Geography of Dubai

Learn Ten Facts about the Emirate of Dubai

The Burj Dubai skyscraper stands over 800 meters (over 2600 feet) -- Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Dubai is the largest emirate based on the population of the United Arab Emirates. As of 2008, Dubai had a population of 2,262,000. It is also the second largest emirate (behind Abu Dhabi) based on land area.

Dubai is located along the Persian Gulf and it is considered to be within the Arabian Desert. The emirate is known around the world as a global city as well as a business center and financial center. Dubai is also a tourist destination due to its unique architecture and construction projects like the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial collection of islands constructed in the Persian Gulf to resemble a palm tree.

The following is a list of ten more geographic facts to know about Dubai:

  1. The first mention of the Dubai region dates back to 1095 in the Andalusian-Arab geographer Abu Abdullah al Bakri's Book of Geography. By the late 1500s, Dubai was known by traders and merchants for its pearl industry.
  2. In the early 19th century, Dubai was officially established but it was a dependent of Abu Dhabi until 1833. On January 8, 1820, the sheikh of Dubai signed the General Maritime Peace Treaty with the United Kingdom. The treaty gave Dubai and the other Trucial Sheikhdoms as they were known protection by the British military.
  3. In 1968, the U.K. decided to end the treaty with the Trucial Sheikhdoms. As a result, six of them -- Dubai included -- formed the United Arab Emirates on December 2, 1971. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Dubai began to grow considerably as it gained revenue from oil and trading.
  4. Today Dubai and Abu Dhabi are two of the strongest emirates in the United Arab Emirates and as such, they are the only two that have veto power in the country's federal legislature.
  5. Dubai has a strong economy that was built on the oil industry. Today however only a small portion of Dubai's economy is based on oil, while the majority is focused on real estate and construction, trade and financial services. India is one of Dubai's largest trading partners. In addition, tourism and the related service-sector are other large industries in Dubai.
  6. As mentioned, real estate is one of the major industries in Dubai, and it is also a part of the reason why tourism is growing there. For example, the world's fourth tallest and one of the most expensive hotels, the Burj al Arab, was built on an artificial island off the coast of Dubai in 1999. In addition, luxury residential structures, including the tallest man-made structure the Burj Khalifa or Burj Dubai, are located throughout Dubai.
  7. Dubai is located on the Persian Gulf and it shares a border with Abu Dhabi to the south, Sharjah to the north and Oman to the southeast. Dubai also has an exclave called Hatta which is located about 71 miles (115 km) east of Dubai in the Hajjar Mountains.
  8. Dubai originally had an area of 1,500 square miles (3,900 sq km) but due to land reclamation and the construction of the artificial islands, it now has a total area of 1,588 square miles (4,114 sq km).
  9. Dubai's topography mainly consists of fine, white sandy deserts and a flat coastline. East of the city, however, there are sand dunes that are made up of darker reddish sand. Farther east from Dubai is the Hajjar Mountains which are rugged and undeveloped.
  10. The climate of Dubai is considered hot and arid. Most of the year is sunny and summers are extremely hot, dry and sometimes windy. Winters are mild and do not last long. The average August high temperature for Dubai is 106˚F (41˚C). Average temperatures are over 100˚F (37˚C) from June through September however, and the average January low temperature is 58˚F (14˚C).
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Briney, Amanda. "Geography of Dubai." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Briney, Amanda. (2023, April 5). Geography of Dubai. Retrieved from Briney, Amanda. "Geography of Dubai." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 30, 2023).