Home Dubai Where is Dubai | Map | History | Economy

Where is Dubai | Map | History | Economy

Where is Dubai | The Vacation Builder

Dubai is the city of dreams for many tourists and is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. However, you’d be surprised at the amount of people who don’t know where Dubai is. If you’re reading this article, you are probably one of them. So, Where is Dubai?

Dubai is the business capital of the United Arab Emirates and is located on the Persian Gulf, opposite Iran, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia. Surprisingly though, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE.

Where is Dubai on the World Map

Dubai Location on World Map | Where is Dubai | The Vacation Builder

As you can see above, Dubai is the small red dot in between Eastern Africa and Western India. Below we zoom in to have a closer look at Dubai’s location.

A Closer Look at the Location of Dubai | Where is Dubai | The Vacation Builder

Across the Persian Gulf there is Iran but the UAE shares the same side of the land as Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and Oman are the only two countries which border the UAE. The city of Dubai is located in between two other UAE cities, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Sharjah is located to the north, whilst Abu Dhabi is located to the south.

Dubai to Sharjah Distance | Where is Dubai | The Vacation Builder

Abu Dhabi is 140 km away from Dubai and Sharjah is just under 30 km away.

Dubai to Abu Dhabi Distance | Where is Dubai | The Vacation Builder

Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf and belongs to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The city is considered one of the business capitals of the world and has the highest population in the UAE.

The city is well known for its oil sales but as of the year 2020, only 5% of Dubai’s revenue now comes from oil. The capital of the UAE has year on year developed into the leading business hub in Western Asia.

History of Dubai

There are many theories around its name. One theory states that the name Dubai derives from Souq. This may explain why there are many popular souks to visit on your vacation to the UAE.

Another theory on the name of the city is that it derived from the word ‘daba’. A past tense derivative of ‘yadub‘, which means “to creep”. Believers of this theory link this to the slow flow of the waters from Dubai creek to move inland.

Much of Dubai’s coastline was created around 5,000 years ago when sand storms swept the region. More recently the city is now a mainly Islamic state but it wasn’t that way previously. Pre 3rd and 4th century ceramics have been discovered which leads archaeologists to believe previous residents of Dubai worshipped Bajir.

Post spread of Islam in the UAE, the Umayyad Caliph of the eastern Islamic world invaded south-east Arabia and drove out the Sassanians

Dubai’s Economy

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest city in the country, but Dubai is not far behind. Service industries such as I.T and finance have been thriving since the opening of the Dubai International Finance Centre in 2004.

A surprising fact for many is that 20% of Dubai’s GDP comes from tourism and only 1% is linked from the oil industry.

Dubai is one of the fastest growing economies in the world at the moment with an average growth rate since after the 2009 recession of 6%. Its main trading partners are thought to be China, India and United States.

In 2018, Dubai welcomed over 15 million visitors which has now ranked the city as the fourth most popular holiday destination in the world. Additionally, an increasing amount of Dubai’s GDP now comes from tourism each year.

The city of gold to some, as Dubai has over 250 gold stores and counting which is another key driver of the GDP.

The economy and population of Dubai has been booming so well, and with world renowned respect, that the city recently won their bid to host the next Expo in 2020. This has now been postponed until 2021 due to the recently COVID19 outbreak. You can read more on the Dubai Expo 2021 here.

Dubai has an extremely diverse economy in comparison to that off the early 90’s which relied mainly on oil. Now the city is a world leader in construction and tourism which has helped the economy continue to grow over the last 30 years.

Population of Dubai

As of July 2019, the population stands at just over 3.3 million. When you compare this to the population of two other cities (London 8.9 million) and (New York 8.3 million), you can understand that Dubai is a relatively new and growing city.

Dubai has an area of 4,100 km which means there is still plenty of room to grow when you compare it to the other two major cities. For instance, the area of London is 1,572 km whereas the area of New York is 783 km.

The population has grown around 5%, year on year from 2010 to 2018. Most recently this has slowed to around 2% in 2019 and 2020. Another factor to consider is Dubai’s “daytime population”, which takes into account visitors who do not live there. This pushes the population of Dubai up to around 4 million.

Additional Land Belonging to Dubai

This city has been the centre of architectural brilliance for many years now. One way Dubai’s land mass has increased recently has been from its expansion into the persian gulf. The total expansion of shoreline from these developments is well over 500 km.

Man made islands such as The Palm Jumeirah, The World Islands and Palm Jebel Ali has increased Dubai’s total area and made many more attractive propositions for potential residents.

Below, The Palm Jumeirah which is mostly famous for its luxury hotels, private housing, retail and dining destinations.

The Palm Jumeirah | Where is Dubai | The Vacation Builder

For more information on The Palm Jumeirah, you can check out my post on the best hotels on Palm Jumeirah here.


Thank you for taking the time to read about Dubai and to find out Where is Dubai. We hope this has given you the information you were looking for.

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