The 'Pearl of the Arabian Gulf', the area of Dubai is 3885 km?, equivalent to 5% of the United Arab Emirates' total area excluding the islands. The Emirate's population is 20,03,170 (2011). A water creek known as Khour-Dubai, 10 Kilometres long, dividing the town into two divisions, penetrates Dubai City. The Southern division, known as Bur-Dubai, comprises the Ruler's office, head offices and major companies, banks, custom, port, broadcast station and postal authority. The most significant landmarks are the Dubai World Trade Center, the Zoo and Al-Jumeirah Coast Park. The Northern division, known as Diera, is the center of business and tourism and comprises most shops, markets, schools, hotels, clubs and Dubai International Airport. Al-Maktoum and Al-Garhoud Bridges and Al-Shindagah Tunnel, which passes under the creek, link the two divisions.
Jebel Ali area is considered one of the most significant industrial and commercial areas in the whole country. It has the largest free trade zone in the Middle East. Due to its location, Dubai has become a connecting link between the West and the Indian subcontinent, the Far East and Africa since time immemorial. Traditional Arab hospitality complemented by a highly sophisticated infrastructure have contributed to a perfect atmosphere for the development of tourism. Dubai is endowed with an extensive coastline, sandy beaches and varied landscape where a wide variety of activities can be indulged, ranging from powerboat races to sand skiing. Manicured golf courses provide ready enjoyment and for the less active, shopping opportunities abound. In addition, the country's deep-rooted cultural heritage, accessible in the many cultural centers, has been a powerful attraction for tourists. Dubai has also become a much sought after venue for conferences, regional and international exhibitions and major sports events.