Destination Management Company :: About Dubai :: Geography

Dubai is split down the middle by a creek which runs through the centre of the old part of town.

The creek is the lifeblood of this area, a tightly spaced, densely populated urban area which provides moist of the hustle and bustle in the city.

Some of Dubai’s landmark buildings can be found in Deira, including the famous Bank of Dubai structure, and the Etisalat tower, which houses the United Arab Emirates’ telecommunications company.

South of the creek is Bur Dubai. This is again a largely urban area - although as you head closer to the coast a more upmarket feel takes hold as the low rise apartment buildings give way to spacious villas.

The other major centre of Dubai is centred on the artery of the Shaikh Zayed Road, a six lane super-highway which cuts through the heart of the city’s financial district and stretches through to the neighbouring town of Jebel Ali.

The area around the start of the Shaikh Zayed Road has been the subject of massive development over the past decade. The aim being to shift the focus of the city away from the now overcrowded urban areas of Deira and Bur Dubai.

It is the heart of the new financial district with the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Emirates Towers (both now bona fide Dubai architectural landmarks) giving an aesthetically pleasing aspect to the busy hub.

Once you get past the ‘trade centre’ district of the Shaikh Zayed Road, the highway stretches for 40km through the town of Jebel Ali and onto the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Development has sprung up around the major road, with residential developments, skyscrapers, shopping malls and industrial areas dotted along most of its length.

The coastal areas of Jumeirah and Umm Sequim are fairly well developed now and are home to a plethora of luxury residences and hotel resorts, including the iconic Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the world famous palm Jumeirah development.

More recently, a development known locally as 'New Dubai' has been springing up on the other side of the city.

It features luxury developments like Dubai Marina and the sprawling Emirates Hills residential development, as well as trading zones such as Internet City and Media city.

These areas house the regional headquarters of some of the world’s most famous companies. Microsoft, Cisco Systems, CNN, BBC World and Mastercard to name but a few.

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