Dubai: Country and Foreign Investment
The Emirate of Dubai extends along the Arabian Gulf coast of the UAE for approximately 72 kilometres. Dubai has an area of c. 3,885 square kilometres, which is equivalent to 5% of the country's total area, excluding the islands.
The major part of the Dubai emirate consists of rolling sand dunes lapping the foothills of the arid Hajar mountains in the east.
Dubai city is built along the edge of a narrow 10-kilometre long, winding creek which divides the southern section of Bur Dubai, the city's traditional heart, from the northern area of Deira.
The Ruler's office, together with many head offices of major companies, Port Rashid, the Dubai World Trade Centre, customs, broadcasting stations and the postal authority are all situated in Bur Dubai.
Jebel Ali, home of a huge man-made port, has the largest free-trade zone in Arabia, housing an ever growing list of international corporations which use the zone for both manufacturing and as a redistribution point.
Inland, the mountain resort town of Hatta is an extremely attractive location. Adjacent to a lake reservoir, the Hatta Fort Hotel is set in extensive parkland and provides a perfect base for exploring the nearby wadis and mountains, which extend into Omani territory.
Dubai International Airport is second only to Tokyo in the number of daily transit passengers it handles and second only to Seattle as a sea-air hub. Its harbour is the most important port in the Middle East and is ranked among the world's top 15 in terms of container throughput.
In November 2005, in anticipation of a huge increase in the numbers of tourists, business travellers and rising trading volumes, the Dubai authorities announced the launch of a project to build the world's largest airport in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.
The airport, initially known as the Jebel Ali International Airport (JXB), but since renamed the Al-Maktoum International Airport, will be a massive undertaking, with total infrastructure costs expected to hit US$33 billion.
The airport is to being completed in phases, and the first runway of six was completed in November 2007 at a cost of US$1 billion. The airport was opened on 27 June, 2010 with one operating runway and only handling cargo. The airport was opened to limited passenger flights in early 2011. The new facility initially opened to receive helicopter and passenger aircraft with no more than 60 people on board. Passenger operations are expected to begin in the final quarter of 2013, but the original 2017 completion date for the airport has been postponed by 10 years due to the financial crisis.