Seven states make up the Federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With an area of ​​3.885 km² (the information varies slightly depending on the source), Dubai is the second largest of the emirates. The miniature state is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula between the Emirates Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. According to the “Dubai Statistics Center”, 2021 million people lived in Dubai at the end of 3,43.

Article overview Duabi

Dubai-City - Dubai's metropolis

State yacht in front of the Duibai City skyline

200 years ago, Dubai was a poor fishing village with a few hundred inhabitants. According to estimates, two million people currently live in Dubai City. Unlike comparable large metropolitan areas in Europe, the city has not grown homogeneously; it is a cluster of individual urban districts with residential and commercial buildings. In between there are extensive open spaces. This means there is enough space for future mega-structures. Generously dimensioned highways, a modern metro system as well as bus and tram lines connect the individual districts. Cheap and always available taxis are essential for getting around the metropolis for short stays.

Dubai Mall metro station

Dubai-City - capital of gigantomania

The capital of the emirate is phenomenal and full of contrasts. On the one hand, we are amazed at the convergence of several Ferraris and Lamborghinis in front of drive-in health testing centers during the Corona pandemic. On the other hand, in the historic districts of Deira, Al Fahidi and Al Seef, porters with wheelbarrows or handcarts wait for orders. In the souks on both sides of Dubai Creek, picturesque, traditional shops sell textiles, spices, jewelry and souvenirs. In the modern parts of the city, shops in huge, magnificent shopping arcades offer the world's luxury goods. The Dubai Mall - one of the largest shopping centers in the world - attracts visitors not only with world-famous product names, but also with an artificial ice rink the size of an ice hockey rink, a huge three-story seawater aquarium and an underwater zoo. The Mall of the Emirates offers its visitors an indoor ski hall with a total of one and a half kilometers of slopes and three ski lifts.

Souq Al Kabeer

Aquarium in the Dubai Mall

The city's silhouette changes from year to year. Most of the towering buildings were built in the last 15 years. Since 2008, the Burj Khalifa has dominated the skyscraper backdrop. The needle-shaped, 828 meter high building is the world's tallest structure. From two viewing platforms at 456 and 555 meters high, paying visitors can enjoy incredible views of and over the city.

Dubai's skyline with the Burj Khalifa

From October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, the emirate held the "Expo 2020". The world exhibition, which was postponed by a year due to the corona pandemic, had the motto "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". The exhibition organizers gave impetus for improvement of the world and to shape the future.
Dubai - Expo 2020

Tourist stronghold, transport hub and port city

According to the statistics portal “statista”, Dubai took fifth place among the world’s largest airports by passenger volume in 2022. More than 66 million passengers used the emirate's international airport. And in the foreseeable future, according to the government's wishes, there are likely to be significantly more. In the ranking of the most popular travel destinations worldwide, Dubai ranks first (source: Tripadvisor).

Al Seef Heritage Hotel

Sky Views Observatory - view from 229 meters high 

Dubai, the former fishing settlement on Dubai Creek has been a trading port since 1833. The moorings of the dhows along the creek are a testament to the emirate's maritime traditions. Significant infrastructure measures have been taken in Dubai's deep sea port in recent years. It is becoming increasingly important in terms of freight and passenger handling. 

Dhows on Dubai Creek

Restaurant ship on Dubai Creek

Dubai for cruise ship guests

Since autumn 2021, Dubai has had two cruise terminals: The Port Rashid Terminal is close to the Creek, the souks there or the main attractions Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Mall, the Museum of the Future and the brand new Sky Views Observatory. The Port Rashid Terminal receives more than 600.000 passengers annually.

The Dubai Harbor Cruise Terminal, approximately 30 kilometers away and next to Palm Jumeirah, is the result of a strategic partnership between Carnival Corporation and Dubai's Shamal Holding. The terminal is the main hub for the activities of the shipping companies belonging to the Carnival group. Which doesn't currently stop Costa ships from regularly docking at the Rashid terminal.

Port Rashid Terminal - Inside
Dubai Harbor Cruise Terminal
Dubai Harbor Cruise Terminal - Inside

Dubai City is not a romantic destination. The metropolis is a change to the future. This is where petrodollars were and are poured into concrete in a lavish and unimagined way. Under Dubai attractions we report on the attractions of the metropolis.

Update January 2024