history of Dubai city: amazing factors you dont know before oil discovery vs current times

Walaa Alaghbar
Published 1 year ago on 1 June, 2023-590 views
history of Dubai city: amazing factors you dont know before oil discovery vs current times

The history of Dubai city is not hidden from anyone from the Arab world or even the West, but it carries with it historical mysteries that may be unknown to many. Just wanting to know the culture and history of it and discovering this unknown may lead you to move and travel through time on an interesting journey to the ancient history of this emirate. And this article of ours will be the boat you will be traveling on throughout this trip.


Establishment of the city of Dubai

Just imagining that a small village could one day become the largest city is almost impossible. But the rulers of the city of Dubai defied the impossible and made it a reality that we are witnessing today in our present day. To find out how Dubai became what it is today as a capital city and what caused its development and how it was previously, we must know the history of Dubai city which is divided into two eras:

  • Dubai history Before the discovery of oil.
  • After the oil was discovered.

 Dubai is located in the middle east on the persian gulf coast in UAE. It is believed that the city of Dubai was a fishing village established in the late eighteenth century until it became, after a period of time, a town of approximately 700 people from the Bani Yas tribe under the rule of Sheikh Tahnoun bin Shakhbout in Abu Dhabi.

The first to establish the modern Emirate of Dubai and the co-founder of the United Arab Emirates is Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1971.

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Historical periods of Dubai (dubai history facts)

Until the city of Dubai reached the evolutionary stage that we are witnessing in our current era, it went through many obstacles, stage after stage and step by step, with steady steps towards development and progress. It may be hidden from some people these historical stages that the city of Dubai went through throughout its history, but whoever researches the history of Dubai city, whether through records or through manuscripts or visits to the museums, will be able to discover the greatness of this historic country.

Early minoan period of history of dubai city

Dubai’s roots go back as far back as the Minoan era, and the site on which the city is centered was once a vast swamp of mangroves. The herds of Bedouin cattle in the Bronze Age are the first to settle there.

And with the advent of the year 2500 BC, they carried out the first successful process of agriculture, so they planted date and palm trees until the year 500 BC. The Jumeirah area was previously a transport station across the trade route linking Oman and Iraq, and it is now an area full of beautiful restaurants near the beach.

The Bani Yas tribe from (1000 to 1700)

 The earliest mention of dubai dates back to 1097 when the Andalusian geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri mentioned it in his book of Geography. At that time, living was mainly limited to fishing and pearling. And the next milestone in the history of the United Arab Emirates or dubai history came when the village of Bani Yas seized the political power of Abu Dhabi and  Dubai became a dependency in 1739.

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The walled city in early 1800s

Dubai in the early nineteenth century was a walled city, then Al-Fahidi Fort was built. On the Deira side, the Al Ras area was also walled. What made Dubai a center of activity is British negotiating with the local rulers, and this treaty means opening trade routes between countries all over the world.

Al Maktoom dynasty (1833 to 1893)

Maktoum bin Butti led his people in 1833 towards the Shindaqa peninsula, and with all the tremendous changes that the Emirates witnessed today, the rule is still in the hands of Al Maktoum.

Welcoming expatriates 

It began to flourish in the city of Dubai in 1894 when did dubai start developing with the tax exemption law for expatriates. A large number of expatriate workers came to the city, including Indians and Pakistanis. Nevertheless, the basis of living remained on fishing until the discovery of natural oil.

The boom of Dubai (the present)

With this discovery, the ruler Sheikh Saeed bin Rashid began developing the region, where instead of groups of small settlement of Dubai Creek, he established commercial centers, Jebel Ali Port, bur dubai, dubai city tower, and Port Rashid until Dubai exploded in its growth with the construction of many wonders such as the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa that is closely associated with the metropolis.

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Modern dubai

And now, Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates in our current era, we are witnessing the tremendous development and progress that the city of Dubai has reached, whether it is a cultural, civilized, social and economic development, with its amazing building,  skyscrapers, luxury restaurants, hotels, city tower, Dubai museum, and international shopping centers in it. 

Nevertheless, it still preserves all its antiquities, heritage, and historical  written record of Dubai in its museums, so that it is a destination worthy to visit for all tourists wishing to explore its history. And we advise choosing the winter season to make a tribe when the weather is much cooler in (oct, nov, des, jan, feb).

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Timeline of dubai history

History of dubai city timeline

The history of the city of Dubai has recorded some notable events over time. The following timetable will show you, sequentially, the most prominent events that took place in this country over the centuries:

1971The openi g of Dubai International Airport.
1979The opening of Jebel Ali port, and the trade grew rapidly which helped attract oversea investments.
1985The launch of Emirates Airlines.
1996Dubai held the World Cup for the first time and the opening of the Shopping Festival.
1999The opening of the Burj Al Arab and calling it the only seven-star hotel in the world.
2002Sheikh Mohammed launched the Internet and strives to create a new Dubai.
2003The beginning of large and ambitious projects.
2010Burj Khalifa turned out to be the tallest man-made tower on Earth.

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What is the story behind Dubai?

Dubai is a city located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. The history of Dubai dates back to the early 18th century when it was a small fishing village. The city’s name is derived from the Arabic word “daba” which means to creep or crawl, referring to the slow flow of Dubai history Creek.
Dubai history In the late 19th century, Dubai became an important trading hub due to its strategic location between Europe and Asia. The discovery of oil in the 1960s transformed Dubai into a wealthy city and led to rapid development and modernization.
Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, played a significant role in shaping the city’s future. He invested heavily in infrastructure, including building roads, airports, and seaports. He also established tax-free zones and encouraged foreign investment.
In recent years, Dubai has become known for its luxurious lifestyle, modern architecture, and tourism industry. The city is home to some of the world’s tallest buildings, including Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. It also hosts several international events such as Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai World Cup.
Overall, Dubai’s story is one of transformation from a small fishing village to a global metropolis that attracts millions of visitors every year.

How did Dubai get so rich?

Dubai’s wealth is primarily due to its oil reserves, which were discovered in the 1960s. The government invested heavily in infrastructure and development, transforming the city into a global hub for trade, finance, and tourism. Dubai also has a strategic location between Europe and Asia, making it a key transportation hub for goods and people. Additionally, the government has implemented policies to attract foreign investment and businesses, such as tax incentives and free trade zones. This has led to the growth of industries such as real estate, construction, and hospitality.

What made Dubai famous?

Dubai is famous for its modern architecture, luxury shopping, vibrant nightlife, and extravagant lifestyle. It is also known for its iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island shaped like a palm tree. Additionally, Dubai has become a hub for business and tourism in the Middle East, attracting millions of visitors every year. And that is the whole reason of diffrence between the past dubai vs now dubai.

What did Dubai used to be called?

Through history of Dubai city it used to be called “Al Wasl” in Arabic, which means “connection” or “union”.


At the conclusion of our article, we find that the history of Dubai city is rich with historical events over time, to the extent that discovering it may take a lot of time and effort. But when you dig deeper, you will discover how amazing the culture and history of this city is, that it is worth all the effort.

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