Dubai likes to set records. It has the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa), the largest shopping centre (the Dubai Mall) and the longest handmade gold chain (5.52km), to name but three.
But beyond mere ostentation, the city-state has more substantial achievements to its credit. In the year to September Dubai airport overtook Heathrow in London to become the world’s busiest international hub, with some 68.9m passengers using it yearly.
Oil wealth, geography, ambition and, it seems, canny investment, have turned Dubai into a major transit hub, especially for people and goods moving into or through the Middle East. Emirates, Dubai’s flagship carrier, is one of the world’s leading airlines. The Jebel Ali port ranks as the world’s ninth busiest.
Dubai World Central, a logistics hub around a new airport, will be twice the size of Hong Kong island when completed. It is served by some of the world’s most modern roads. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is one of seven federated components, is building a railway, part of a proposed $25 billion network connecting the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). More info