Dubai belongs to the United Arab Emirates. Its geographical location made it an important port by the beginning of the 20th century. In 1966, oil was discovered. In 1971, Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates. A free trade zone was built around the Jebel Ali port in 1979, allowing foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital.
Today, Dubai has emerged as a global city. Although Dubai’s economy was built on the oil industry, currently the emirate’s main revenues are from tourism. Tourism is an important part to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate. Dubai is one of the most visited city of the world.
Dubai has buildings of various architectural styles. Many modern interpretations of Islamic architecture can be found there, due to an architectural boom in the Arab World.
Modern Islamic architecture has recently been taken to a new level with such buildings being erected such as the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building. The Burj Khalifa’s design is derived from the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, with the triple-lobed footprint of the building based on an abstracted version of a desert flower.
Dubai draws large numbers of shopping tourists from all countries. Dubai has so-called souk districts, market-places where one can buy about anything. Modern shopping malls are also found in Dubai. Cars, clothing, jewellery and electronics will propably be found under the same roof.