Dubai History: from the desert to the city of future | MyLittleAdventure
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History of Dubai

It’s hard to imagine that a village could one day become a megapolis. But, the rulers of Dubai proved that it is not impossible. This is the story of Dubai, a city situated in the center of trade routes. We’ll divide the history of Dubai into two eras: before and after the discovery of oil.

The history of Dubai before the discovery of oil

In the 19th century, Dubai was a simple village on the shores of a creek. Due to its good position, the Dubai creek soon became an important fishing and pearl center. The market on the Deira side of the creek was famous in the whole Middle East.

Dubai has always hosted expatriate workers. Back in those times, Dubai accounted for 20,000 inhabitants. A quarter of its inhabitants were expatriates.

The Al Maktoum dynasty has played an important role. Sheikh Maktoum even made a deal with the British government. They made Dubai a British protectorate.

The pearl industry continued its rise until the appearance of the artificial pearl. Its growth hit the economy of Dubai. Therefore, the ruler of the country decided to refine his strategy. After the collapse of the pearl industry, Dubai became a re-export business port.

In these times, the United Arab Emirates didn’t exist. There were seven emirates including the most known Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. There was a conflict between Dubai and Abu Dhabi regarding their borders. The conflict even led to armed confrontations between these two emirates.

Old Dubai
Old Dubai

The history of Dubai after the discovery of oil

The 20th century Dubai began its expansion after the discovery of oil. The British troops left the region. It allowed the city to manage on its own. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the vice president, decided to develop Dubai. The rapid rise of oil prices allowed the city to focus on the infrastructure.

When Sheikh Rashid became a ruler, the Maktoum family decided to create the United Arab Emirates. In the earliest of the 1970s, the seven emirates made a coalition and formed the United Arab Emirates. Dubai and Abu Dhabi joined the UAE on the condition to retain the majority of control of the government. They even have veto power in the government for national security issues.

Despite that the capital of the United Arab Emirates is Abu Dhabi, Dubai is an economic and political center. Dubai has played a significant role in the development of culture, architecture throughout its history.

The discovery of oil allowed to get revenues and invest in the construction of public infrastructure. Dozens of schools, hospitals, roads, buildings, etc. were built. For instance, Sheikh Zayed Road is today lined with futuristic skyscrapers and modern infrastructure. The surrounding area of the road was desertic prior to the construction projects.

But the city has also seen less colorful days. For instance, the Persian Gulf War of 1990, in which UAE took place as a military assistant. It had a negative impact on the country’s overall economy. Fortunately, Dubai could recover from the economic depression and regain losses.

Back in the 1990s, Dubai decided to invest in infrastructure and become a major tourism destination. The decision was related to the limited remaining oil resources. According to some specialists, the oil in the UAE will definitely run out in 2019. So, the country opened to alternative sources of revenue to ensure its development.

Dubai under the construction
Dubai under the construstion

Dubai in modern times

Building out a metropolis from nothing is a huge challenge. The world economic situation is not advantageous. With the increase of tourist destinations, it’s difficult to stand out from the competition. However, Dubai’s business model could face this challenge.

Dubai is a major tourism, trade, and recreation center. It has a high quality of life, world-class hotels and numerous skyscrapers. These are the reasons why Dubai became one of the most visited cities in the world.

Dubai is an excellent city in different areas. For instance, the Dubai Financial Center accounts for over 2,000 companies. To boost investments and attract foreign investors, the government decided to create a tax-free zone. DIFC is a free zone and is one of the financial districts of Dubai city.

Dubai breaks records in every area. Here are some records of Dubai:

  • Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world (555,3m).
  • Dubai Desert is considered as the hottest desert in the world. The highest temperature recorded (48,3°) goes back to 1996.
  • Gevora Hotel Dubai is the tallest hotel in the world (356m).
  • Burj-al-Arab is considered to be the only 7-star hotel in the world.

Dubai has tall skyscrapers, artificial islands. The Palm Islands is a mega project as well. They contain Palm Jumeirah, Palm Deira, and Palm Jebel Ali. This increased the number of houses. It’s a set of residential communities and exotic beaches.

88,5% of Dubai’s population consists of expatriates. Currently, 117 origins are represented in the UAE. It means that Dubai is open to diversity. This is why Dubai is a safe place for western tourists.

The government is investing millions of dollars in the development of transport means. The city has a highly developed metro system with 3 lines. One of them is currently under construction. The metro has an automated control system.

Dubai is an entertainment city. It hosts huge annual events, like Dubai World Cup, Dubai Jazz Festival, and Dubai Rugby 7s. This is why it is one of the most modern cities of the 21st century.

Dubai in modern times
Dubai in modern times

Future of Dubai

Dubai shows that devoted rulers like Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid can lead the city to prosperity. This metropolis will never stop developing. Tourism will be an important source of revenue. The futuristic image of the city and its constant investments in infrastructure will be two key factors of growth.

In 2020, the World Expo 2020 will be organized in the emirate. Its duration is 6 months. The theme of the expo is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". This project is expected to create 277,000 new jobs. The UAE estimates an increase in the number of visitors up to 100,000 million.

Dubai is rich in creative solutions. This city is the best in everything. The government will also continue to make advantageous trade deals. They will always be open and accessible to leading enterprises. The lack of natural resources is no longer an obstacle to Dubai. They decided to invest in the development of tourism and the infrastructure.

Artificial islands
Artificial islands in Dubai

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