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Golbe trotting: Dubai 世界走透透--杜拜

By Catherine Thomas  /  STAFF WRITER

A man rides his motorcycle with the Sheik Zayed highway towers in the background in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 10, 2006. 去年十二月十四阿拉伯聯合大公國杜拜境內,一名男子襯著謝赫薩耶得高速道路旁的高樓大廈騎著自己的摩托車。

PHOTO: AP

A low-duty shopper's paradise in the Persian Gulf, Dubai has pushed itself forward in the last 12 years to become a unique fixture of the United Arab Emirates and even of the world. Read on to find out more about the "Pearl of the Arabian Gulf."

杜拜是波斯灣內低稅購物者的天堂,過去十二年來,杜拜搖身一變,成為阿拉伯聯合大公國,甚至是全世界國家中的異數。往下讀,深入了解這顆「阿拉伯海灣上的珍珠」。

A closer look 說古論今

The first traces of inhabitants in Dubai date back to 8000BC. In the seventh century the Umayyads arrived to spread Islam. To this day, Islam is the official religion. In the late sixteenth century European colonialism led to an influx of ships. With India on the other side of the Arabian Sea, Dubai became a small but important trading post for British ships. Dubai had many pearl beds and the pearls were highly prized.

With heavily laden ships sailing along the gulf, pirates became a problem. The British sent its navy in 1820, and then formed a pact with several of the Emirates to bring the situation under control.

In 1833, the incumbent shiek was overthrown by a faction of the ruling family of the bigger and wealthier Abu Dhabi. The Maktoum family still rules to this day. Under the new leadership Dubai began to prosper. When Britain withdrew its military support form the Arabian Gulf, seven Emirates joined together to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai was sidelined in favor of Abu Dhabi, much to Dubai's chagrin.

Oil was discovered in the UAE. Dubai's Shiek Rashid was forward thinking enough to take the new-found wealth and use it to diversify the city. His actions were prudent — oil was a mere 6 percent of the GDP last year, and reserves are predicted to run out by 2010. Upon Sheik Rashid's death in 1990, power passed to his eldest son. In 1995, he appointed his younger brother, Shiek Mohammed, to power. Shiek Mohammed, affectionately referred to as the CEO of Dubai, put a vast program of development into motion. Under his guidance the Emirate has continued to prosper, and is pushing to become one of the world's top tourist destinations.

(Catherine Thomas, staff writer)

杜拜首批居民的出現可上溯至西元前八千年,第七世紀倭馬亞王朝來到此地,傳入伊斯蘭教,至今仍是官方宗教。十六世紀晚期大批船隻隨著歐洲殖民政策湧入杜拜,因為印度位於阿拉伯海另一側,杜拜對英國船隻來說便成為小卻重要的交易據點。杜拜擁有多處珍珠採集區,且珍珠價值極高。

波斯灣內往來的船隻因滿載貨物,海盜問題隨即而生,一八二○年,英國派遣海軍至此,並且與幾個阿聯成員簽署協定,才將情況控制下來。

一八三三年,當時在任的酋長被更強盛富裕的阿布

達比家族支派推翻,瑪可通家族統治至今,而杜拜在新的領導者帶領下也開啟了繁榮盛世。英國自阿拉伯海灣撤走軍事支援後,七個酋長國聯合組成阿拉伯聯合大公國,阿布達比的地位超越杜拜,令杜拜大感不快。

阿聯境內發現了石油,杜拜的謝赫.拉席德以前瞻

性的眼光,將這項新發現的財富,用於發展杜拜的多

樣面貌。他的作風謹慎,石油收入只佔去年GDP的6%

,而石油儲存量預計將在二○一○年耗盡。一九九○

年,謝赫.拉席德辭世,將權力傳給長子,一九九五年,他任命弟弟謝赫.穆罕默德掌權。人稱「杜拜執行長」的謝赫.穆罕默德大刀闊斧執行大規模計畫,在他的領導之下,阿聯得以持續興盛繁榮,並且朝著世界頂尖旅遊景點的地位邁進。(翻譯:鄭湘儀)

Who Knew? 你知道嗎?

Dubai boasts 46 shopping malls, the highest concentration per capita in the world. There are over 300 hotels, and the numbers are rising. These include the world's only 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, built on an artificial island. Dubai is currently undertaking the building of artificial islands that will double the Emirate's coastline. This plan includes the ambitious "The World," a scaled down version of the countries of the world. Dubailand is a theme park which will be the size of Singapore. Dubai has also opened the Middle East's first indoor sand ski slope. Shiek Mohammed has stated that he aims to make Dubai an essential business and tourist hub. The presence of regional headquarters of Citibank and Microsoft, the large presence of high profile Internet-based companies attracted by tax-free offers and the six million-plus foreign tourists a year seems to indicate his success. Unsurprisingly, Dubai is in the process of building the tallest building in the world.

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