Burj Khalifa, world's tallest tower ever built, located at Downtown, Burj Dubai.
Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest tower ever built, located at Downtown, Burj Dubai.

Dubai, where exotic glamour of the orient coalesces with ardent urbanity beckons people from different parts of the world with its fervent charm. Dubai is one of the seven constituents of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai city is the main city of the emirate. Perfect knowledge about Dubai will give your exploration of this beautiful city a wholesome thrust. The history of Dubai is very interesting. Pre-Islamic Dubai has many towns which were trading hubs between the orient and the occident. The pre-Islamic people of Dubai worshipped ‘Bajir’ or ‘Bajar’. The main powers were the Sassanians and the Byzantine empires. With the spread of Islam, Umayyad Caliph invaded the region and ousted the Sassanians. Many Umayyad period artifacts have been excavated from the Al-Jumayra region. Dubai is first mentioned in Abu Abdullah al-Bakri’s “Book of Geography” in 1095. Abu Abdullah was a geographer. Mention of Dubai as a pearl industry is found in Gaspero Balbi’s writing in 1580. Gaspero Balbi was a pearl merchant of Venice.

Dubai was established by Al Abu Falasa clan claiming lineage from Bani Yas clan. Till 1833 Dubai remain dependent on Abu Dhabi. Al Maktoum dynasty took over Dubai leaving Abu Dhabi in 1833. Dubai became an independent emirate from then. The Trucial States and Dubai entered into a maritime truce in 1835 with Britain and signed a “Perpetual Maritime Truce” with Britain after two decades.

The Exclusive Agreement of 1892 made Britain the protector of Dubai from the Ottoman Turks. Dubai gradually became a center of trade and export. In 1971 Dubai and six other emirates after Britain leaving the Persian Gulf formed the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Dubai lies between Saudi Arabia and Oman bordering the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Dubai has borders with Sharjah, Sultanate of Oman and Abu Dhabi. The geographic coordinates are 5400E and 24 00N. The total area of Dubai is 82,800 square kilometers. Dubai is located on the Arabian Desert. Dubai has a landscape of pearly sands dominating the southern parts.

Dubai is full of natural and man-made wonders. The Dubai Creek, a water inlet divides Dubai into two parts, to the south Bur Dubai, and to the north Deira. Each part basks with attractions. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Dubai are Bait Al Wakeel, Dubai Creek, Gold Souk, Grand Mosque, and other attractions.

History of Dubai

Dubai, the city carrying the magical Arabian charm is a major tourist attraction of the world. Located on the Arabian Peninsula Dubai has a rich history. Knowledge of the history of Dubai will give your exploration of Dubai a better edge and a novel dimension. Dubai existed before the Islamic invasion with a rich pre-Islamic civilization. Dubai was an important trading center between the Western and Eastern worlds. Archaeological excavations of Dubai have dug out remnants of this civilization. The people of pre-Islamic civilization were worshippers of the idol. Bajar was their main deity. The chief powers of Dubai were in the hands of the Sassanians and the Byzantine empires. Most of the control was hold by the Sassanians. With the spread of Islam south-east Arabia were invaded by Umayyad Caliph and the Sassanians were driven out from the region. Umayyad period artifacts have been found in the Al-Juayra region. Dubai is first mentioned in the “Book of Geography” written by Abu Abdullah al-Bakri, a Spanish-Arab expert on geography. Written records are found after 1799. Al Abu Falasa clan, a lineage of Bani Yas clan found Dubai in the 18th century. Till 1833 Dubai was dependent on Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh of Dubai and sheiks of other Trucial States in 1820 signed the “General Maritime Peace Treaty” with Britain.

In 1833 Maktoum dynasty of Bani Yas clan took over the region of Dubai from the Abu Falasa clan leaving Abu Dhabi. The take over was without resistance. The “Exclusive Agreement” of 1892 made Britain the protector of Dubai from the aggression of the Ottoman Turks.

Dubai is located close to India made it important for trade and commerce. Dubai became an important center beckoning foreign trade-people, mainly from India who settled there. Dubai was a prominent pearl industry but the First World War damaged the pearl industry. The Great Depression of the 1920s also damaged the industry. Dubai and Abu Dhabi were constantly in a dispute regarding the common borders. In 1947 Dubai entered into war with Abu Dhabi. It ceased with the arbitration of Britain and with the formation of a buffer frontier. Formally the hostilities ended in 1979.

In 1950 an airport was established in Dubai. Electricity and telephone services came in 1950 with the move of the local administrative office of the British from Sharjah to Dubai. After the British left in 1971, Dubai and the other six emirates formed the UAE ( United Arab Emirates) in 1971 on 2nd December.

Geography of Dubai

Dubai is the second largest emirate that constitutes the United Arab Emirates. The geography of Dubai flavored with the dreamy whiff of the orient attracts people from every corner of the globe. Dubai lies on the northeastern coast of the UAE. Dubai Emirate has borders in the northeast with Sharjah, in the south with Abu Dhabi and in the southeast with the Sultanate of Oman. Dubai has borders with the Gulf of Persia and the Gulf of Oman. The geographic position of Dubai is 55.3095 degrees E and 25.2697 degrees N. Dubai has an area coverage of 4,114 square kilometers. Dubai is located on the Arabian Desert. But Dubai differs in landscape from the southern parts of UAE. Gravel deserts dictate the southern part of the United Arab Emirates. Sandy deserts order the landscape of Dubai. The sands of Dubai are pearly white and constituted of coral and crushed shells. In the east of Dubai lies the coastal plains which are salt-crusted and known as ‘sabkha’ is the starting point of the dunes running from north to south. If you move more to the east the dunes expand in size and are red-tinged with iron oxide.

The Western Hajar Mountains stand proudly on the border of Oman and Dubai at Hatta. The landscape here is barren, serrated and rough. The heights of the mountains in some places are about 1,300 meters. There are several waterholes and gorges on the foot of the Western Al Hajar Mountains. Dubai is stable according to seismic experts as Zagros Fault, the closest seismic line lies quite far from the city. You will find date palms and wild grasses in the surrounding sandy deserts. The flat plains close to the Western Al Hajar Mountains has the growth of ghaf trees and acacia. In the sabkha plains, there are growths of desert hyacinths.