Dubai is the second largest and the most populated emirate of the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula. Evidence of nomadic herding people dated back to 3,000 C.E. From 3,000 C.E. there has been evidence of eternal farming-based settlements. From the 7th century AD, Dubai was a part of the pre-Islamic community directed by the Sassanian Empire. Then later this region was occupied by the Umayyad Caliph Group, who introduced the religion, Islam here. He was a political and religious leader of a great empire stretching from Spain to India. The Dubai area began to flourish through coastal industries such as pearl diving and fishing with increased trade routes.
The next milestone in the history of Dubai comes in the early part of the 19th century, when 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe, directed by the Maktoum family, settled down here at the mouth of the creek in 1833. The creek was a natural port that marked Dubai’s eminence as a main pearling and fishing centre in the 19th or 20th centuries. The pearl diving industry collapsed in the late 19th century due to the two world wars and it had an effect on trade routes and global thrifts.
In the 20th century, Dubai’s economy mainly depends upon fishing and marked Dubai as a successful port. Here they developed a souk on the Deira side of the creek. It was a larger coast with 350 shops that significantly attracts visitors and businessman. In the 1930s the population was nearly 20,000, a quarter of whom were refugees.
In the 1950s the creek starts a slit in creek due to a large number of ships here. Dubai’s late ruler, HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Makhtoum decided to resolve this issue having the waterway dredged. It was a ruthless costly and visionary project. The project resulted in an increased volume of Cargo handling in Dubai. As a result, it strengthened the position of Dubai as a major trading and re-export hub. He also played an important role in the development and implementation of several projects such as Al Shindagha Tunnel, Dubai World Trade Centre and Dubai Drydocks.
Another milestone comes in the mid-20th century, was the discovery of oil in 1966 at Fateh Oil Field. The economy of Dubai began to flourish upon the first export of oil in 1969. Oil discovery changed everything. Eventually, after this Dubai transferred its currency from the rupee to the riyal. From the creation of currency, Sheikh Rashid began developing a modern and strong infrastructure network of the city and transformed it into a mega city. After this, in 1971 Dubai and Abu Dhabi with five other emirates united to form a UAE. It was decided that Dubai and Abu Dhabi will have a major role over the country and have a veto power to decide matters of national importance.
HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became UAE president soon after the formation of the United Arab Emirates and held this position till he died in 2004. Under the leadership of these two great leaders Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Makhtoum, the UAE developed into one of the world’s richest countries. Dubai also developed strategic plans to enhance its popularity as an internationally well-known tourist place in the 1990s. Dubai also opened seven-star hotel, Burj Al Arab in the 1990s. It is one of the most popular and expensive cities in the Middle East. Dubai is a place of immigrants from Africa and Asia who have come to the desert city to work in a variety of fields.
The history of Dubai could be concluded as the story of change. From humble beginnings to one of the world’s most innovative places, with daily flights, there has never been a better time to explore this fascinating city. So, it could say that it is the journey from the land of sand to the land of opportunity. From a small fishing village, Dubai has come a long way to establish itself as one of the world’s most protuberant trade centres.