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Dubai is the most populous city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the second largest emirate by territorial size after the capital, Abu Dhabi. Dubai is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Today, Dubai has emerged as a cosmopolitan metropolis that has grown steadily to become a global city and a business and cultural hub of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region. It is also a major transport hub for passengers and cargo. Although Dubai’s economy was historically built on the oil industry, the emirate’s Western-style model of business drives its economy with the main revenues now coming from tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. The city has become symbolic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. In addition, Dubai is home to other ambitious development projects including islands, hotels, and some of the largest shopping malls in the region and the world. banner_dubai This increased attention has also highlighted labor and human rights issues concerning the city’s largely South Asian workforce. Dubai’s property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008–2009 following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, but is making a gradual recovery with help from neighboring emirates. Dubai is the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive city in the Middle East. In 2014, Dubai’s hotel rooms were rated as the second most expensive in the world, after Geneva. Dubai was rated as one of the best places to live in the Middle East by American global consulting firm Mercer. In 2014, Dubai and the UAE as a whole was ranked first in the Middle East in terms of women’s rights. Tourism is an important part of the Dubai government’s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate. Dubai’s lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping, but also on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions. As of 2013, Dubai was the 7th most visited city of the world and the fastest growing; increasing by a 10.7% rate Dubai is expected to accommodate over 15 million tourists by 2015. The emirate is also the most populous of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It is distinct from other members of the UAE in that a large part of the emirate’s revenues are from tourism. Hotel guests in Dubai are levied 10% of their room rate as a municipality charge, and a further 10% service charge. Also from March 31, 2014, the government imposed a bed tax officially known as the Tourism Dirham, a fixed fee charged on a per room per night basis. While the fee varies from hotel to hotel, it is generally around AED 15 (US$4.25). In 2012, a 16.4% increase in inflation affected the city’s restaurant and hotel sector. In early August 2013, plans for Dubai’s first underwater hotel, The Water Discus Hotel were publicly revealed. Developed by Polish company Deep Ocean Technology, the Water Discus will be the world’s largest hotel of its kind and will be in addition to two underwater suites in existence at Dubai’s The

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