How Dubai a barren, hot, and dusty desert did become a dreamland? Why is Dubai so rich?
Which are the paths through which Dubai has accomplished such an impossible task?
What is the secret of Dubai’s success?
These are a few questions about Dubai which often pop up in our minds. So here we try to understand how Dubai made all of its developments possible.
A brief history of Dubai
Dubai is among the most developed “seven emirates” of “the United Arab Emirates.” It always remains at the top of the preferences of tourists across the world. If you want to spend a few days in luxurious hotels, Dubai is the best choice. The world’s only official seven-star hotel ‘Burj al Arab’ is also present in Dubai. Dubai is also the second largest city in the world after London in terms of the highest number of five-star hotels.
It has the largest technology and practices sustainable methods. It has mega-speed highways, driverless transportation facilities, eco-friendly buildings, and smart police stations. It also has artificial reservoirs and a low-water agriculture system.
Secret behind Dubai’s transformation
Most people think that it is so because of crude oil. They think that like other Middle East countries, Dubai also has an oil-based economy. In fact, oil production contributes less than 1 percent of Dubai’s annual revenue.
Then, what are the reasons behind such miracles?
There are two characters whose visions changed their fate: “Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum” and his successor “Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al Maktoum.”
The Beginning of Dubai’s Development
It is said that Dubai was founded before 3000 BC. It emerged as a connecting route for trade after the 5th century. Before that, it was only known for its pearls and fishing village. In the 18th century, European countries including Britain and Portugal noticed this small route. The British first understood the importance of Dubai as a trading station to trade from the Middle East to Africa and Central Asia. It started developing strong relations with the Bani tribe which was ruling Dubai at that time which enhanced its geostrategic importance.
The discovery of oil in Dubai got the attention of the world and it boosted its economy to a greater extent. However, Dubai, soon, realized that long-term sustainability could not be achieved by relying on oil only. This thought laid the foundation for the modern sustainable city of Dubai.
Phase 1: “Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum”
“Sheikh Rashid” took control of Dubai in 1958 and ruled for 32 years. Dubai’s economy was ruined at that time. He took some steps which acted as fertile land for the development of Dubai. He started looking for other resources of generating revenues. He decided to make Dubai a regional trading hub. He built ports in maximum coastline areas and connected them with internal areas of Dubai via an al-shindig tunnel. He built skyscrapers to arrange international events and exhibitions. It was named as Dubai World trade center. He also established commercial free zones in Dubai. Commercial-free zones are the areas are the geographical areas where goods are imported, manufactured, handled, and re-exported without any customs duties. These zones are heaven for traders and manufacturers. That’s why Sheikh Rashid declared Jebel Port, a commercial-free zone which boosted Dubai to the greatest extent. He also suggested the UAE adopt a common currency to strengthen the local currency.
Phase2: Sheikh Muhammad Era
He successfully carried the legacy. His vision was more dynamic than that of his father. He further improved water transportation. Along with water transportation, he focused on air transportation and launched Emirates Airlines in Dubai which is one of the busiest airlines in the world. He started Dubai Airshow to grow the world’s airlines. He also focused on tourism with fascinating hotels and shopping malls.
According to a report, total revenue in the first half of 2022 was $5 billion to which hotels’ contribution is significant. Dubai also hosts mega events incorporated into its economy.
He established Dubai Internet City under which companies were given longer leases and companies were given full ownership. The intervention was minimized to the maximum in the company-related work of the government so that these companies and their investor do not face any trouble.
These were the steps that led Dubai to the utmost prosperity. And Dubai is on its way to exploring further horizons of technology and advancements.