Dubai is one of the seven states that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE); it is located in the Middle East. The UAE borders the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf and is situated between Oman and Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates was formed in 1971 by the then ‘Trucial States’ after their independence from Britain.
The UAE is governed by a Supreme Council of Rulers, the council is made up of the seven emirs and they appoint the prime minister and the cabinet for the country. Despite being ultimately ruled by the Supreme Council, as with the other six states, Dubai maintains a large degree of autonomy from the UAE when it comes to general decision making for the city’s development.
Oil was first discovered in the United Arab Emirates in the 1950s, before that the country’s economy was built on fishing and pearling, since 1962, when Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting the oil, the country’s economy has been completely transformed.
Sheikh Zayed, who has been the president of the UAE since its inception, quickly understood the economic potential for the country from the oil industry. He has continued to ensure that each of the emirates benefits from the oil generated wealth, he has insisted on the reinvestment of oil revenues into the healthcare system, the education system and the general national infrastructure and holidayvilla.
The development of the oil industry has led to a large influx of foreign workers to the UAE, in fact Dubai’s population is the fastest growing in the world and the foreign population makes up about three quarters of the entire UAE population! As a direct result of this fact the UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, with other cultures and beliefs tolerated. Dubai has also been quick to understand the need for diversification. Oil in the region is only projected to last for about 30 years and so Dubai has successfully embarked upon a major diversification program aimed to at developing industries and commercial enterprises to take the place of oil as the predominate commodity of the state’s economy.