Why is Dubai So Rich, Inspirational Case Study [2021]

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Why is Dubai rich? I could write dozens of reasons, But here is something really important. Dubai is the 4th most visited city after, Bangkok, Paris, and London. It’s is an extremely popular city in the whole world for traveling and business.

Dubai is a favorite spot for investors, Becuase it’s absolutely tax-free, There is no tax on property, Income, and capital gains.  ( While there are some)

And it takes 8 days and 6 simple procedures to start a business in Dubai, and the rulers of Dubai are working hard to make it easier.

Tourists love this city cause of its infrastructure, The huge skyscrapers, Largest gardens, floating restaurants, and many many more.

So here in this post, we are going to dive deeply into why is Dubai so rich?

Dubai GDP

Dubai’s GDP was approximately $400 billion this year, and in the last 7 years, GDP was something like this. Source

Dubai GDP Chart


Dubai was once just a fishing village with 700-800 people in it. It was back in the 18th century. Then it began to grow slowly and become a city, Where lots of people lived.

Dubai was first dependent on its pearl and fishing industry. Pearl industry was declining very fast as japan invented artificial flawless pearls.

So they needed some alternatives to these businesses, and that’s where they found something special.

Oil Discovery

Oil was discovered in 1966 and then shipped  2 years later in 1968 to other countries.  This was the time when the fate of Dubai shined.

This discovery gave a new life to Dubai at that time they really needed it Because everything was just going against them.

The money which came from the oil was used for building the infrastructure of the state. The oil was not enough to serve the country alone, unlike Abu Dhabi which’s fully dependent on its oil.

After the discovery, Dubai has nothing but oil, And now you can see it, Oil is just a little part of its GDP.

Why is Dubai Rich Now

Oil only counts for 1% of the total GDP of Dubai, It’s a miss conception that oil runs Dubai.

If that’s not the case then what’s making Dubai so successful, Why is Dubai rich? That’s exactly what we are looking for in this article.

Dubai Gdp Percenatage

1)Maritime Activities

Dubai’s Cargo port Jafza is the busiest port in the middle east, It’s spread over 57 square kilometers.

It’s a free economic zone that attracts other businesses with tax breaks, custom duty benefits, and no foreign ownership restrictions.

There are 144,000 Employees in Jafza, and they generate around $86 Billion worth of money. Which makes 21% of the total GDP of the country. ( source)

Jafza jabali ali free zone

That’s a huge number, it’s clear that Dubai strictly depends on its sea. A state which depended on its oil now depends more on its sea.

This is made possible becuase of the leadership qualities of Dubai Shiekhs, They think for the long term, and use resources to grow.

The Migrants

UAE has the 6th largest migrations rate. There is a total of 10% or fewer locals and 90% or more are just migrants, Which brings 90% of the workforce. ( source )

Dubai Migrants

Sheikh people are pretty clever, They use just their brains and use people to do what they want. They know we can get low-wage labor from middle east countries ( Pakistan, India, Nepal…).

The condition of Dubai is not really fair to work, It’s so hot that it reaches up to 50 Digress in June and July, So who would work for construction in such difficult conditions?

Well, Sheikh knows where are these people, They know these people will work in any condition.

When they have an idea, They use those migrants to shape their idea into reality. Sheikh don’t work themselves ever.  And it’s one of the biggest reasons for Dubai’s success. It is why Dubai is so rich and successful.

Their idea of life is, Think and Grow rich.

Related: Habits Of Successful People

2)Commitment To Trade

The next thing that makes Dubai so rich is Commitment to trade.

UAE Ranked 17th in ease of doing business in 196 countries, and Dubai is a part of it.

Dubai is interested in investors and Bussiness, It attracts them by making business very easy for them, and giving them so many opportunities, These rich dudes are not going anywhere.

Appreciated By World Bank

The World Bank report is happy with DUBAI’S reforms made for businesses,  By demanding fewer fees from business startups, easier construction permits by using a risk-based approach to reduce the number of inspections, improving minority investor protection.

Tax payment is made easy, You don’t have to be worried about it if you live in Dubai, It’s completely digitalized.

Trading across borders is also made easier. Unlike other countries, Which are fighting with one another, Dubai is busy making business with neighboring countries, and printing dollars.

