It is home to the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, and to some other truly unique attractions such as the World Islands. Dubai has earned the spot of a top tourist destination over the past decade, but most people still know very little about its history and governance. One of the most commonly asked questions is what country Dubai is part of. Find the answer to these and many other questions which you have about it.
Dubai and UAE
Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In fact, it is the most popular emirate. It is also the second largest in terms of territory following Abu Dhabi. The country consists of seven emirates in total.
The United Arab Emirates is a fairly young country located in the south-eastern part of the Arabic Peninsular on the Persian Gulf. It was established in 1971 as a federation of 7 states. These are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al-Quwain. Each of the so called emirates has its own government with the head of the government being the monarch. The seven rulers make up the Federal Supreme Council of UAE. This is the highest body of executive power and of legislative power in the country. One of the monarchs is selected to represent the country as its president. Abu Dhabi is the capital city. One of the most interesting facts about UAE is that it is the country with the seventh largest oil reserves in the world.
Dubai is undoubtedly the pearl in the crown of UAE with its only rival being Abu Dhabi. It is not known when exactly people inhabited the part of the Arabic Peninsular where the emirate is, but the earliest ceramics found in the local area date from the 3rd century A.D. The first written mention of Dubai was in the Book of Geography in 1095. The origins of the modern city can be traced back to the beginning of the 1700’s. Back then it was a village inhabited by fishermen and pearl divers.
The city became a British protectorate in 1892 and only half a century later it had a growing economy thanks to its prime location for the trade between East and West. In the 1950’s, the city got electricity, telephone services and its own airport. The era of high growth began in the late 1960’s after oil was discovered in 1966. Thanks to the wise economic policy of its government, Dubai received major infrastructural and economic development for ensuring that it did not depend solely on oil. After over three years of talks, it entered a political union with the other six emirates to form UAE.
You need to obtain a visa in order to enter the United Arab Emirates unless you are a citizen or a permanent resident of a country of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Citizens of the EU countries, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and a small number of other countries can obtain a Visit visa free of charge at any of UAE’s points of entry including all airports. If you come from another country, you will have to obtain a visa via a sponsor. The sponsor can be a hotel, a tourist company, other organizations based in UAE and residents of the country. If you plan to visit the country as a tourist, you can have the visa arranged for you.
It is important to note that once you obtain a visa to enter UAE, you can travel around all seven emirates. If you plan to stay in Dubai, you can readily take a trip to Abu Dhabi or neighboring Sharjah, for instance, without having to obtain any other specific document. This certainly gives you great opportunities as a tourist.
Dubai is warm and sunny from October to April without getting overly hot. These are undoubtedly the best months to visit the emirate. Among the top attractions which you must visit is Burj Khalifa. The tallest building in the world has plenty of shops, restaurants and entertainment hubs to offer in addition to spectacular views. Jumeirah Beach is a fabulous place for relaxing under the sun and for taking a swim in the crystal clear warm waters. The Wild Wadi water park has fun attractions for both kids and adults. Other major attractions include The Dubai Mall, the Dolphinarium, Jumeirah Mosque and the famous dessert safaris.
The Other Emirates
Abu Dhabi is just a short trip away from Dubai and is totally worth visiting. You can take a plane ride which takes just half an hour. Perhaps the biggest attraction of the UAE capital at present is the Ferrari World amusement park. It is followed by Yas Waterworld which is in great proximity. The main historic attractions of this emirate include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Qasr-al Hosn, which is the oldest stone building in the city. Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium is among the favorites of kids.
Sharjah can also be easily reached from Dubai. Its major attractions include Khor Fakkan beach, The Eye, which offers amazing city and sea views, the Archeological Museum and the Classic Car Museum. Fujairah is an emirate full of historic attractions. The famous fort is over 300 years old. The Al-Bidyah Mosque is the oldest in the whole of UAE. Al-Hayl Castle is also worth visiting.Ajman is a smaller emirate with fewer attractions. Some of the most popular ones include Ajman Museum, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Etisalat Tower.
In addition to the great beaches and the IceLand water park, Ras al-Khaimah is an emirate which offers various historic and cultural attractions. Dhayah Forth is a major historic site which dates back to the 16th century. You can also visit the Bedouin Oasis dessert camp and watch a falcon show to immerse in the local culture. Umm al-Quwain is close to Dubai so you can readily visit it. It is home to the largest water park in UAE, Dreamland. The local museum is also worth going to. You can enjoy horseback riding and a trip to one of the islands off the shore.
It is time to visit Dubai and the other emirates of UAE.