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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.

Visit the Ethiad Museum!

Explore the Etihad Museum in Dubai to learn more about the history of the United Arab Emirates!

The history is shown in eight pavilions:

1. shows a documentary film about the history of the UAE

2. houses a panoramic interactive map highlighting the era before the formation

3. demonstrates key historical events before the union

4. showcases the meeting between Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum

5. guides you through the formation of the union

6. displays moments and challenges which confronted the founding fathers before 1971

7. is dedicated to the UAE Constitution and includes the actual declaration

8. is an open gallery celebrating the newborn nation

The museum has also a library, an education centre, a temporary exhibition hall and a restaurant.

Ethiad Museum is located on Jumeirah road Dubai next to the Union House, where the constitution was signed in 1971.

It is open daily from 10am to 8pm. Ticket prices are 25 Dirham for those 25 years old and above, 10 Dirham for visitors between 6 and 24 years and free of charge for children below 5 years.