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Open map of United Arab EmiratesFlag of United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates / Emirates
Arabic: dubayy
Concerning spellings, Dubai could theoretically be transliterated in more ways, but "Dubai" is since long internationally established, and should not be deviated from.

Emirate of United Arab Emirates.
Capital: Dubai
Inhabitants: 1.4 million (2005 estimate)
Area: 3,900 km²
Ruler: Shaykh Maktum bin Rashid al-Maktum

Dubai and Ajman have identical flags.

Emirate belonging to the federation of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dubai is the second most populated among the emirates. The surface area represents 5% of all of the UAE. Practically all of it belongs to the main section that go along the Persian Gulf then stretches almost the way on to the border of Oman. Dubai's other territory is a tiny enclave in the Hajar Mts, bordering Oman.
Dubai's ruler, Shaykh Maktum bin Rashid al-Maktum, is also the Vice-President of UAE.

Over the last few decades, petroleum production has been the main source of income for Dubai, but this has declined drastically, especially since the early 1990's. Oil production reached its highest level around the middle of the 1990's, and in 2001, crude oil contributed to 20% of the GDP of Dubai.
Dubai is the leader among the emirates in establishing industries and services independent from petroleum production as well as its subsidies. This has been going on for more than a quarter of a century already, and in 1983 this had already reached a level where Dubai was the only emirate that increased its exports at the same time that oil prices plummeted. Dubai exports large quantities of aluminium, with a production level at 525,000 tons/year. Dubai is also a great exporter of copper and aluminium cables.
Many of the industries of Dubai are located to Jabal Ali, 30 km west of Dubai city, a gigantic manmade deep-sea port. This has been a free-trade zone since 1980. Since 1994, policy here has aimed at not promoting labour-intensive industries. However, in 2002, the emirate made a reverse move, establishing the great Dubai Textile City to boost the textile industry.
Among the emirates, it is mainly Dubai that benefits from foreign visitors, seeing 2.5 million in 1999. In December 1999 Burj al-Arab opened, which is promoted as one of the world's most luxurious hotels as well as among the tallest.
Dubai has also been promoting the sales of holiday homes, aiming at the wealthiest among foreigners. Four areas of artificial lands have been constructed, three of which are "palms"; Jumeirah, Jebel Ali and Deira. While real estate is expensive on these palms, it cannot be compared to the fourth project, "The World", first called "Globe Archipelago", where islands representing individual states lain out like a world map are sold for between US$15 and 50 million each. Although all these projects are off the reach of most visitors, they have strongly helped promote Dubai as the new chic tourist destination.

Late 18th century: The Bani Yas of Abu Dhabi takes control over Dubai.
19th century: Two branches of the Bani Yas split, thereby Abu Dhabi and Dubai again become separate political units.
1937: First oil concession is granted by the Dubai shaykh, to Iraq Petroleum Co.
1966: Petroleum is discovered, mainly at the two fields of Fateh and Southwest Fateh.
1969: Petroleum production begins.
1971 December 2: Shaykh Khalid 3 joins the United Arab Emirates, along with all present emirates except Ras al-Khaimah that would join the following year.

By Tore Kjeilen