Where is Dubai? 12 interesting Dubai facts & information

by Danni B
Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai

Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates or UAE for short. The region is the Middle East and the continent in Asia. Other countries close to the UAE are Oman and Saudi Arabia. This area of land is called the Arabian Peninsula and is part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Dubai and the UAE sit on a sea called the Arabian Gulf or Persian Gulf.

Where is Dubai on the world map?

Is Dubai a country or a city?

No, Dubai is not a country. It is a city and an Emirate. Similar to how Florida is a State in the country of the USA. There are seven total Emirates within the United Arab Emirates which is the country. Each Emirate has its own governing body and both separate and shared laws. Each Emirate has a separate royal family also.

Graphic showing where Dubai is in the country of the UAE

Each Emirate can make decisions at a local level along with its own judicial systems and ministries.

What is the capital of Dubai?

The capital of the UAE is Abu Dhabi, not Dubai! Although Abu Dhabi is a smaller city, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is much larger! It even contains another city called Al Ain. Though Dubai has a larger population than Abu Dhabi thanks to the many expatriates that live there!

What is the population of Dubai?

According to official Dubai government statistics, the population of Dubai is 3.549 million. This data is the latest data published from 2022, so the population may have grown since this figure was released.

Abu Dhabi has a population of 1.45 million and the UAE is estimated at 9.5 million people in total.

Learn more about the United Arab Emirates and what UAE is famous for.

What is the GCC?

GCC stands for Gulf Cooperation Council and includes 6 countries in the Arabian Gulf. It is an economic and political zone which was formed in 1981. These countries are UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. In the agreement, they allow freedom of movement for citizens and have trade agreements.

This is similar to how countries are part of the European Union (EU).

In 2017, due to political reasons, Qatar was removed from being part of the GCC agreement. After negotiations in 2021, relations with Qatar were repaired and citizen freedom of movement was allowed again along with trade.

What does Khaleeji mean?

An example of Khaleeji people with a couple walking along the waterside quay in traditional Khaeleeji clothes

People from the Arabian Gulf or GCC refer to themselves as Khaleejis which means ‘people of the Gulf’ and related to the geolocation of the countries in the Arabian Peninsula.

The countries in the Arabian Peninsula have close cultural ties; such as similar dress, traditions and values. This includes Islamic faith, hospitality to guests, drinking Arabic coffee, wearing kanduras (dishdashas),

To learn more about what Khaleeji’s wear, traditional clothes of the UAE goes into all of the individual names, the history of the outfit and why Emirati’s take pride in their clothes so much!

Also make sure to try some Emirati food while you’re visiting Dubai

How the United Arab Emirates formed

Founders of UAE Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi

The United Arab Emirates was founded on 2nd December 1971 when Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan united the Emirates altogether and thus created the United Arab Emirates. Hence the name! Before this, it was part of the British Empire.

The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven Emirates in total. These are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman.

You can find out more about how the UAE was founded by visiting the Founders Memorial in Abu Dhabi.

Who is the Dubai Sheikh?

The Sheikh of Dubai is Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Photo of the Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum standing holding his hands and wearing the traditional Emirati clothes
Photo from SheikhMohammed.ae

Try our Emirati Sheikh Name Generator to find out what your Sheikh or Sheikha name would be if you were Arabic royalty.

Is Dubai Safe?

Yes, Dubai is extremely safe and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. In 2023, Dubai was ranked 6th, with a crime index of Dubai’s 16.3, and Abu Dhabi was the lowest in the world, also in the UAE.

Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah, two other emirates, ranked 2nd and 3rd lowest! Making 4 Emirates in the UAE, the safest cities in the world out of the top 6, which is incredible.

If you’re not worried about visiting London or New York, you definitely shouldn’t be worried about visiting Dubai. Any resident will tell you, that we feel extremely safe here. Women can walk around on their own late at night and even leave their handbags on the table while they go to the bathroom!

You can find out more information about safety and what Dubai is like for women.

What’s the best way to get around Dubai and the UAE?

Dubai is a city built for cars. The roads are wide, the city is laid out in a grid and multi-storey parking is a feature of almost every shopping mall. The majority of hotels and restaurants have valet parking, typically free when you spend a minimum amount at the venue.

There is lots of public transport available in Dubai, so it’s entirely possible to get around using the metro, buses and occasional taxi if need be. It’s even possible to get a bus to Abu Dhabi.

However, since there can be large distances between metro stops and many hotels have long driveways unsuitable for walking, hiring a car is the best way.

Check rental car prices 🚗

Dubai is just not well designed for pedestrians. Typically you drive to a place where you’ll walk around like La Mer or City Walk for instance. Most hotels have very long driveways with no walk ways, meaning a taxi or a car is best. Unless you fancy being the only person walking up a long drive way! (Yes I have done this haha)

What is the weather in Dubai?

Dubai has a desert climate, making it mostly sunny and dry all year round! This also means it gets extremely hot during the summer months between July and August. Reaching temperatures close to 50 Celicuis (122 Fahrenheit.) The UAE climate is generally the same throughout the country as it is only a small country.

It is hugely popular as a destination during the winter months due to its warm climate! If you live somewhere cold, you might be surprised to know that during winter Dubai stays warm. Average temperatures even in its coldest month of January are 19 to 20 Celcius (66 to 67 Fahrenheit). So it’s the perfect winter escape!

Dubai, AE
06:4418:18 +04
Feels like: 22°C
Wind: 18km/h W
Humidity: 60%
Pressure: 1012.19mbar
UV index: 0
24°C / 16°C
25°C / 20°C
24°C / 18°C
22°C / 15°C
24°C / 14°C

What is the time in Dubai?

Dubai is GMT+4 / UTC+4 or GST (Gulf Standard Time).

If you’re from a country that uses Daylight Savings Time (DST) during the Summer. Then you may not know that not all countries use DST. The UAE is one of those who do not! This means when the clocks go forward UAE does not change their clocks. For example, compared with the UK it becomes 3 hours ahead and then back to four hours ahead when the clocks go back.

Before you go, make sure to check out some of these other helpful articles:

Enjoyed this article? Give it a share!


Alanna Koritzke July 18, 2020 - 7:25 pm

Great detailed post! Saving for later…if I ever make it to Dubai.

Jiayi Wang July 19, 2020 - 3:46 am

So interesting to know that Dubai’s wealth is not because of oil! I always just assumed that! I did enjoy visiting this place, it was really fascinating to see how wealthy it is haha

Andrea Cannon July 19, 2020 - 10:05 am

I Would love to visit Dubai! Thanks for sharing!


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