Tax-Free System

They will do anything to make trade as easy as possible. There are many examples that I can quote here, First Dubai is tax-free in many cases.

For example, there is no tax on income, Surely that’s the biggest advantage of living in Dubai, Earn money and that’s yours, wooh I love it.

You can start a new business right in 8 days, with a super simple procedure.

Getting started with a new business is always a headache, But Dubai wouldn’t want its people to go throw that headache, so they made the process pretty easy.

Why wouldn’t anyone want to live in Dubai after this?

No Own Product

Thirdly, Dubai does not have any product of its own. Apart from oil, everything else in Dubai has been imported. Most of these imports are also free from taxation.

They encourage people to import things from other countries, and so Dubai makes it easy for them.

3) Construction And Real Estate

construction in dubai

Construction and real estate do contribute to the economy of a country, but in Duba’s case, it’s too much.

Dubai is extremely focused on its construction and real estate, side, Together these contribute to 13 percent of the total GDP.

Dubai sheik is bussy in making huge sky scrappers, He is a great visionary leader, The philosophy of the sheik is.

  • Either be number one.
  • Or be the only one.

Dubai sheik got an allergy to being average, He hates being average, and that’s why he will do anything to be the number in the world.


Uae and Dubai Construction

The analysis, based on recent data from BNC, IMF, Haver Analytics and Fitch Connect, revealed that the construction sector contributed an estimated 6.4 to Dubai’s GDP in 2019. Currently, there are 4,792 projects in Dubai, Which makes 42% of the total projects in the UAE. ( source )

There are 30,000 construction cranes working in Dubai, Which makes 25% of the world’s total cranes. Aluminum and its product are imported to Dubai with a value of $163 Billion ( 20015).

According to Statista, The Revenue of construction in Dubai in 2020 was 135 AED, (37 Billion Dollars) .

Real Estate

the value of the real estate transactions reached AED 223 billion (60 Us Billion dollars) in 2018, with a total number of transactions reached almost 53,000 in 2018. ( source)

Real estate contributes 7.4% to the total GDP of its state.

Mega Projects

The Reason construction and real estate produce a huge amount of revenue to the GDP are mega projects.

Dubai has no shortage of huge sky scrappers, the biggest parks, gold, and diamond… Anything you name it probably Dubai has already built it. So let’s see some of the most successful mega projects that are serving Dubai and its people a lot more.

dubai constructions and real estate


dubai mega constructions

1)Burj khalifa

Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, and probably you already know it. its height is 828 meters.

Aside from holding the world record for being the tallest building in the world, the Burj khalifa created some other records too,

  • The Burj Khalifa is also the tallest freestanding structure in the world.
  • This building holds the most number of stories in the world.
  • The most occupied floors in the world.
  • Burj khalifa has the observation deck in the world.
  • The elevator goes the biggest distance ever.

Burj khalifa with 160 stories brings a huge amount of money too. In 2019 alone it brought $1.68 billion only in net profit, This information was passed by Emaar chairman Muhammad Alabbar.

Burj Khalifa tickets cost from 61 up to 150 dollars for just a few hours, and that makes sense. Becuase after all the whole Dubai is going to be beneath your feet.

So if only one building can bring Dubai 1,68,00,000,0 Dollars in a year, Then why wouldn’t be Dubai rich?

2) Palm Jumeirah

palm jumeirah

I am not wrong if I call palm Jumeriah the 8th wonder of the world. Becuase it’s a man-made island. This island was created with sand and rocks artificially.

Dubai Shiekh is quite clever when it comes to construction, They always want more and more money, for that they made a tree-shaped island.

Why Tree Shape?

They could have made a circle-like island, but the problem with that would be fewer constructions, They would not be able to create this number of homes, hotels, and luxury apartments if it was circled.

And this is where the tree came into existence, They created it in a tree shape, So they could build more buildings inside Jumeira.  These Arab sheiks are quite clever when it comes to making money.

Cost of Living In Palm Jumeirah

  • Appartments can go from 1 Million US$ to 10 Million US$.
  • Canal Houses from 1 Million US$- 1.5 Million US$.
  • Signature houses 3 Million US$- 20 Million US$
  • Garden homes- 2.5 Million US-4 Million US$

Plus everything differs based on the location, size, and how much of the beach you want.


