Dubai was originally a small fishing area. In 1830, it was taken over by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe with the Maktoum family as the leader who still rule the emirate at present and who are from the Liwa oasis. During the earlier times, most of the traditional activities that people engaged in include cultivating dates, fishing, pearling, and herding or tending sheep and goats. The people also built up trade. By the change of the century, Dubai was known on the GulfCoast to have the largest souks. In the Deira district alone, you can already find 350 shops. Commercial success linked to the open-minded rulers has made the emirate a very attractive place for traders who hailed from Iran and India and later lived in the developing town. However as the trade of Dubai developed, it remained politically a territory of Great Britain being part of the Trucial States that extended down the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
In 1971, Dubai joined together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, and Umm Al Quwain as well as the RasAlKhaimah (1972) on the British withdrawal to form the federation of the UAE or United Arab Emirates.
After oil was discovered in 1966, it changed the emirate including its way of life. In 1969, Dubai had its first oil exports which were then followed by a period of quick development that were the foundations for today’s society. This great development can be traced through the commitment and vision of His Highness Sheik Rashid bin SaeedAlMaktoum, the late ruler of Dubai who made sure that the oil revenues of the city were to be arranged to maximum effect despite being moderately meek by the standards of the region.
The present ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his brother HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry continued the work. At present, Dubai has been positioned as the best place to do business. It also has become a major hub on the international air routes. Dubai is also one of the most visited cities in the world.