e-Map, Dubai

Dubai is the second largest of the seven emirates by area and is located along the shore of the Arabian Gulf, in the northwestern region of the United Arab Emirates.

Their Highnesses Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi (+2004-11-02), and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, then Ruler of Dubai, clearly saw the attractions of bringing together the individual emirates of the Gulf Coast into a single nation.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the largest and most important emirates in the federation and complement each other. Abu Dhabi is the seat of the federal government and a major oil-industry center while Dubai is the main commercial center, with trading and business ties extending beyond the Middle East to all corners of the world.

Oil contributes less than 10 per cent of the total economic production. Trading, manufacturing and services, including tourism, now dominate the economy.

Archaeological explorations have discovered material that suggests early fishing settlements were situated along the Gulf Coast from around 7.500 years ago. However, the first major settlement of Dubai did not occur until the 1830s. At that time the small fishing village on the Shindagha Peninsula at the mouth of the Creek was inhabited by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe – originally from the Liwa Oasis to the south – led by the Maktoum family. Through its growing trade activities, Dubai became the principal port of the Gulf Coast by the late 1870s. Traders from Iran, India and elsewhere around the region were attracted to the growing hub of commerce and, by the turn of the century, Dubai was reputed to have the largest souqs in the region. Pearls continued to be a mainstay of the Eimirate’s prosperity until the 1940s, when the development of Japanese cultured pearls led to a collapse in demand for the natural product. But, by that time, trade in other products – including gold – had grown steadily and Dubai, widely known as the city of merchants, was able to overcome the setback.

Population: 1.862.000

Size: 4.114 km2