History of Dubai

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Image of Sheikh Zayed Road taken in 1990
Image of Sheikh Zayed Road taken in 2004
Simplified family tree showing the line of succession and dates in power - click to enlarge

The History of Dubai can be traced back to the earliest recorded mention of Dubai in 1095 CE, in the Arabic book Mojam Ma Ostojam men Asmae Al belaad wal Mawadhea (معجم ما استعجم من أسماء البلاد والمواضع مازن محمد اغا) by Abdullah Bin Abdu Aziz Al Bakri Al Andalasi. He refers to 'Dubai' as a vast place. Later, in 1587, the Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi mentions the name of Dubai as one of the places where Venetians worked as pearl divers.

The Al-Fahidi Fort was built in 1787, in what is now part of Dubai. It is preserved as the Dubai Museum.

There are records of the town of Dubai from 1799. Early in the 18th century the Al Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in Dubai, which remained a dependent of the settlement of Abu Dhabi until 1833. On 8 January 1820, the sheikh of Dubai was a signatory to the British sponsored "General Treaty of Peace" (the General Maritime Treaty).

In 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over the town of Dubai, "without resistance". From that point on, Dubai, a newly independent emirate was constantly at odds with the emirate of Abu Dhabi. An attempt by the Qawasim to take over Dubai was thwarted. In 1835, Dubai and the rest of the Trucial States signed a maritime truce with Britain and a "Perpetual Maritime Truce" about two decades later. Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom (keeping out the Ottoman Turks) by the Exclusive Agreement of 1892. Like four of its neighbors, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position on the route to India made it an important location.

In March 1892, the Trucial States (or Trucial Oman) were created.

The rulers of Dubai fostered trade and commerce, unlike the town's neighbors. The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen (chiefly Indians), who settled in the town. Until the 1930s, the town was known for its pearl exports.

After the devaluation of the Gulf Rupee in 1966, Dubai joined the newly independent state of Qatar to set up a new monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai riyal. On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and four other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971. Ras Al Khaimah joined the UAE in 1972 as the seventh emirate. In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a single, uniform currency: the UAE dirham.

[edit] Rulers of Dubai

The following is a list of rulers of Dubai, Al Abu Falasa dynasty, going back at least to 1833.

The current ruler of Dubai is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Like the preceding ruler, his older brother Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he is also the Vice President and the Prime Minister of the UAE.

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