As per several written accounts, Dubai was supposed to be in existence even before the configuration of the United Arab Emirates, for as long as 150 years. But at that time, the landscape of this city was that of an uninhabitable desert, where only the Bedouin tribes could survive. Only a stream of water, an excuse for a creek, proved to be the lifeline. The camel was the only means of transport.
It was only closer to the 19th century that Dubai came into picture as travelers passing along the trading route that connected Mesopotamia to the Indus Valley, built it into a hub of sorts. Soon, signs of civilization grew, starting with the fishing village at the creek. It was then that the Bani Yas tribe came to reside here, and the leader family, the Maktoums, established their rein in this desert land, and the dynasty continues to rule over Dubai even today.
But, Dubai first made news on the world scene as late as in the ’60s, when, even as the British colonizers were just leaving the land, inhabitants there struck upon oil. And oil it is that has made Dubai a hotspot commercial and trade center if ever there was one. Within a short span of just four decades, the city reinvented its image and went on to become the role model for the several mushrooming cities, as well as the existing ones, all over the world. The economy of Dubai is reaching for the sky, and it is not just oil that is propelling it. Foreign admiration for the several man made wonders here has also helped Dubai evolve as a hot tourist destination. In fact, the city has also seen a major population explosion in the recent years, and stands approximately at 1.5 million as per the latest records. But Dubai is more cosmopolitan in its demographic makeup than any other city in the world, and the original Emirati inhabitants account for only a quarter of Dubai’s population. This is also seen as one of the reasons as to why ethnic conflicts haven’t really flared up in the city, as they have in the neighborhood regions of the Middle East heets dubai.
Today, Dubai, as a tourist destination, boasts of some of the most spectacular and monumental structures, that has been attracting people from all over to witness man made creation in its full glory. And it seems that making grandiose, ambitious plans is almost a penchant, or fetish, for the rulers of this emirate. If Burj Arab wears the crown of being the tallest tower in the whole world, the man made islands, called as the ‘Three Palms and the World’, is a spectacular creation by itself.
Tourism has come to contribute almost 30% to the GDP of Dubai, and it looks like for many travelers, natural wonders have taken a back seat, when Dubai and its artificial magic is in questions.