In the past 20 years, Dubai has become one of the fastest growing cities in the Middle East. Often commonly referred to as the Las Vegas of the Middle East, Dubai’s city landscape contrasts against the sand dunes and palm trees in more rural areas. Dubai has become an attractive city to tourists as it currently houses the world’s most expensive hotel, the world’s tallest building, as well as a plethora of shopping malls, hotels, and resorts. Dubai has also gained attention as it has become a city filled with skyscrapers relatively fast when oil was discovered in the 1960s, leading to Dubai becoming a international business center in the 80s. Its tax-free economy and growing technology companies have attracted people all over the world to live in this international hotspot. Much of the city has been build on money from oil, however since the real estate market prices dropped in 2008, the city has been dealing with rising debt to pay off unfinished buildings. Despite the uncertainty of Dubai’s financial future it continues to attract tourists as well as those looking to move to Dubai.
While both public and private education exists in Dubai, public education is reserved for Emaratis (people whose families come from the Emirates). Private schools are available to foreigners living in Dubai with curriculum from America, England, the IB (International Baccalaureate) system, as well as other counties across the world. Private education however can be costly, which is a concern of families contemplating moving to Dubai.
Dubai’s national population is very small, which is why they are given free education as well as housing from the government. According to mapsofworld.com, “among the total population of Dubai around 17 % belongs to UAE nationals, approximately 71% of total Dubai populations belongs to various nationalities which include Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Filipino and other Asian communities and near about 3% emigrates of Dubai is originated from western countries”.
Islam is the main religion practiced in Dubai, although there are people from all types of religious backgrounds in this multicultural city. There are mosques, churches, and temples, however there is definitely an emphasis on Islam as being the national religion. In malls prayer rooms are available and programming on TV notifies viewers when it is time for prayer. During the month of Ramadan where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, most restaurants and food places are closed during the day, and it is looked down upon to eat in public if you are not Muslim. A lot of laws and rules also are sensitive to Islamic teachings, which is why even shopping malls have a strict dress code (no shoulders or legs above the knees showing for both men and women). Smoking is also illegal inside all buildings. Dubai is known for being a safe place with a relatively low crime rate and a strong sense of community between people who come from all over the world.