Dubai travel guide



Dubai Travel Guide

The Old Town

Pearls of Dubai Although historical documentation of Dubai is limited, recent archaeological discoveries have proved that the region was inhabited at least since 3,000 BC by nomads who bred sheep, goats and cattle, and complemented their diet with fish. Agriculture started 5 centuries later with the cultivation of the date palm, principally.

During the Bronze Age, Magan ships sailed to Babylonia, Mesopotamia and beyond, trading copper from Oman and pearls from the mouth of Dubai Creek, where the little Kingdom of Sumer was established. The Magan culture declined by 2,000 BC, but Dubai's character for commerce remained.

The list of occupiers from that time onwards was large, with one civilization conquering the preceding. The most prominent culture of this long dark period was the Persian dynasty of Sassanid, who occupied Dubai Creek and its surrounding areas in 224 BC, but, as well as others, it was a brief domination.

By the 7th century, the Umayyads from western Saudi Arabia settled in the region introducing the Islam (local people had worshiped Bajir or Bajar before). The Arabs were followed by the Mongols and then by the Ottomans, each leaving their mark on the local society but respecting the rooted Islamic religion.

Since the 8th century Dubai reinforced its position as a premier trade port between the oriental and occidental worlds, with the silk and porcelain trade from China and the pearling industry of the Persian Gulf.

The early Islamic history of Dubai, from the 7th to 14th century is not well documented. The first recorded mention of Dubai as a “vast area” was in 1095 in the "Book of Geography" written by the Andalusian geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri. But until 1580, when the Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi traveled across the area, Dubai (Dibei) was finally recognized as an important region for its pearling industry. Useful documented records of Dubai exist since 1799.

Portuguese were first Europeans who arrived in the region in the 17th century, followed by French, Dutch and British (who finally gained control 2 centuries after). The famous Al-Fahidi Fort, converted now into the Dubai Museum was built in 1787 as a defensive fortification to protect and control trade in the city.

Dubai History

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