Posted on December 2, 2014
It's pretty famous as a ultra-modern, mega-rich city of skyscrapers and sports venues – such as the indoor ski park pictured below!
Did you know that the city of Dubai is in the country called United Arab Emirates (UAE)? It is the most populous city and emirate in the nation. Size-wise, it is the second largest emirate – only the capital, Abu Dhabi, is larger.
So, you may be wondering what an emirate is. It is basically the same thing as a principality—a territory ruled by an emir (in the case of the UAE) or prince (in the case of European principalities). Emirs and princes are, as you know, hereditary positions—you have to be born a prince; the people do not elect you to the position!
The UAE is a federation of seven emirates, and the seven emirs form the Federal Supreme Council for the entire nation. Together, they elect one of the seven to serve as the President of the UAE.
This nation is pretty wealthy because of its petroleum and natural gas reserves. However, unlike many of its neighbors on the Arabian peninsula, the UAE has quite a bit of economic diversity and a growing tourism industry. Dubai attracts businesses, business travel, and travel-for-pleasure.
I was surprised to read that Emirati citizens make up only 17% – less than one-fourth! – of the population. Most of the citizens are South Asian (Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi) – that group accounts for almost 60%.
Here are some of the more unusual things that visitors to Dubai can try:
- Staying in an underwater hotel room! Or staying in the tallest hotel room in the world, on the 69th floor!
- Eating in non-operational vintage cars with sawn-off roofs in a restaurant called Garage.
- Strolling through a huge world market with 160 kiosks with wares from 65 different nations.
- Attend the world's highest theatre on the 43rd floor. Or check out “6-D” cinema – which combines 3-D movie clips, moving seats, and wind effects. (Apparently there are other cool experiences called 5-D cinemas and 7-D cinemas. I'm not sure why any of them are supposed to be extra-dimensional...but they do look fun!)
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