Before 1971, the UAE were known as the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, in reference to a nineteenth-century truce between Britain and several Arab Sheikhs. The name Pirate Coast was also used in reference to the area's emirates in the 18th to early 20th century.2
The political system of the United Arab Emirates, based on the 1971 Constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language.3
The total budget for the Burj Khalifa project is about US$4.1 billion, and for the entire new "Downtown Dubai", US$20 billion.19 Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the CEO of Emaar Properties, speaking at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 8th World Congress, said that the price of office space at Burj Khalifa had reached $4,000 per sq ft (over $43,000 per m2) and that the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, were selling for US$3,500 per sq ft (over $37,500 per m2).20
The project is headed by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC).25 Initiated in 2006, the project is projected to cost US$22 billion and take some eight years to build, with the first phase scheduled to be complete and habitable in 2009.262728 The city is planned to cover 6 square kilometres (2.3 sq mi) and will be home to 45,000 to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, primarily commercial and manufacturing facilities specialising in environmentally friendly products, and more than 60,000 workers are expected to commute to the city daily.272930 It will also be the location of a university, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), which will be assisted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).3132 Automobiles will be banned within the city; travel will be accomplished via public mass transit and personal rapid transit systems, with existing road and railways connecting to other locations outside the city.3329 The absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar's perimeter wall, designed to keep out the hot desert winds, allows for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the city.21
Masdar City will be the latest of a small number of highly planned, specialized, research and technology-intensive municipalities that incorporate a living environment, similar to Novosibirsk, Russia or Tsukuba Science City, Japan.
Masdar will employ a variety of renewable power sources. Among the first construction projects will be a 40 to 60 megawattsolar power plant, built by the German firm Conergy, which will supply power for all other construction activity.2936 This will later be followed by a larger facility, and additional photovoltaic modules will be placed on rooftops to provide supplemental solar energy totalling 130 megawatts. Wind farms will be established outside the city's perimeter capable of producing up to 20 megawatts, and the city intends to utilise geothermal power as well.2937 In addition, Masdar plans to host the world's largest hydrogen power plant.26
Water management has been planned in an environmentally sound manner as well. A solar-powered desalination plant will be used to provide the city's water needs, which is stated to be 60 percent lower than similarly sized communities.26 Approximately 80 percent of the water used will be recycled and waste water will be reused "as many times as possible," with this greywater being used for crop irrigation and other purposes.3329
The city will also attempt to reduce waste to zero. Biological waste will be used to create nutrient-rich soil and fertiliser, and some may also be utilised through waste incineration as an additional power source. Industrial waste, such as plastics and metals, will be recycled or re-purposed for other uses.33
Written accounts document the existence of the city for at least 150 years prior to the formation of the UAE. Dubai shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates within a federal framework, although each emirate has jurisdiction over some functions such as civic law enforcement and provision and upkeep of local facilities. Dubai has the largest population and is the second largest emirate by area, after Abu Dhabi.38 Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the only two emirates to possess veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's legislature.39 Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty since 1833. Dubai's current ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE.
The emirate's main revenues are from tourism, real estate and financial services.40 Revenues from petroleum and natural gas contribute less than 6% (2006)41 of Dubai's US$ 37 billion economy (2005).42 Real estate and construction, on the other hand, contributed 22.6% to the economy in 2005, before the current large-scale construction boom.43 Dubai has attracted attention through its real estate projects 44 and sports events. This increased attention, coinciding with its emergence as a world business hub, has highlighted labor and human rights issues concerning its largely foreign workforce.45
In the 1820s, Dubai was referred to as Al Wasl by British historians. However, few records pertaining to the cultural history of the UAE or its constituent emirates exist due to the region's oral traditions in recording and passing down folklore and myth. The linguistic origins of the word Dubai are also in dispute, as some believe it to have originated from Persian, while some believe that Arabic is the linguistic root of the word. According to Fedel Handhal, researcher in the history and culture of the UAE, the word Dubai may have come from the word Daba (a derivative of Yadub), which means to creep; the word may be a reference to the flow of Dubai Creek inland, while the poet and scholar Ahmad Mohammad Obaid traces it through the same word, but in its meaning of locust46 There terroisst
Very little is known about pre-Islamic culture in the south-east Arabian peninsula, except that many ancient towns in the area were trading centers between the Eastern and Western worlds. The remnants of an ancient mangrove swamp, dated at 7,000 years, were discovered during the construction of sewer lines near Dubai Internet City. The area had been covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coastline retreated inland, becoming a part of the city's present coastline.47 Prior to Islam, the people in this region worshiped Bajir (or Bajar).48 The Byzantine and Sassanian empires constituted the great powers of the period, with the Sassanians controlling much of the region. After the spread of Islam in the region, the UmayyadCaliph, of the eastern Islamic world, invaded south-east Arabia and drove out the Sassanians. Excavations undertaken by the Dubai Museum in the region of Al-Jumayra (Jumeirah) indicate the existence of several artifacts from the Umayyad period.49 The earliest recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095, in the "Book of Geography" by the Andalusian-Arab geographerAbu Abdullah al-Bakri. The Venetianpearl merchant Gaspero Balbi visited the area in 1580 and mentioned Dubai (Dibei) for its pearling industry.49 Documented records of the town of Dubai exist only after 1799.50
In the early 19th century, the Al Abu Falasa clan (House of Al-Falasi) of Bani Yas clan established Dubai, which remained a dependent of Abu Dhabi until 1833.51 On 8 January 1820, the sheikh of Dubai and other sheikhs in the region signed the "General Maritime Peace Treaty" with the British government.47 However, in 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty (also descendants of the House of Al-Falasi) of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over Dubai from the Abu Fasala clan without resistance.51 Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom by the "Exclusive Agreement" of 1892, with the latter agreeing to protect Dubai against any attacks from the Ottoman Empire.51 Two catastrophes struck the town during the 1800s. First, in 1841, a smallpox epidemic broke out in the Bur Dubai locality, forcing residents to relocate east to Deira. Then, in 1894, fire swept through Deira, burning down most homes.52 However, the town's geographical location continued to attract traders and merchants from around the region. The emir of Dubai was keen to attract foreign traders and lowered trade tax brackets, which lured traders away from Sharjah and Bandar Lengeh, which were the region's main trade hubs at the time.5253