A brief history of Dubai

Dubai is now a business and tourism hot-spot, and the region stretches all the way from Egypt to the Indian Sub-continent and from South Africa to what are now called the CIS countries.

Its history initially started in 1833, when 800 members of the nomadic Bani Yas tribe, led by the Maktoum Family cleverly settled at the mouth of a creek, which ultimately flourished, due to its abundance of natural resources, and became a busy fishing port, renowned for its pearls. In only half a century, it flourished spectacularly and on the Deira side of the creek, was situated the largest souk on the coast, with hundreds of outlets and businesses. In only one hundred years, Dubai’s population had grown to almost 20,000, expatriates numbering a full quarter of the population.

However, in the 1950s disaster struck. Due to the frenetic activity of the passing traffic of ships, the creek began to silt and collapse. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the late ruler of Dubai, commenced a visionary and costly mission to industrialise further, thus strengthening Dubai’s position as a major trading port.

In 1966, oil was discovered in his country, and Sheikh Rashid utilized this new-found wealth to modernise Dubai with breath-taking speed and foresight, spending vast amounts on amongst others, hospitals, schools, roads and a modern telecommunications network. In addition, a port and terminal building were built at Dubai International Airport. Also the largest man-made harbour in the world, at Jebel Ali, was constructed. As a result of this visionary foresight, Dubai became a magnet for both entrepreneurs and tourists alike, keen to enjoy ex-patriot friendliness and accommodation, and low import duties, and zero tax on both personal and corporate income.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was created in 1971, a long-held dream of creating a federation for its rulers, and thus includes Dubai, Sharjah , Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, and, Ras Al Khaimah joined in 1972, thus creating the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE has morphed into one of the richest countries in the world.

Dubai took a decision in the 1980s and early 1990s to become a major “high end” tourist destination, and this decision has paid off handsomely, with Dubai boasting unmatchable hotels, inspiringly remarkable architecture, and world-class entertainment and sporting events-this-in addition to one of the most sought-after shopping destinations in the world.

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