Dubai is the second largest emirate. Its population is estimated to be 2,446,675 individuals at the end of 2015. Dubai’s GDP reached around AED 338 billion as of 2014.

About Dubai

Dubai is the second largest emirate with an area of 4,114sq. km., which is about 5 per cent of the UAE without the islands.

The older districts of Dubai cover an area of 1500sq. m. and is called ‘Pearl of the Gulf’ and ‘Jewel of the world’ because of its heritage and history.


The population size of the emirate of Dubai is estimated to be 3,355,900 individuals at the end of 2019; of whom 2,331,800 are males and 1,024,100 females.


The higher proportion of males in Dubai community (229 males per 100 females) is attributed to the fact that the majority of expatriate workers are males who are not accompanied by their family members.

For a daily update on the population, you can check the population clock on the website of Dubai Statistics Center.

According to Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre. the estimated population of UAE nationals as of 2010 in the emirate of Dubai was:

Males: 84,245

Females: 83,784

Total: 168,029

Location and geography

The emirate is located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, in the southwest corner of the Arabian Gulf. It shares its boundaries with Abu Dhabi in the south and Sharjah in the northeast. It shares its international border with the Sultanate of Oman in the southeast. Dubai is roughly 16m. or 52ft. above sea level.

Dubai city is the capital of the emirate. It is characterised by the historic creek, which divides the city into:

  • Deira in the north
  • Bur Dubai in the south

In 2016, a new addressing system was launched which involved dividing the emirate into 14 districts.

Dubai has several sandy beaches on its western side, a mangrove at the eastern end of the creek, many deserts in the interior and western regions and wadis in the Hatta region.


Dubai creek was a natural harbour; this helped Dubai to become a centre for fishing, pearling and sea trade. By the beginning of 20th century, Dubai had developed into a successful port city.

The discovery of oil in 1966 transformed the emirate and its way of life. Dubai’s first oil exports in 1969 were followed by a period of rapid development that laid the foundations for today’s modern society.

Dubai was the first to establish Islamic banks worldwide with the opening of Dubai Islamic bank (DIB) back in the 1970s, in addition to starting the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), which is the first global Shari’a compliant exchange.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Dubai took a strategic decision to emerge as a major international-quality tourism destination.

Dubai’s economy is no longer reliant on oil. It is now more diversified; relying heavily on trade, services and finance sectors, with a thriving business community. Dubai’s GDP reached around AED338 billion as of 2014.

H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched Dubai Plan 2021 in 2014. The plan aims to reinforce Dubai’s position as a key player in the global economy and one of the top five centres for trade, logistics, finance and tourism.

In November 2013, Dubai was voted to host the World Expo 2020.


Dubai boasts of world-class hotels, modern architecture, entertainment and dining venues, traditional markets, shopping centres and sporting events.

Some of the major tourist attractions in the emirate are the wadis of Hatta, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, which is also the world’s only seven-star hotel and Burj Khalifa, which is the world’s tallest skyscraper.

Ruling family

Dubai was established in 1833, when some 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe, led by the Maktoum family, settled by the Dubai creek. Since then, the Al Maktoum family have ruled Dubai.

The eighth ruler from the Al Maktoum family, the late H. H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, ruled Dubai from 1958 to 1990. He guided the emirate with compassion and understanding. He realised what was necessary to transform Dubai into the cosmopolitan, prosperous city it is today.

H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He became the Ruler of Dubai on 4 January 2006, following the demise of his brother and the then Ruler, H. H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 List of Dubai Government’s departments – The Official Portal of Dubai Government


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