Dubai’s rapid growth has caused it to become a leading power in world politics, members at Tuesday’s AIESEC meeting said.
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE, in its current form, was formed in 1971 with seven emirates and a prime minister. It was originally composed of sheikdoms, which are small Arab villages often led by a religious leader.
In 1892, the United Kingdom gained control of the area, and the first council was formed in 1952 to promote peace.
At the meeting, AIESEC members discussed the economics and the development of Dubai in recent years.
Most of the emirate’s drastic changes have taken place in the last four or five years. Its economy, which was based on fossil fuels, now relies on tourism and trade.
Tourism makes up 18 percent of Dubai’s economy, and the emirate is home to modern attractions for tourists, including Dubailand.
“Dubailand is kind of like Disneyworld,” AIESEC member Scott Anderson said.
Dubailand includes an entertainment complex and six theme worlds. In addition to Dubailand, architects constructed large hotels to attract tourists. The Burj Al-Arab is the world’s tallest and most expensive hotel, Anderson said. Officials in Dubai are building islands to bring real estate to Dubai. The Palm Jumeirah is a palm-tree-shaped island and is the world’s largest artificial island.
There are islands that are being constructed to represent the globe, with each island in the shape of a different country.
“Each island costs between $6 million and 35 million to buy,” AIESEC Impact Events Vice President Jessica Bukaty said.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, for example, bought an island that resembled Ethiopia.
Architects in Dubai constructed one of the largest malls in the world. There is a ski resort in the mall, complete with skiing and snowboarding.
While the government in Dubai spends large sums of money on building projects, there are problems in Dubai that go unnoticed, Bukaty said. Traffic in Dubai, for example, rivals that of major American cities.
“Dubai is among the world’s worst in traffic pollution and is contributing to the world’s worst air pollution,” Bukaty said.
Despite the traffic issues, public transportation has not developed to solve the problems.
The presentation attracted students with no previous connections to the region.
Sophomore Stephanie Wolf, an international business major, said she wanted to learn more about the area.
“I don’t know much about Dubai, but I to get involved more,” Wolf said.
Wolf said her desire to keep up with current events drove her to the presentation.