Study Abroad in Dubai

About Dubai

Official Language: Arabic
Population: 1,200,000 (Dubai Emirate)
Square Mileage: 4,114 sq km (1,588 sq mi)
Currency: Emirate Dirham
Symbol: Dh
Nickname: AED
Climate: Arid subtropical climate with an average temperature of 75F (24C) and generally sunny days throughout the year:
Winters - cooler, occasional showers 60F-70F (12C-26C)
Summer - very hot, humid with
Nickname: The City of Gold

In Dubai, commerce and progress are the watchwords. This thriving port town, once a pearling village, is now one of the fastest growing cities in the Middle East. One of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai experienced its most dramatic growth following the discovery of offshore oil in the mid-1960s. Dubai's nickname, "City of Gold," reflects another component of its economy: the jewelry trade. In fact, Dubai claims a greater concentration of jewelry shops per capita than any other city in the world.

Yet, although famous for its world-class hotels, ultra-modern shopping malls and Space Age office complexes, Dubai City, as it is also called, is still strongly grounded in its Islamic heritage and ancient traditions. This dichotomy creates an environment that is full of intriguing contrasts between the old world and the new, the spiritual and the material, and the complex cultures of Eastern and Western civilizations.

The city's sunny climate, stunningly beautiful modern architecture and diverse leisure activities-including riding, fishing, racing, golf, water sports, and indoor skiing-have attracted expatriates as well as tourists from South Asia, Britain, and other Western countries. This international mix has made Dubai a successful tower of Babel with English, German, Hindu/Urdo, Malayalam, Tamil, Persian, and Tagalog heard here almost as frequently as Arabic.

To experience the exotic cultural diversity of this fascinating metropolis, you have only to take a 10-minute water taxi ride down Dubai Creek which divides the city in two. From the water you can view the almost futuristic skyline of Deira on one bank and the historic panorama of palaces, mosques, and forts of the city's older half, Bur Dubai, on the other. Some of these traditional structures feature Wind Towers and Minarets, technological marvels of the past that cooled these buildings before the advent of air conditioning.

Both banks offer modern shopping malls and luxurious hotels as well as almost futuristic entertainment venues alongside Souks, the traditional open-air markets, where bargaining is a way of life. Of course, wherever you go in Dubai, shopping is almost a national sport. Since everything is tax-free, the price of high-end goods-including designer labels-is considerably lower here. And bargaining for your purchases adds a special excitement to every transaction.

Dubai offers life experiences so unique they're sure to become some of your most precious memories at any price. They might include riding a camel through the desert to see a real Bedouin village; exploring an archeological tomb that's over 2,000 years old; lunching on local cuisine after a refreshing swim in the blue waters of Arabian Gulf; meeting fellow tourists from every part of the world; or learning about an ancient faith practiced in a land as new as tomorrow. You'll find that Dubai is a city where the future is firmly rooted in a tradition of respect for others and appreciation of diversity.
American InterContinental University Study Abroad Programs
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