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Early Settlement

During archaeological excavations, traces were discovered that suggest that there were early fishing settlements on the Gulf Coast as far back as 7500 years ago. However, the founding of the later Dubai began only around 1830. At that time, a small fishing village on the Shindagha peninsula at the mouth of the creek was inhabited by a branch of Bani Yas tribe, which originally came from the Liwa Oasis further south. At the head of this tribe was the Maktoum family, which still rule the Emirate of Dubai today.





The way of life in the past

The Emirati people descended from Bedouin tribes, which were the earliest inhabitants of this desert region. They lived a simple and hard life; connected to their land, desert and sea. Traditional occupations included trading, date palm cultivation, fishing and pearl diving.

The discovery of oil

With the discovery of oil in Abu Dhabi und Dubai in 1966 and the export starting in 1969 came dramatic changes to the lifestyle and social structure of the Emirates. Development of the infrastructure brought many foreign workers into the country.

Formation of the United Arab Emirates

On 2 December 1971 the emirates Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah agreed to enter into a union called the United Arab Emirates. Ras al-Khaimah joined on 10 January 1972. At present the population of the United Arab Emirates is an estimated 9.4 million of which an estimated 12% are Emiratis.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the largest and most important emirates. Both complement each other. While Abu Dhabi is the seat of the federal government and center of the oil industry, Dubai remains the trading hub with business connections that extend beyond the Middle East into the world.