The History Of Dubai
Getting There - Where To Stay - Getting Around
Exploring The Emirate - Historical Background To Dubai' Development
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While the earliest mention of Dubai is said to date back to 1095 AD, pre-Islamic ceramics have been found that are said to date back as far as the 3rd and 4th Century. Islam is said to have been introduced to the area around the 7th century by the Umayyads, regarded as the first Muslim dynasty. Part of the lack of actual written history is said to be due to the fact that the region is steep in the tradition of keeping oral history through generations.
In 1580, Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi visited the area and mentioned Dubai for its pearling industry. This is important because the earliest recorded settlement in the region dates back to 1799, indicating that because of Dubai’s strategic location in regards to the Persian Gulf and easy access to other trading locations such as Iran, Dubai relied on the pearling industry for economic trade for Centuries.
Also, with Dubai coming under the protection of the United Kingdom by way of the Exclusive Agreement of 1892, the Emir of Dubai continued to attract foreign traders with Dubai’s geographical location and lower trade tax brackets. In 1912, Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum became the first Ruler to rule for a long period of time and is considered by many as one of the fathers of Dubai. Under his rule, the fishing and pearling trade industry continued to thrive.
While Dubai has remained an important port of call, unfortunately Dubai’s pearl exports industry was irreparably damaged due to World War 1 and the Great Depression in the 1930s. After a brief border war with Abu Dhabi in in 1947 and a British arbitration, a rebound of sorts began to take place.
During the 1950s, Dubai set up telephone and electricity services along with the addition of an airport. During this time Dubai continued to grow in services as well as continuing to explore for more resources. This all came to fruition around 1962 with the discovery of oil. At that time, Ruler Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, with the discovery of oil, is regarded as a main reason for the expansion of Dubai.
With this discovery came concessions to international oil companies that led to foreign workers coming to Dubai in massive quantities. By 1975 Dubai’s population grew by 300%. In 1971 on December 2nd, the United Arab Emirates was formed, and in 1973 adopted their own currency, the Dirham.
With the discovery of oil, Dubai was set to advance as not only as an Emirate, but as an economic leader in the region. Since the mid 1970s, Dubai has enjoyed a steady economical growth that has allowed it to develop one of the best urban infrastructures in the world. From that time on, here are some of the major accomplishments that have continued to push Dubai further into the future as a world leader.
• 1979 - With the opening of Dubai World Trade Center, the city’s first high rise, Dubai was on its way to realizing the potential for other unique and ambitious architectural projects. This was also the year that the Jebel Ali port was opened.
• 1985 - Overseas investments received a big boost with the inauguration of the Jebel Ali Free Zone. Emirates Airlines was also launched this year.
• 1996 - While the Dubai World Cup was held for the first time, the Dubai Shopping Festival was also launched.
• 1999 - This was the year that the Burj Al Arab opened and was hailed as the world’s first 7-star hotel.
• 2002 - Laying the foundation for New Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed allows private ownership for foreigners and launches Internet and Media City.
• 2003 - This was the year that Dubai saw the beginning of such ambitious projects as the Burj Khalifa. The tallest free standing building in the world, the Burj Khalifa serves as a beacon for the service and tourism industry, as well as progress, and international cooperation and ingenuity in Downtown Dubai, and stands at 2,722 feet. Plans for over 200 man-made islands such as The Palms was also in the works.
• 2006 - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum becomes Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum also continues to put Dubai on the fast track of becoming a global hub for tourism and business as well as cultural unity and understanding.
• 2009 - The Dubai Metro and Emirates Terminal 3 are launched furthering Dubai’s goal of advancing its infrastructure for increasing air and road traffic.
• 2010 - The plans for the Burj Khalifa to become the tallest man-made structure on earth becomes a reality.
• 2011 - With a trade surplus of a recorded $94 million in 2011, the UAE is continuing to show itself as the premier hub for global commerce and connecting businesses worldwide.
As you can see, Dubai has experienced rapid growth in regards to infrastructure advancement and in worldwide stature. Also, moving into the future with the visionary leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum procuring such events as the 2020 World Expo only pushes Dubai to keep growing in all areas. The Emirate will require around $43 million to help expand the hotel and leisure industry, and approximately $10 million will go towards improving transportation.
In a region rich with culture and humble beginnings as pearl traders and fisherman, Dubai has come a long way in becoming a beacon for harmonious cultural diversity and world respected economic growth.
The following video displays the history of the UAE, the collection of states of which Dubai is just one.
With Dubai having become a global leader in tourism as well as a business gateway to the Middle East and Africa in the space of around 20 years, it's easy to look on those years as the most important in its history.
But as with any country, the history behind what you can easily see is often much deeper than it first appears. In the case of Dubai, it definitely does have a much richer and storied history than it first appears.
With Dubai’s man-made islands, 5-star hotels, amazing shopping malls, and gravity defying skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, one can also forget that it wasn’t until around 1962 that oil was discovered in the region and set the UAE and the Emirate well on its way towards becoming a global leader in business as well as a melting pot of cultural diversity.
Dubai is located in the UAE - a country that is comprised of 7 individual Emirates - and holds the honour of having the largest population in the UAE. Dubai is located on the UAE’s northern coastline and its population calls the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf home.
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The video below takes you on a pictorial guided tour of dubai's history.
Released at the end of March 2014, this video entitled 'The Journey’ is based on the life of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and more importantly the developments that Dubai has seen under his leadership.
As such, it's a great portrayal of Dubai's recent history, clearly demonstrating the ambitious plans and achievements which the Emirate has enjoyed.
It uses 3D graphics to show an electronic map with video clips and rare images that take you through many of the developments Dubai has seen. Together these build a revealing picture of the more recent past.