From humble beginnings as a fishing and pearl-diving village, Dubai has risen in three decades to become a globally renowned tax-free business haven.
Historically, Dubai was known for trading and the Dubai Creek’s natural harbour was established as a trading port. In 1902 came the welcome migration of Iranian traders and Arab settlers to Dubai following the introduction of heavy taxes on Iran’s Lingeh port. Dubai’s trade has never looked back.
Today, Dubai is a logistics and trade hub boasting the world’s third-ranking airport by number of passengers, with about 58 million passengers in 2012 going through Dubai International Airport in 2012. It is the third largest re-export market in the world, operating more than nine ports and owns the biggest containers between Rotterdam and Singapore.
Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port is ranked among the Top 10 Container Ports Worldwide, having handled 13 million TEU in 2011.
The Jebel Ali port was opened in 1979 along with the Dubai World Trade Centre — the city’s first high-rise, paving the way for a string of other ambitious architectural projects.
The UAE ranks 27 in the global competitiveness report. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) back up 95 per cent of the country’s registered companies.