Dubai’s transformation from a fishing village to a global real estate hub has been nothing short of remarkable. From having the world’s tallest building to man-made islands in the shape of a world map, the UAE.’s most populous city has never shied away from ambitious construction projects.
Knight Frank created an unique overview of Dubai’s half-century long growth in the following video:
Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, summed up the ambition of his people in a quote:
Dubai will never settle for anything less than first place.
Indeed, the city’s economic growth has been nearly unparalleled over the past two decades. Unlike neighboring emirates, Dubai had a modest supply of oil and knew that diversifying their economy would be vital for future success.
As oil production leveled off in the early 1990s, the tourism industry ramped up. In 2002, reforms allowed foreigners to own real estate and that industry boomed overnight. Today, oil accounts for a minuscule 1% of Dubai’s GDP.
As the Middle East begins looking toward a post-oil economy, Dubai’s success provides an obvious example for other cities in the region to mimic.
SKY HIGH AMBITION
In addition to quirky attractions like the 250,000 sqft indoor ski hill, the desert city boasts a number of record-setting projects:
- World’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa
- World’s tallest hotel – JW Marriott Marquis Hotel
- World’s largest shopping center – Dubai Mall
- World’s largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of Adventure
- World’s Busiest Airport (International Travelers) – Dubai International Airport
- World’s longest fully automated metro network – Dubai Metro
Though Dubai is full of blockbuster development projects, the city’s urban form is perhaps best known for one specific attribute: height. For a city of only 3.0 million people, Dubai has a remarkable number of skyscrapers. In fact, the city trails only New York and Shanghai for the number of buildings taller than 150m (492ft).