About 800 or so members of the Bani Yas tribe, led by the Maktoum Family, settled at the mouth of the Dubai creek in 1833 many years ago. The creek then was a natural port in Dubai and was becoming a centre for fishing, pearls and maritime commerce. At the turn of the 20th century Dubai was a very successful port. The souk (Arab market) on the Deira side of the creek was the biggest on the coast, with 350 stores and many regular visitors and businessmen used to visit. In the 1930`s Dubai’s population was about only 20,000, a quarter were expatriates. In the 1950s the creek began to silt, a result perhaps of the increasing number of ships using its path. The late ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, decided to start the dredging of waterways. It was a costly, ambitious and a vision that would set Dubai up well for its future. This move has resulted in greater volumes of material handling in Dubai and ultimately, strengthening the position of Dubai as a major destination for export and re-export.
When oil was discovered in 1966, Sheikh Rashid used oil revenues to support infrastructure development in Dubai. Schools, hospitals, roads, a modern telecommunications networks, the pace of development was frantic. The new port and terminal was built in the Dubai International Airport. An extension of the runway that could accommodate all the latest aircraft had been made. The world’s largest artificial port built in Jebel Ali Free Zone was created around the port. Dubai’s formula for development was becoming clear to everyone - visionary leadership, high-quality infrastructure, a changing environment, zero income tax and personal business and low import duties, all good for investors. The result was that Dubai quickly became a centre for trade and tourism in the region, which stretches from Egypt to the Indian subcontinent and South Africa and Russia what is now called the CIS countries.
Since 1960, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the then ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum had dreamed of creating a federal state in the UAE. Their dream came true in 1971 when Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (1972) Ras Al Khaimah joined to create the United Arab Emirates. According to the late Sheikh Zayed, the first President of the UAE, the UAE has developed into one of the richest countries in the world, the world GDP per capita of over U.S. $ 17,000 per year. In 1980 and 1990, Dubai has made a tactical decision to emerge as a major tourist destination of international quality. Investment in tourism and infrastructure has paid off handsomely over the years to make Dubai what it is today.
Dubai is now a city like no other, hotels with significant architecture and world-class entertainment and sporting events. The beautiful Burj Al Arab hotel on Jumeirah Beach is the only hotel in the world with a rating of seven stars. Emirates Towers are one of the many structures that remind us of huge business within the city which is expanding in significant numbers. Standing 350 meters high, the office tower is the tallest building in the Middle East and Europe. Dubai also hosts major international sporting events. Dubai Desert Classic is an important stage of the Professional Golf Association tour. Dubai Open, an ATP tennis tournament and the Dubai World Cup, the richest race horse in the world, attracts thousands every year to name but a few.
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