Dubai Palm Jumeirah made $1.2 Billion in 2018, While making $1.5 Billion in 2017, There is a little drop in profit but still, profit is in billions, not hundreds or thousands or millions.

3) Burj Al Arab

burj al arab dubai

The only seven-star hotel in the world, Burj al Arab.

There is nothing like a seven-star hotel in the whole world, but only in Dubai. It was when a British female media person visited Burj al Arab and then gave it the 7-start name.

She had no words to describe how beautiful and world-class Burj al Arab was, So she called it the “only seven start hotel in the world”.

It is the world’s 7th highest hotel, with 321 meters in height.

Burj al Arab revenue in 2016 was $4.58 Billion, with a net profit of 1.72 billion dollars.

2) Tourism

four toursits

There is no doubt that Tourism is one of the main sources of Dubai income. Since there are 90% migrants, It means there are a lot more tourists than you can expect.

The last 30 years have seen the population of Dubai grow to 2,785,000.

There are a few reasons people visit Dubai more than any other country in the world. So where we are going to dive into the main reasons why people visit Dubai.

Related: How TO Ditch 9-5 Job?

Safest City

Dubai ranked as the 7th safest city in the world, out of 376 cities in the world. that’s more than enough to tell why people visit Dubai.

Who does not like a safe and beautiful place? You don’t need to worry about anything if you are in Dubai, There is little to no crime.

Least Conservative

Dubai welcome’s the people of each religion, Dubai does not allow anyone to criticize someone on the basis of religion or culture.

It is not a religion or culture-specific country, anyone in this world can visit Dubai without any kind of fear.

The Mega Projects

dubai buildings

This is probably the best reason people visit Dubai Because Dubai has got something to offer for everyone.

If you are a lover of huge buildings, Dubai is your destination, if you love beautiful islands, it’s your place, There is nothing that Dubai doesn’t have.

From The tallest building in the world to the biggest artificial islands, to Hiehgest residential apartments in the world… ( Dubai Records)

These things attract people, and everyone want’s to see in their life at least once. And that is why people are rushing to Dubai like crazy.

Tourism Earnings

The latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) revealed an 11.5 percent contribution to the emirate’s GDP, capturing direct international tourism spending worth $27.9 billion. ( source)

The total number of visitors was 16.5 million in 2019.

Key Points

Here are the main reasons why Dubai is rich.

  • Dubai is not rich becuase of oil, The contribution of oil to GDP is 1% only.
  • Maritime activities, make a big percent of Dubai’s economy.
  • Dubai is not lucky, It’s the visionary leadership that makes Dubai rich.
  • The city focuses more on tourism, 16 million people visited it in 2019 alone.
  • Dubai is popular for its mega projects, Burj Khalifa, Burj al Arab, and Palm Jumeirah ( mostly).

Final Thoughts

Dubai in 2000 was just sand and dust, Which now is among the best cities in the world.

As I have already told you, it’s not the oil that makes Dubai rich, probably the most important thing is, the visionary leadership of Dubai sheiks.

They plan for the long term and then work on it. They will never create something ordinary, which is why Dubai is growing so fast.

So that’s the complete story about why Dubai is rich.

Do you have any suggestions for Dubai, Let me know, I will pass your comments to the Sheikh of Dubai.


Is Dubai Richest City In The World?

No, The richest city in the world is new your, With, Dubai ranks 12th in richest cities of the world.

What Happened to Dubai Land?

Dubai land was started in 2003, and it was supposed to be finished by 2010, but due to global financial crisis in 2009-10, which is why Dubai land was stoped. Some of its projects were completed like ( Dubai miracle garden) while other projects were stoped. and their land was sold.

What is Like To Live In Dubai?

Dubai is an expensive modern city, Where if you live you need to earn quite a lot. Apart from that, there is a huge possibility that you will encounter a penalty. For example, if your car is a little dirty you are going to pay for it, and so these kinds of penalties will give you a good headache.

What Are The Most Iconic Buildings OF Dubai?

These are the famous buildings in Dubai.

  1. Burj Khalifa.
  2. Burj Al Arab.
  3. Dubai World Trade Centre.
  4. Cayan Tower.
  5. Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
  6. JW Marriott Marquis.
  7.  Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
  8.  Princess Tower.

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