A recent visit to Dubai left be dazzled. You might tend to believe its the glitterati that caught my fancy but its much more than that. I am dazzled after learning some less known facts about Dubai and also in general about the UAE. I will probably defer the UAE part for this post and focus on Dubai.
I am truly amazed to see what a one man authority can do to a city like Dubai. Many people that met there – some having stayed in Dubai for 10-15years – told me that Dubai has drastically change in the past half a decade. I wouldn’t deny that because Dubai as a tourist destination has only become popular in these 5-7 years. Today it really the trade and tourism industry that is keeping Dubai as one of the highly visited destinations in the world.
Dubai has some of the most unique and largest monuments and structures in the world. Be it the Burj Khalifa the tallest man-made structure in the world or Burj Al Arab (see pic) frequently quoted as the only seven-star hotel in the world or then the Dubai Miracle Garden which is the worlds largest flower garden measuring 72000 sq meters.
Dubai has one of the best transportation systems be it by road, rail, air or water. There are two major commercial ports in Dubai, Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali. Port Jebel Ali is the world’s largest man-made harbour, the biggest port in the Middle East. Dubai airport is the 2nd busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic. Dubai Metro is the world’s second cheapest metro transportation system.
When it comes to sports Dubai the people there are cricket and football lovers. Cricket is followed by Dubai’s large community of Indians and Pakistanis and also by residents from other cricket playing nations (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, Australia and South Africa). In 2005, the International Cricket Council (ICC) shifted its headquarters from London to Dubai – a testimonial in itself. Dubai plans to bid for 2020 Olympic though not formally announced but the statement from Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum says it all “I can assure you of this, though: if we decide to make a bid for the Olympics, we will be in it to win”. Such is the confidence of the Dubai’s ruler.
After learning all these facts it is evident that the ruler and probably the Sheikhs have a fancy for tagging themselves and their cities for the greatest and the largest structures in the world. Clearly Sheikh Maktoum is out to prove the world that he – one man with the power of billions from oil, trade and tourism – can build some of most magnificent structures and infrastructure in the world. No wonder when the delegation from the Bureau International des Expositions that visited Dubai in February 2013 to examine the Emirate’s readiness for the largest exposition Expo2020, was impressed by the infrastructure, and the level of national support. In May 2013, Dubai Expo 2020 Master Plan was revealed showing the city’s great chances to win. If the city’s bid is successful, the event will bring huge economic benefits by generating activities worth billions of dirhams and Sheikh Maktoum will once again and this time with a big bang prove to the world what a one man’s vision and prowess can do to the fortune of a city and its people.