A city of endless opportunity and exciting experiences. Just overnight from London, four hours from Nairobi, three hours from Mumbai, 8 hours from Hong Kong and a direct flight from the United States or Australia, Dubai is definitely a destination of choice for vacationing, living and business.
If you are looking for a unique destination that is both a dynamic business centre and a tourist paradise, offering more attractions, shopping, fine dining and quality hotels, then Dubai is definitely the place for you.
Although the early history of the area is not very well documented, archaeological discoveries suggest that, as far back as four thousand years ago, small fishing communities lived along the coast of the Arabian Gulf on the site of modern Dubai.
It is also believed that the natural sheltered harbour afforded by the Dubai Creek was a busy port on the ancient trade route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. In recent years, archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of artifacts, including pottery, weapons and coinage that point to civilised settlements dating back to the third millennium B.C. These historic finds have been carefully preserved and are now permanently housed in the Archaeological Section of Dubai Museum. Modern Dubai, however, traces its origins to the 1830’s. At that time, the small fishing village on the Shindagha peninsula at the mouth of the Creek was settled by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe, originally from the Liwa oasis to the south, led by the Maktoum family who still rule the emirate today. By the late 1870’s, Dubai was often referred to as the principal port on the Gulf coast and, by the turn of the century, was reputed to have had the largest souks in Arabia.
Pearling which was the mainstay of the city’s prosperity for many years, succumbed to the development of the cultured pearl in the 1940’s. But Dubai’s enterprising merchants bounced back, developing a thriving trade in gold and other commodities. Much of this history is carefully preserved in myriad forts, mosques, palaces and other historic monuments, which are on the itineraries of many organized tours.
The national dress is designed for the high temperatures and religious beliefs of the region. The men wear an ankle-length, loose fitting garment, known as Kandoura or dishdasha. It is generally made of white cotton. However, the kandoura is also made from darker and heavier material and is worn in the winter months. The headgear for men is called the guthra or sifrah. It is generally white and is held in place by a black cord called adal. Sheikhs and senior business persons also often wear a thin brown or black robe called the bisht over their kandoura. The bisht is typically worn during important functions and events.
Women wear a long-sleeved full-length dress called the Abaya. This is worn over the normal dress, jeans, trousers or the jalabiyas – long dress. In terms of the headgear, women wear a thin scarf called the shayla.
The colours of the UAE flag are similar to the ones in most Arab countries – green, white, black and red. The UAE flag comprises three equal horizontal bands: green at the top, white in the middle and black at the bottom. A thicker, vertical band of red runs down the hoist side. The emirate of Dubai has its own flag which is red with a white border at the hoist. It is almost always flown together with the national flag.