Gulf Tiger

DEFINITION of 'Gulf Tiger'

A colloquial term for the glittering city and emirate of Dubai in the Middle East nation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai staked its claim as a tiger economy following several years of double-digit economic growth from the mid-1990s onwards. While oil exports formed the initial foundation for the economy, over the decades, Dubai has diversified into other areas of economic activity such as real estate, construction, trade and financial services.


Also known as Arab Gulf Tiger.

BREAKING DOWN 'Gulf Tiger'

Dubai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the region, with the largest population and second-largest land area of the seven emirates in the UAE. It is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula. In the first decade of the 21st century, Dubai's building boom led to the construction of some of the world's tallest buildings and biggest projects, including the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building - and the Palm Islands. Dubai's bustling Port Jebel Ali is the world's largest man-made harbor and the biggest port in the Middle East. Dubai was severely affected by the economic downturn in the aftermath of the 2008 global credit crisis, as a result of which several major projects ground to a halt.