From Sand Dunes To Riches - Dubai's Breathtaking Saga

From Sand Dunes To Riches - Dubai's Breathtaking Saga

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Why is Dubai dotted with so many hotels which include a staggering number of five-star and the world's only existing seven-star on its soil? Any visiting traveler normally wonders while looking at the perplexing skyline Dubai has been able to garner. Even people from the western countries would stop to say a few words of acknowledgment on the vast infrastructure Dubai has been able to cultivate and continues to get its dividends from. But, wasn't this a piece of arid land only some 150 odd years ago, one normally wonders while walking across Dubai's lush alleys. It may sound however weird, but that's what Dubai's history seems to indicate about its recent past.

As per available records, the place where Dubai stands towering on fame and wealth right now had no significant human habitation even during the early part of nineteenth century. It was taken over by a branch of the Bani Yas tribe from the Liwa oasis in around 1830, led by the Maktoum family - who still rule the emirate today. Originally settled as a small fishing community, they hardly had anything else but the marine life to survive on. Cultivating dates and keeping goats and sheep, something they also did, would hardly have taken them anywhere. But, it was their entrepreneurial abilities that began attracting trade and commerce by the start of twentieth century, and the things started to take shape from thereon.

Having established themselves in the trade of pearls, and realizing the importance of Dubai on the trade route from India to west Asia and Europe, the settlers began attracting traders from India, Turkey, Iran and other regional destinations. By the start of twentieth century, they had a fully functioning port placed in Dubai and some brisk commerce activities taking place around. Unlike many other rulers of the region, the Maktoums had a very liberal attitude towards people from various faiths, which made Dubai even more popular among distant lands. A significant quarter of Dubai's 20,000 populace had grown to be made up of expatriates by the year 1930s, the figures suggest.

Much of the recent economic boom came after the late 1950s though, which also coincided with the first oil shipments from Dubai and the coming to power of a great visionary in Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The policies Sheikh Rashid led became instrumental in making Dubai' wealth grow rapidly. If you are witnessing the landmarks like Burj Al Arab and the upcoming Dubai Marina today, then much of the acknowledgement has to go to the leaders like Sheikh Rashid. His son Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum continuously followed the same policies until his demise early this year.

Apart from being ably governed, Dubai has also seen very conducive periods of political stability. The British presence in the whole of Gulf region until 1971, when they finally decided to depart, was a crucial factor in Dubai’s having smooth ride towards economic gains. The departure resulted into the coming together of seven emirates to form a new union called UAE. The union itself has allowed its member states to enjoy a fair degree of political freedom, but has always shown unity on issue of common economic concerns. No doubt, Dubai was the best situated to gain out of this conducive scenario.

The saga of Dubai's rise from sand dunes to goldmines is perplexing, but it also suggests why they have been able to gain so much materially against so many odds. Factors such as tough policy making, craftsmanship in trade and commerce and a desire to have bonds with other cultures and faiths have been some defining issues. The world was quick in realizing the gains it stood to have by siding on with such an enterprising mass. The resulting partnership, as per expectations, has been moving on from strength to strength till this juncture. You realize this well while gazing across Dubai's horizon from your cozy hotel room.

By Pankaj Mohan

Pankaj Mohan is a freelance writer who often writes on matters related with Dubai, on behalf of MyDubaiHotels.com. Kindly visit this site to learn more about Dubai hotels. Also get information on what these hotels in Dubai normally have in offer for you.

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