Published with the support and encouragement of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Published by Motivate Publishing Dubai: PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE Tel: (+971 4) 282 4060, fax: (+971) 4 282 0428 e-mail: books@motivate.ae www.booksarabia.com Office 508, Building No 8, Dubai Media City, Dubai, UAE Tel: (+971 4) 390 3550, fax: (+971) 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072, Abu Dhabi, UAE Tel: (+971 2) 677 2005, fax: (+971) 2 677 0124 London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER e-mail: motivateuk@motivate.ae


Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Ian Fairservice David Steele Moushumi Nandy Zelda Pinto Andrea Willmore Cithadel Francisco

Consultant Editor: Deputy Editor: Assistant Editor: Art Director: Senior Designer:

General Manager Books: Jonathan Griffiths

© Motivate Publishing 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2007 First published 1996 Reprinted 1997 Second edition 1999 Reprinted 2000 Third edition 2002 Fourth edition 2007
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form (including photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means) without the written permission of the copyright holders. Application for the copyright holders’ written permission to reproduce any part of this publication should be addressed to the publishers. In accordance with the International Copyright Act 1956 and the UAE Federal Law No. (7) of 2002, Concerning Copyrights and Neighboring Rights, any person acting in contravention of this will be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

ISBN: 978 1 86063 168 9 British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai

From His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Industry and Chairman of Dubai Municipality If you are new to Dubai, welcome – and I hope this book will serve as a useful introduction. And for residents, or visitors who are already familiar with the emirate, I believe it will present some perspectives of our country and history that you may not have seen before. For those who have recently arrived I suggest that, to get a feel for the place and to begin to understand how and why it works, you take a stroll along the Creek. Appropriately, the waterway features prominently in this book, simply because it has featured prominently in our history. The activities that occur on and around it are, in essence, a microcosm of the whole, industrious, multicultural, adaptable and tolerant city. The Creek curves through Dubai, its waters reflecting ancient windtowers and neon advertisements, its skyline alternately punctuated by slender minarets and high-rise offices. Moored at its wharves or churning its surface are trading dhows and fishing boats, pleasure craft and abras. Elegant hotels and handsome gardens line its banks, while the walls of the merchants’ houses in the old quarter are still lapped by its tides. Busy along its shores are the people of many nations who live and work here – bringing a cultural variety that enriches every aspect of life in the city. Geography, of course, has helped. Dubai, positioned midway between Europe and the Far East, is at the hub not only of the wealthy Middle East but of a much greater market that stretches from the Levant to the Indian subcontinent and from the newly emerging states of the CIS to Africa. But


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