid Transit System (Dubai Metro), recently launched Trams and reliable power and utilities, all of which deliver efficiency, flexibility, reliability and cost efficiency.


    Apart from a favourable tax environment, companies in Dubai can obtain significant cost advantages due to the absence of foreign exchange controls and trade barriers or quotas. Similarly costs in other areas like import duties, labour, energy and financing are competitive by international standards. Similarly costs in other areas like import duties, labour, energy and financing are competitive by international standards.


    Dubai boasts an extensive foreign trade network, giving the investors an extensive choice of potential global marketing outlets for a diverse portfolio of goods and services. As a city within the UAE, Dubai is also part of the world's third-largest export and re-export centre, after Hong Kong and Singapore.


    Expatriates comprise over 80 percent of Dubai's population, with more than 200 nationalities working and living together in a safe, multicultural and largely crime-free environment. Dubai attracts a highly skilled workforce, due to the country's growing number of international companies, professional service firms and financial institutions. Expatriates enjoy tax-free salaries, schools accredited to international standards, a high standard of health care and excellent recreational facilities - including 8 championship golf courses. Dubai is ranked among the top 10 most popular business locations in the world, with the world's largest companies operating in the emirate.


    The asset boom and the vast increase in private and institutional wealth in the region have created a huge demand for specialist financial services. Dubai is the perfect base to target opportunities in a market that is hungry for new financial products tailored to regional investor preferences and risk requirements. International and regional players who establish themselves in Dubai now are perfectly placed to take advantage of the regional market's vast long-term potential for financial services market growth.

    Dubai Expo 2020

    The UAE will host the World Expo in Dubai in 2020, held under the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the future’. Dubai Expo 2020, will serve as a catalyst in connecting minds, collaborating regions and cultures while influencing progression and growth under three sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. The Expo will run from 20 October 2020 till 10 April 2021 and will also coincide with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, serving as a springboard establishing a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades.

  • Living in Dubai

    Originally a modest trading and fishing settlement, Dubai was taken over in circa 1830 by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe from the Liwa oasis, led by the Maktoum family, who rule the Emirate today. Traditional activities included herding sheep and goats, cultivating dates, fishing and pearling. The original inhabitants also engaged in trading and, by the turn of the century, Dubai was reputed to have the largest souks (traditional markets) on the Gulf coast. Commercial success, allied with the liberal attitude of Dubai’s rulers, made the Emirate attractive to traders from India and Iran, who began to settle in the growing town.

    As trade developed, Dubai remained a protectorate of Great Britain-part of the Trucial States, which extended along the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. After the British withdrawal in 1971, Dubai came together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah, to create the federation of the United Arab Emirates. The creation of the federation occurred shortly after the discovery of oil in 1966, which transformed the Emirate and its way of life. Dubai’s first oil exports in 1969 were followed by a period of rapid development, which laid the foundations for today’s modern society.

    Culture & Lifestyle

    Dubai today is a unique synthesis of old and new, East and West. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan environment which is supported by advanced infrastructure and a large expatriate community. Dubai offers a wide range of leisure and recreational facilities that are comparable to those in any modern city in the world. The hosting of several high-profile sporting events and exhibitions, the availability of high-quality luxury and budget hotels and the presence of well-maintained beaches and public parks have all contributed to Dubai’s enhanced profile as a destination for leisure, as well as business. Dubai society is marked by a high degree of tolerance for different lifestyles. It is a liberal society by any measure and is rated as among the safest in the world.

    Medical Care

    Healthcare in Dubai is highly advanced and the services provided by both public and private medical establishments are of a uniformly high standard. The state provides a subsidised national health service which allows employees (holding medical cards) and his/her dependents admittance to government clinics and hospitals at a nominal charge. There are four government hospitals in Dubai, as well as a number of privately-run hospitals andprivate medical insurance organisations operating in the local market.


    Over the past two decades, Dubai has built an impressive, first-class network of roads which connect all parts of the city and the surrounding areas. A widely-spread network of public transport buses and taxis operates – at reasonable fares – throughout Dubai. Furthermore, Dubai has recently opened its light rail system (also known as the Dubai Urban Rail Transit or Dubai Metro) for operation linking the various residential areas of Dubai with Dubai’s international airport, the city centre, the business district and various shopping malls.


    In the last few years Dubai’s education sector has witnessed significant and rapid development due to a number of international operators setting up world-class educational institutions. Dubai offers extensive options of private primary and secondary schools, technical colleges and universities in Dubai. Private educational institutions offer a wide range of international curricula.