History of Dubai - How The City With the World's Largest Everything Began
Flaunting its glittering infrastructure amid the extensive sand dunes, the city of Dubai is nestled along a sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf. The city bustles with a potpourri of cultures from all corners of the world sharing a sphere of peace. Once known to be barren land, today this man-made miracle has managed to turn heads like never before. So, where did it all start for this megacity? Let's delve into the history of Dubai to uncover its origins.
Where It All Began
The history of Dubai dates back to 3000 BC or the Bronze Age. During the 5-7th centuries AD, Dubai became a famous trade route connecting Oman to what is now known to be Iraq. The livelihood of the people of Dubai during that time was based around pearling, fishing and building boats. The trade routes became very famous and soon started receiving footfall from Europeans and Portuguese.
A few centuries later in the year 1793, people of the Bani Tribe (one of the tribes of Dubai) rose in number in Dubai because of which they were able to reign over the political sphere of Dubai. This threatened the position and sentiments of the other tribes of Dubai and so this period In Dubai’s history is marked with a lot of riots between these tribes. On the other hand, the trade routes had gained a lot of momentum. The British were looking for expanding their reach and thus sought to bond with local rulers. They were successful in creating maritime truces with the Dubai Sheiks, and this led to the area being called the Trucial Coast. Dubai, since time immemorial, has been blessed with a vast stock of pearls. It is true now and was right then. This was one of the reasons the city attracts hordes of people from all over the world.
A while after that, Maktoum Bin Butti, a leader from the Bani Yas tribe along with few of his tribesmen, moved to the Shindagha Peninsula. This move had a very significant impact on the history of Dubai, as this is how Abu Dhabi came to be. The dynasty created by Maktoum Bin Butti to rule over all of Dubai still holds that position. Abu Dhabi still has a great hold and is the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Slowly and steadily, Dubai grew. It started working more on its economy, and soon enough, it was tagged as the principal port on the gulf coast. Pearling was still the main activity to be carried out.
What happened in18th century changed the economy of the country and had a huge impact on the history of Dubai. In 1902, Dubai saw a massive influx of Arab settlers and Iranian traders. This was followed by the introduction of tariffs on Iran’s port, also known as Lingeh port. Dubai’s trade bloomed and has been flourishing since.
Around the 1950s, oil was discovered near the Trucial States. In 1966, oil was found in the Fateh’s oil field. As opposed to the general thought, the discovery of oil in Dubai is a rather recent phenomenon. But given Dubai’s reach and communication, it has benefitted from it immensely in such a short period.
The boom of Dubai as a megacity is because of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was the ruler during the beginning of the 21st century, exactly when the growth started. This lead to massive growth in the social, economic and cultural scenario transforming Dubai to the metropolitan giant it is now from the rich Arab lands it was prior. From Bedouin settlements to skyscrapers, Dubai as an Emirate has come a long way.
Important Milestones in the History of Dubai
1971: Dubai International Airport opened.
1979: Jebel Ali port opened which eased travel to and from Dubai. Trade grew at an exponential rate. This also helped in attracting considerable overseas investment.
1985: Emirates airlines was launched
1996: Dubai held the World Cup held for the first time. This was also the year Dubai hosted its first ever Shopping Festival.
1999: Burj Al-Arab was inaugurated and tagged the world's only seven-star hotel.
2002: Sheikh Mohammed launched the Internet and sought to create a “New Dubai”.
2003: Ambitious projects began, including the world's tallest tower, also known as Burj Khalifa.
2010: Burj Khalifa became the tallest manmade structure on earth.
Dubai is one of those few cities in the world that hit overnight development. The history of Dubai shows that the city grew from being a place famous for pearling to a cosmopolitan city with ultramodern architecture and the best of the facilities. And the best part about the city is, it will never stop growing!