In two days time I am going on holiday to Dubai for a week, to escape cold miserable England and to spend my Christmas in the sun on a beautiful beach in in one of the world's most beautiful and interesting countries. Dubai has a colourful history, which I discovered on my first trip there, and in honour of my second visit I thought I would write a short blog about it.
The first human settlement in the Dubai was in approximately 3000 BC, when the area was inhabited by nomadic cattle herders. In the 3rd century AD, the Sassanid Empire took control until the 7th century, when Umayyad Calipahte took control and introduced Islam to the area. The area was sustained by fishing and pearl diving for a thousand years, with the first records of the town being made in 1799 when the Bani Yas clan established it as a dependency of Abu Dhabi. Dubai became a separate Sheikhdom in 1833, when the Al-Maktoum dynasty of the Bani Yas clan (initially from Abu Dhabi) took it over peacefully. The invention of artificial pearls in 1926 and the Great Depression in 1929 caused a collapse in the international pearl market, which resulted in Sheikh Saeed looking for an alternative source of income and Dubai becoming one of the leading re-export ports in the world. In 1966, oil was discovered in Dubai, which changed the country beyond recognition and led to Dubai becoming the vibrant, modern, business-centred city-state it is today.Once the first shipment of oil was made in 1969, the future of Dubai as an autonomous state was secured, and its ability to dictate policy in later years to the UAE was cemented.