Tucked over the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai happens to be the most populous city in the UAE. Once a mere fishing village of not more than 800 people, Dubai has over time emerged as a global metropolitan and a major business hub of the Middle East. Wondering how it changed on such a massive scale? Well, we’ve put together some intriguing pictures to help you witness and compare the old Dubai vs the new one. So, scroll down and take a peek at the intriguing history of Dubai!
A Brief History Of Dubai
Way back in 1833, Dubai had started off as a small settlement by some 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe, who were attracted to the natural harbour created by the creek flowing through Dubai. They turned the area into a small center for fishing and pearling. These people were later joined by the Arabian nomads of the Middle East called Bedouins. They too settled near the creek in small houses known as barastis.
During the 1960s, Dubai’s economy was merely dependent on the revenues generated from trade and oil exploration concessions. The history of Dubai development shows that when a major chunk of revenue obtained from oil reserves started to flow in 1969, Dubai started developing rapidly. Vast sums of cash were thrown into the picture, and major infrastructure like schools and hospitals started developing swiftly. Over the years, it transformed Dubai into the glam and glitzy hub we know today.
Dubai Then And Now: Flip To See
Flip the following images to see what Dubai looked like decades ago and how massively it has transformed over the years.
1. Sheikh Zayed Road In 1990 Vs Now
The primary highway linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Road is the longest road in the Emirates. The construction of this massive road had begun back in 1971, and it took over nine long years to complete it. Known as the Defence Road back in those days, this road network is now bounded by various important buildings and areas of Dubai, including the Emirates Towers, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina.
2. Dubai Marina In 2000 Vs Now
Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city located on a 3 km stretch of the Persian Gulf shoreline. It was constructed by bringing in water from the gulf into the designated site of Dubai Marina and creating a man-made waterfront. It houses various iconic structures like the Jumeirah Beach Residence and Masjid Al Rahim mosque. Claiming to be the world’s largest man-made marina, Dubai Marina has helped a great deal in shaping the history of Dubai.
3. Dubai Waterfront In 1954 Vs Now
This handsome addition to the landscapes of Dubai was expected to be the biggest waterfront and man-made establishment in the world. The Dubai Waterfront project is essentially an amalgamation of canals as well as an artificial archipelago. The construction of this 8-kilometer long waterfront that runs parallel to the Persian coastline had begun back in February 2007, but had to suspended midway owing to the financial crisis that hit Dubai during that time.
4. Dubai Creek In 1950 Vs Now
Dividing the city into its two major sections – Deira and Bur Dubai, the Dubai Creek serves as a major part of the history of Dubai. It was the first element that drew the Bani Yas tribe, the first ever inhabitants of Dubai, to settle down here. They had built their civilization near the Bur Dubai creek area in the 19th century, giving rise to the Al Maktoum dynasty in the city.
5. Dubai Airport In 1960 Vs Now
The Dubai Airport was built in 1959 on the direction of the then ruler Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum. Back then it had a mere 1,800 meter runway built out of compacted sand. According to the history of Dubai, an asphalt runway and a fire station were added to the airport premises later. Today, it is one of the busiest airports in the world.
6. Downtown Dubai In 2000 Vs Now
In the year 2006, about a quarter of the cranes in the world were occupied in building the massive structures we see in Dubai today. The history of Dubai tourism shows that more and more tourists started pouring into the city once these towering and glistening buildings were up and running. And once the Burj Khalifa joined the party, Dubai shot to fame as being the home of the tallest man-made structure in the world, bringing in a huge influx of travelers from all over the world to see this massive beauty.
7. Deira Clocktower In 1969 Vs Now
Dubai’s famous Clock Tower is situated right in the middle of Deira and it was built back in the year 1963. This impressive structure stands at the very gateway of Maktoum Bridge that in turn serves as an essential link between Bur Dubai and Deira. While it may have been surrounded merely by sand and undeveloped structures at that time, this area has now transformed into one of the most happening hubs of Dubai where youngsters like to hang out.
8. Dubai World Trade Center In 1980 Vs Now
The construction on Dubai’s World Trade Center had begun in 1977, and it was a lone structure in this entire area at that time. This 39-storey building was known as the Sheikh Rashid Tower back in those days and played a crucial role in shaping the economic history of Dubai.
9. Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers In 1978 Vs Now
After the government of Dubai decided to convert the city into an attractive tourist destination, a number of hotels hotels started cropping up here. The Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers was one of the first hotels to be built in Dubai, and that is the reason it still remains as a reputed and immensely popular place to stay in Dubai.
10. Dubai Jumeirah Mosque In 1974 Vs Now
The construction of the famed Jumeirah Mosque had not begun until 1976, and its completion took over three years. This stunning mosque has been built in the traditional Fatimid style that initially originated in Syria and Egypt. The mosque finally opened it gates in 1979 and has been a key tourist attraction in the city since.
11. Dubai Dhow Cruise In 1950 Vs Now
While initially the use of the Dhow boats was limited to extracting fish from the creek, it now serves drives a large share of tourism in the city. Providing entertainment and leisure activities to tourists, cruising on these boats is among the most favorite activities of travelers coming into the city.
Hasn’t this comparison of Dubai then and now blown your mind? We bet you had never looked at the history of Dubai this way. Now all that is left for you to do is to take a kickass vacation in Dubai with your near and dear ones. But before that, don’t forget to share this with your friends.