Sunday 28 May 2023 (UAE)

History of Dubai, UAE

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A Brief History of Dubai

Dubai as a town or city has existed for much longer than the past two or three decades during which it gained prominence in the modern world - it wasn't until 1969 that oil was first exported from Dubai. Before the business, oil and tourist sectors developed, it was already a significant trading port in addition to having a pearl diving and fishing industry.

Going back a little further, there have been tombs found in the Jumeirah area which date from the second century BC and older tombs found elsewhere in the UAE. It is likely that people lived in the UAE region as far back as 5000 BC. In 1095 AD there is a written record of Dubai and Dibba is mentioned as a well-known Arab market during the time of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Dubai and some of the other emirates are mentioned in the writings of a pearl merchant from Venice (unlikely that it was THE Merchant of Venice however) in the 16th century.

By the turn of the last century in 1900, Dubai was already on the map as a trading hub. Even then, a large component of its 20,000 population was made up of foreigners.

On 02 December 1971, the UAE came into being (six emirates at first with Ras Al Khaimah signing up on 10 February 1972) and replaced the Trucial States.

Restoration of historic buildings in Dubai and UNESCO
Historic Landmarks in Dubai

As of 01 September 2006, government department weekends will change from Thursday/Friday to Friday/Saturday. This will probably not affect opening hours of historic tourist sights but you may want to double-check if going anywhere on a Saturday.

Dubai Municipality Historical Buildings Section
Updated Tuesday 15-Jun-2010
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Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

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