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, such as the world’s tallest Burj Khalifa, in addition to ambitious development projects including man-made islands, hotels, and some of the largest shopping malls in the region and the world. Dubai’s property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008–2009 as a result of the worldwide economic downturn following the financial crisis of 2007-2008. However, a 2013 report by the Oxford Business Group said that Dubai was making a gradual recovery with help coming from neighboring emirates. As of 2012, Dubai is the 22nd most expensive city in the world, and the most expensive city in the Middle East.
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