Dubai is one of the few cities in the world that has undergone such a rapid transformation - from a humble beginning as a pearl-diving center to one of the fastest growing cities on earth. It is a tourism, trade and logistics hub and has earned itself the reputation of being the ‘gateway between the east and the west’ also being one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Without a doubt a destination of the 21st century. Sunshine, shopping, seaside, sports and safety - five of the key ingredients that have earned Dubai a growing reputation as one of the world's most attractive and rapidly developing leisure destinations. If you’re looking to take advantage of all the city has to offer, look at the serviced apartments in Dubai available right here on Key One Holiday Homes. . A serviced apartment is the ideal way to stay in Dubai – you have all of the comforts of home, while being able to explore this great city.
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The United Arab Emirates sits proudly on the north-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and west and the Sultanate of Oman to the east and north. The country is made up of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, Umm AI Quwain, and Ras AI Khaimah. Abu Dhabi, which occupies over 80% of the country, is the biggest emirate, with Dubai the second largest.
Although Dubai represents vast stretches of desert land, there are over 3,500 plants endemic to the country, as well as extensive fauna. The birdlife here is reasonably extensive too, but it's the coastline, that is home to an impressive array of natural life, that really takes your breath away. A myriad of tropical fish, as well as a variety of sharks, dolphins and the dugong (sea cow) make up the awesome marine life, which draws divers and snorkellers from all over the world. With various breeds of turtle also indigenous to the region, you could be lucky enough to see Loggerhead, Green and Hawksbill turtles - three of the planet's most endangered species.
Dubai is well-known as the gateway between the East and the West infusing modernity and style with the traditional Arabic hospitality. Here you can take your pick from the world’s richest horse race and traditional sport of falconry, make merry at the night clubs, shop for the world’s biggest brands or go hunting for spices in primitive souks –Dubai has managed to achieve what other Arab cities have failed to do, create the right balance western influence and eastern tradition. Its culture is rooted in Islamic traditions that penetrate the Arabian peninsula and beyond, but the city’s visionary development is evident proof of an open-minded and liberal outlook.
Perpetual sun and clear blue skies sum up Dubai's weather. The emirate has a sub tropical and arid climate that gets very hot in the height of the summer. Rainfall is infrequent and normally only occurs in winter. Occasionally there are sandstorms when the sand is whipped off the desert. Temperatures range from a low of around 1 D'C (SD'F) in winter, to a high of 48C (118'F) in summer. The mean daily maximum is 24'C (7S'F) in January, rising to 41 'C (1 D6'F) in August.
The timeless values of Islam lie at the heart of Dubai’s living heritage providing a strength and inspiration that touches all aspects of everyday life. Ramadan is the holy month in which Muslims commemorate the revelation of the holy Quran and every healthy Muslim is expected to fast from dawn to dusk.
During daylight hours, those fasting and required to abstain from food, drinks and alcohol. The call for prayers at sunset marks the end of the fast for the day and before praying the fast is broken with dates and water. After breaking of the fast, the Iftar meal is eaten with family and friends. In the UAE, traditional Iftaar dishes include Harees (made with meat and cracked wheat), fareed (meat and vegetable stew) and lugamat (deep-fried dough balls with date syrup and honey). The timing of Ramadan is not fixed according to the Gregorian calendar and goes back approximately 11 days every year, subject to the positioning of the moon.
In Dubai Ramadan sparks the spirit of charity among residents as one of the biggest charity campaigns takes off during this time. Initiated by Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and the Ruler of Dubai, the campaign saw community organizations, sports, clubs, schools, businesses and philanthrophists championing the cause of poverty and social development in the world. In 2007, a whopping Dhs. 3.48 billion was raised to help educate poor children throughout the world.