Dubai Info

Dubai is a beautiful city of sand and buildings. It is inaccurate to call it a city since the proper term for it is 'emirate' because it is ruled by 'emirs.'

Dubai is one of the 7 emirates of the UAE. The other emirates are  Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah, and Abu Dhabi, which is the capital. 

At first, like it's Middle Eastern brothers, Dubai became known as an oil-rich city but at present, Dubai is sought after, not for it's oil, but for it's tourism, real estate, and financial services. In fact, whenever Dubai is the subject in a conversation, it usually revolves around skyscrapers and business deals.

Dubai is a Muslim country and a very common structure that you will see are mosques. You will find one on almost each block so don't be surprised if you hear a loud male voice while walking on the streets. These are Muslims performing 'Salah' or prayer. Salah is is usually done at five periods of the day, and are measured according to the movement of the sun. These are: near dawn (fajr), just after noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), just after sunset (maghrib) and around nightfall (isha'a).

Although Muslim is the official religion, the practice of other religions is allowed and you will also find Christian churches and Hindu temples in Dubai.  

Locals or Emiratis' comprise only around 20% of the UAE's population. Majority of the people living in the Emirates are from India (50%). 23% are other Arabs, like Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, and Iranians. The remaining 7% are Europeans and nationals from other parts of Asia, like Philippines, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. 

Because of the heavy expatriate population, Dubai's culture has become very diverse and as far as I know, there is only one nationality that is not allowed in Dubai --- Israelis or any person with a Jewish background.