5 things you may not know about Dubai

dubai

(Darcey Beau, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Katharine Rooney, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Most people think of Dubai as a tourist hub. And with nearly 16 million visitors in 2018, it’s the world’s fourth most popular destination.

It also tops the list for visitor spending, with out-of-towners shelling out almost $31 billion a year, according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2019.

The city has a reputation as a glitzy shopping and entertainment destination – but there’s much more to it than high-end malls and grand theatre spectacles.

 

Here are some things you might not have known about the rapidly-evolving metropolis.

It’s not a country

Dubai is often mistakenly thought of as a country in its own right. In fact, it’s one of seven states in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was established in 1971 after independence from the United Kingdom.

The largest city in the UAE, Dubai is one of the main entry points into the country and one of the world’s busiest transit hubs: 88 million people a year pass through Dubai International Airport.

Pearl diving used to be its main industry

Oil was discovered in Dubai in 1966. Before then, the local economy was based on aquatic activities such as pearl diving in what used to be a small fishing village.

The UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) is $414 billion, and it’s expected to grow by 2.4% in 2019, driven partly by faster growth in the oil sector. Dubai produces nearly 84,000 barrels of crude oil a day. But that’s not the only contributor to the city’s success.

Over 90% of business activity in Dubai now comes from a range of other sectors, including logistics, financial services, real estate, construction and manufacturing.

In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019, the United Arab Emirates is ranked 25th – making it the most competitive economy in the Arab world, based on factors such as innovation, skills, and macroeconomic stability.

Most residents are under 35

Dubai has a youthful population: 60% of its residents are under the age of 35.

The city is also an emerging centre for technological innovation.

In 2017, the World Economic Forum partnered with the International Finance Corporation to identify, support and enable the best and brightest entrepreneurs of the Arab world to improve the state of their region through the 100 Arab Start-Ups Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution initiative.

Dubai-based success stories from the initiative include Careem, a ride-hailing app bought by Uber in 2019 for $3.1 billion, and BitOasis, which provides access to cryptocurrencies in Arab countries.

What is the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils?

A giant brainstorm in Dubai, the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils takes place from 3-4 November 2019. It brings together more than 600 members of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils – leaders from academia, business, government and civil society.

The discussions will promote innovative thinking to address the biggest challenges we face, as well as emerging or cross-cutting topics related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

George Clooney was here

Many of the world’s leading media companies have their Middle Eastern base in Dubai. It has a dedicated Media City that’s home to global organizations such as Reuters, the BBC, CNN, CNBC, Sony, and Showtime.

Established in 2001 as a centre for content production and broadcasting, and part of the Dubai Technology, Electronic Commercial and Media Free Zone (TECOM), the site is the largest in the region, with a development budget of more than $800 million and around 2,500 companies registered.

The UAE is an increasingly popular location for Hollywood films, and a number have been shot in Dubai, including the George Clooney thriller Syriana.

It wants to be the happiest city on Earth

Can happiness be measured? It can in Dubai, which has set up digital “happiness meters” to gauge the mood of citizens, residents and visitors, especially when they interact with Dubai government services.

Dubai is aiming to be the happiest city in the world.
Image: Government of Dubai

Dubai’s government is aiming to make it the happiest city in the world.

In 2016, the UAE government appointed Ohood bint Khalfan Al Rhoumi as its first Minister for Happiness, charged with rolling out a national program of positivity.

According to the Ministry of State for Happiness, employee happiness in the UAE increased by 24% between 2016-2018.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Poliomielitis: climatic changes and impossibility in border control

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

1 in 4 Africans had to pay a bribe to access public services last year

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

World is closer than ever to seeing polio disappear for good

Ending the era of dirty textiles

Sassoli to EU governments: Rise to the challenge. Find new shared ways to finance our recovery

Eurozone examines the prospect of issuing debt paper jointly

This heroic doctor is waging war on rape and the stigma around it

European Court of Justice to Google: It is #righttobeforgotten but not #righttoberemembered

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

Politics is failing to protect the Amazon. It’s time for finance to step up instead

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

How the institutional response to COVID-19 can prepare us for climate change

Here’s how community lending could help refugees find their feet

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

Humanitarian Aid: €64 million for most vulnerable in Southern Africa

Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on a possible new competition tool

Medical students: The need for emigration

Charlotte in Ghana

Anti-Semitism ‘toxic to democracy’, UN expert warns, calling for better education

UN health emergency committee to re-convene on global threat posed by China coronavirus

Burnout is a pandemic. Why don’t we talk more about it?

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

More hiring freedom can reduce teacher shortages in disadvantaged areas

UN Mission in Afghanistan gravely concerned about ill-treatment of prisoners by Taliban, following first-hand testimony

COP25: UN climate change conference, 5 things you need to know

The banks dragged Eurozone down to fiscal abyss

This is why AI has a gender problem

Financial stability: Commission addresses risks of Libor cessation

Tigray conflict: EU humanitarian support to Ethiopian refugees reaching Sudan

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

How to unleash the potential of regions like São Paulo

What will it take for the world’s third-largest economy to empower women?

Drinking coffee could help you live longer, research finds

Humanitarian aid: €24.5 million in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region

This young scientist is tackling food insecurity for the world’s most vulnerable groups

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

Mergers: Commission approves GlaxoSmithKline’s acquisition of Pfizer’s Consumer Health Business, subject to conditions

UNICEF urges ‘transformative shift’ in family-friendly work policies to reap ‘huge’ benefits

Economic growth ‘exceeds expectations’ but trade tensions are rising: UN report

Parliament elects Ursula von der Leyen as first female Commission President

State aid: Commission approves €380 million German rescue aid to Condor

Happy workers are more productive, research shows

Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community: Commission adopts second Action Programme for 2020

These 5 countries plan to slash their CO2 emissions. But how will they do it?

There are 3 barriers blocking good menstrual hygiene for all women. Here’s how we overcome them

Here’s how India can soar in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

ECB indicates south Europeans can endure more austerity

Let’s Learn

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

What is the IMF telling Eurozone about fiscal and banking unification?

‘Grave consequences’ await if new deadly escalation of violence in Gaza continues – top UN official

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

UN updates guidelines to ensure successful return to civilian life for former combatants

World ‘off track’ to meet most Sustainable Development Goals on hunger, food security and nutrition

More Stings?

Advertising

Comments

  1. Hello.
    Dubai authorities and private business have launched a new way to fight coronavirus in the UAE. What have you heard about this technology? How can this help your business? I would like to hear your thoughts about sterixeco, sterixgate etc.

    https://www.sterixeco.com

  2. maksinho123gmailcom says:

    Тег А

    Hello.
    Dubai authorities and private business have launched a new way to fight coronavirus in the UAE. What have you heard about this technology? .
    How can this help your business? I would like to hear your thoughts about disinfection gate sterixeco, sterixgate

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s