PEARLS are treasured by many; and, the pearling industry has been a basic part of the economy of Dubai from its earliest days. Archeology sites date their use 7000 years ago. Trading of pearls, pottery, fabrics, spices, and gold have been and are vital to the economy. Currently international business and tourism is replacing OIL as the primary source of income since it’s discovery in 1966
The reigning Al Maktoum family has ruled since 1833; and, under their guidance and progressive leadership, the economy grew. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE since 2006. His grandfather set the stage for the current duty-free zone, a major reason for Dubai’s growing business success. Dubai is one of seven countries in the UAE. Celine Malek reported in TheNational/UAE (Feb. 9, 2015) that oil makes up 39% of UAE’s gross domestic product, and recognizing the value of clean energy and the likely depletion of oil serves, the plan is that nuclear energy will cover 25% of UAE’s power needs within the next twelve years.
In 2003 construction began on a feature 4 km off the coast in the Arabian Gulf called The World; it will be made up of 300 man-made, white sand islands. There will be green areas, hotels, and restaurants featuring the foods of each region, with guest workers from each regions as servers. Kleindienst Properties acquired six of the islands and is creating “The Heart of Europe” holiday destination; currency used in that area will be euros instead of dirhams. The first to be completed will represent Germany. There will also be three-level FLOATING SEAHORSE VILLAS inspired by private yachts, with the master bedroom below sea level. The first villa is to be completed in October 2016. The current purchase price is Dhs 10-12,000,000; rental is Dhs 10-12,000 per night. One dirham (Dhs) was US$ 0.27 in February of 2016. There is a a short story and a delightful photo in the Idea Section of the June 6, 2016 issue of TIME.
More new things coming to Dubai: 1) The world’s largest indoor theme park, The Worlds of Adventure, owned by The Ilyas and Mustafa Galardi Group (IMG), is scheduled to open August 2016; and, 2) work is already underway for The World Expo 2020, including a new airport being created specifically for that event.
The next time we are in Dubai, we plan to visit more museums: Hatta Heritage Village in the Hatta mountains, The Antique Museum, the Heritage House Gallery, Emirates National Auto Museum, Juma al Majid Heritage and Cutural Center, and the Dubai Heritage and Diving Village which features pearl diving opportunities as well exhibits of pottery, weaving, and other crafts.
1) Choose carefully the time of year you travel to Dubai; the peak temperature June-September is 48C (118F).
2) Check with the US State Department re: travel safety.
3) Keep your hotel business card with you at all time; it will be helpful finding you way back when using taxis, bus, and the light rail system.
4) Download from the Internet useful phrases “Hello” and “Thank You” in Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, and Tagalog. It’s fun; it’s a good exercise. Even though English is widely understood, it’s the kind thing to do to greet and thank people in their own language whenever you can.
5) Check the “Travel Tips” tab at the top of this page.