Exploring the Rich History of Dubai – A Journey

history of dubai

The history of Dubai is opulent, much like the city itself. Where once a fishing village rested on the coast of Arabian gulf now stands towering skyscrapers. Now a bustling metropolitan, Dubai’s evolution is inspirational.

Just a barren land of deserts, Dubai’s first progress came with the discovery of oil in the 1960s. Fueled by the dreams of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, this city quickly developed into a bustling metropolitan that would be the talk of the world!

Ancient Dubai and its Origin

The roots of this land can be traced back to the Minoan period dating back to the year 3000 BC. Based on archeological evidence, Dubai was a marsh land, covered with mangroves. However, by the year 2500 BC, it had been converted into date palm plantation which marked the beginning of agriculture. Bedouins who were cattle herders by profession were the very first to settle down in this land.

The Start of Bedouin lifestyle

Bedouins were a nomadic community from the land of Arabia who embraced the land of Dubai and settled there to access the trading routes which connected it to Asia, Africa as well as Europe, making it a geographical gemstone. Trading and bartering precious items such as gold, silk and pearls, the Bedouins established the very first trade business in Dubai.

Developing Trade in Dubai

Dubai was the perfect trade hub, having access to the Arabian gulf, water trade routes had also opened up for the Bedouins who established a bustling hub. Merchants from all over the globe started frequenting the location and with that they brought a vibrant culture and trading community. Apart from pearls, dubai came to be widely known for its textile and even fishing trades.

Discovery of Oil

The 1960s marked a turning point in the history of Dubai. It was the discovery of oil reserves which led to the boom of the economic landscape, raising Dubai to global attention. Rapid urbanization of Dubai came to be because of the potential that the ruling Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum saw from the oil trade.

YearOil Reserves (Barrels)
196613.6 million
197542.7 million
199598.6 million
202097 billion
Overview of Dubai’s Oil Reserves

Sources: Dubai Statistics Center, UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

As time progressed, Dubai unlocked another milestone by receiving the first ever shipment of oil in the year 1969. From then onwards, Dubai’s oil reserves have multiplied, adding to more growth, progress and development of the economy and its culture. But the city has not only relied on its oil reserves for economic progress, over time, the city has branched out to multiple other industries such as tourism, finance, real estate, etc.

Formation of the United Arab Emirates

Independence and Formation of UAE

Dubai gained independence in the year 1833 from Abu Dhabi. Bani Yas tribe leader Maktoum bin Butti became the first ruler, marking a significant pace in Dubai’s history of autonomous growth and progress. However, Dubai truly flourished with the formation of the United Arab Emirates in the year 1971, when the constitution was signed at the Dubai Union House, joining seven Emirates together. Dubai has been known to have played a significant role in the formation of the UAE with its immense economic influence and diplomacy.

History of Dubai

Union House

According to historian Dr. Fatima Al Darmaki, “Union House stands as a testament to the unity and determination of the UAE’s founding fathers. It is a symbol of strength and collaboration, representing the shared aspirations and vision of the emirates.”

UAE’s formation had marked a significant moment for Dubai. With the location of constitution signing being at the Union House, Dubai gained a true sense of freedom and independence to make decisions. Being a powerhouse of economy, thanks to global trades and diplomatic relations, Dubai has seized all opportunities and quickly transformed itself into the go to international destination which attracts investors, businesses, and visitors from all over the world!

Dubai Pearl Trade Industry

Gaining popularity in the late 19th and 20th centuries, Dubai came to be known as the go to hub for pearl trade. Pearl diving took the center stage of commercial activities and attracted divers from all across! Adding more prosperity to Dubai’s economic rise, the pearling industry truly became a booming business trade.

Dubai’s pearls gained international reputation and popularity which further harnessed the city’s economic prospects. The best part of this industry is that it is strictly regulated to ensure quality and ethical practices, making Dubai pearls a true international gem!

Dubai’s Legacy of Trade

The entrepreneurial skills of the Bedouin settlers have set the bar for trade and commerce. Honing all of the credit to Dubai’s wealth, the land which was once covered in marsh is now a transformed epicenter of commerce and trade. And as an honor and remembrance to its early settlers and ancestors, Dubai proudly celebrates the culture along with its roots through festivities, monuments and heritage sites.

With the growth in economy, and rich history of Dubai, the city has crafted many architectural marvels. Romancing the skies of Arabian gulf, Dubai skyscrapers promise many memorable moments and a walk down the rich history of the city.

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