WELCOME TO THE DESERT’S MOST EXCITING CITY
Welcome to Dubai, city of merchants, cultural crossroads, second largest of the seven United Arab Emirates. A country where the dust of the desert is clearing to reveal the potential for one of the most significant international cities of the 21st century.
With enormous construction and development in various industries, Dubai has attracted world-wide attention through innovative real estate projects, sports events, conferences and Guinness records. However, this increased attention, coinciding with its emergence as a world business hub, has also highlighted potential human rights issues concerning its largely immigrant workforce.
The earliest recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095 AD, in the Arabic book "Mojam Ma Ostojam men Asmae Al belaad wal Mawadhea" (معجم ما استعجم من أسماء البلاد والمواضع) by Abdullah Bin Abdu Aziz Al Bakri Al Andalasi. He refers to 'Dubai' as a vast place. Later, in 1587 AD, the Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi mentions the name of Dubai as one of the places where Venetians worked, diving for pearls.
There are records of the town of Dubai from 1799. Earlier in the 18th century the Al Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in Dubai which was 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.
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. Oil was discovered 120 kilometers off the coast of Dubai, after which the town granted oil concessions.
On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971. In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a single, uniform currency: the UAE dirham.
The following is a list of rulers of Dubai, Al Abu Falasa dynasty , going back at least to 1833.
The International Airports Organization (IAO) statistics revealed Dubai’s iconic international airport recording a 20 per cent growth in the number of flights and passengers in the first six months of 2006 compared to the corresponding period last year, the second-highest in the world. The airport also accounted for 30 per cent of the 70 million passengers that used Middle East airports. The Dubai Government expects the airport to handle at least 30 million passengers by 2010, up from the 24.5 million passengers in 2005. Flight movements in the first half of 2006 increased by 11.4 per cent over the same period last year, from 94,795 to 106,546 take-offs and landings. The Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) authorities says Dubai International Airport would be capable of handling 70 million passengers when the current $4.1 billion expansion involving the construction of Concourse 2 and 3, along with the new underground Terminal 3 is complete. In addition, another AED30 billion is being invested in the development of Jebel Ali Airport City over an area of 140 square kilometers. Dubai airport offers connections to 165 destinations and is used by 111 airlines. This year, passenger traffic will rise to 30 million and aircraft movements will increase to 240,000 from 217000. Dubai International Airport, currently used by 113 airlines for 165 connections around the world, will overtake Heathrow Airport in passenger traffic by 2011 at the current growth rate.