are dead straight in the Emirate of Dubai and as hot as an oven.
There are records of the town of Dubai from 1799. Earlier in the 18th century
the Al Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in Dubai
which was a dependent of the settlement of Abu Dhabi until 1833.
Posters proclaim "Our city is
getting bigger and better." Dubai is one of the states forming the United
Arab Emirates, about one and a half times the size of Luxembourg and the
ruling Al Maktoum family wish to turn it into the world's most modern city.
With its World Trade Center, Dubai is the most important trading center
of the region, has the most competitive airport, and the largest artificial
|On 8 January 1820, the then
sheikh of Dubai was a signatory to the British sponsored "General Treaty
of Peace" (the General Maritime Treaty).
To the east the land is
bounded by mountains of bare rock and to the south by endless sand dunes.
From here the route out of the desert leads to the Persian Gulf.
To the northwest shrouded
in a shimmering haze one sees strange shadowy outlines of parts of a pyramid-like
or mussel-like object or perhaps even the Tower of Babel. A mirage perhaps?
This hallucination on the
horizon proves on closer inspection to be constructed of steel, glass,
Tens of thousands of immigrant
workers have constructed hundreds of ultra-modern buildings on the coast
line of more than 40 miles (70 km) of the Emirate. There are barrel-like
twin towers, pyramid shopping temples, giant office blocks, and towering
hotels with curvilinear exteriors that remind one of a sail.
In Dubai City two ages clash
head on with each other. The area around the harbor was once an Arab settlement
on either side of a small sea inlet that stretches for 7 and half miles
(12 km) inland. Wide-beamed Arab dhows — trading vessels little changed
since the Middle Ages - still moor at the quay. There are also oriental
souks and old quarters such as Bastakia with its wind tower houses with
decorated roofs that let fresh air into the living areas. This is all within
a couple of hundred yards of the shaded business center and high-rise bank
buildings with full air conditioning and marble clad temples of consumerism
with their conspicuous design, sometimes ancient Egyptian, sometimes Belle
Epoque, and sometimes futuristic.
|It rains Petro Dollars The
dream blossoming began to develop when oil was found in the sea. With the
successful offshore drilling Dubai overnight joined the club of oil extracting
nations. The daily yield is in the region of 1,500,000-2,000,000 barrels
and for the state's treasury it continuously rains Petro Dollars. Part
of the wealth was shared with members of his tribe in 1990 by the ruler
Sheik Rashid bin Zayed Al Maktoum, the 180,000 original inhabitants of
Dubai. None of these descendants of Bedouin is forced to breed camels,
fish, dive for pearls, or get involved in smuggling to make a living. They
all live in luxury villas and have at least a Mercedes 600 parked by their
The Sheikh was concerned
with engineers' reports that calculated Dubai's oil fields would be exhausted
in the near future, perhaps as soon as 2025. In order to continue to profit
from the blessings from Allah billions of dollars have been invested in
major projects to yield major profits when the final drop of Dubai oil
is drained off.
||Tourism is also booming.
For the wealthy there is an extremely modern cruise terminal and in winter
the international airport conveys a virtually never-ending stream of pale
westerners to the Marina. More than two hundred luxury hotels offer rooms
and suites of more than
500 square feet up to 5,800
square feet. The star of these grand hotels is the 1,043 foot (321 m) high
Bur) Al-Arab, a seven star hotel tower in the form of slightly billowing
sails. Eco tourists can stay in a sort of improved Bedouin encampment of
the Al-Maha Resort amid the dunes. The Jumeira Hotel with its ocean wave
design also offers superb views.
Man-made vacation island
- The ultimate in vacation architecture is still being built. Five thousand
workers from the Indian sub continent have poured eighty million cubic
meters of rocks and sand into the Gulf in order to create an island with
its own yachting harbor, fine restaurants, and exclusive places to stay.
Some one thousand villas and three thousand vacation apartments on this
oasis created from the sea are being sold, at prices starting at 500,000