Dubai preview


There have been settlements where Dubai now stands for hundreds of years. As long ago as the fifth century AD, settlers from the Bedouin tribes chose to make Dubai their home. Over time the settlements grew into a small fishing village. However, a town did not develop here until the middle of the sixteenth century. Then it was the flourishing pearl industry which attracted people to the area and put Dubai on the map. It quickly became a popular stop on the trading route between east and west. In the nineteenth century, the ruling Al Maktoum family were able to capitalize on this. They recognized Dubai’s strategic position, wedged between Europe on one hand and Asia on the other, and introduced attractive policies and low taxes to encourage foreign traders and merchants to use Dubai as a trading post.

Despite becoming a trading center, Dubai did not develop a modern infrastructure. There was no running water and no real roads. It was not until the discovery of oil in 1966 that things began to change. This makes the city’s growth all the more remarkable. Today it has become a sprawling metropolis and the second largest of the seven Emirates. Somewhat surprisingly, Dubai is less reliant on oil revenue than many of…