Everyone is so rich in Dubai

Why is the city so rich?

Dubai, a city of contrasts, a city of old and new and a city famous for its sophisticated wealth and luxury, is known for being rich. With tourists visiting this booming city every year and the number of expatriates increasing, many people take the wealth of Dubai for granted. But how - and why - did Dubai get so rich? It certainly didn't start simply to raise money from trees one day. To appreciate Dubai's complex and colorful history, visitors must look back in time to discover what makes this city so groundbreaking and unique, including in affluent cities around the world. We must first look at its humble beginnings.

As can now be seen in the Dubai Heritage Museum, Dubai first developed into a city out of the hustle and bustle of fishermen and pearl divers | © A. Davey / Flickr

Before Dubai was the glittering city, it was once a humble fishing village. As early as the 1770s, fishermen and pearl divers were settled, although archeology has proven that the land around what Dubai was now by nomadic Bedouins as far back as the 3rd century AD approx It was settled in the 16th century BCE. Since the 1770s, when Dubai first took shape as a small and sleepy fishing village, people have been drawn to this coastal hub for its pearls. Pearl diving and the associated trading were the first step that led Dubai into the future. After the founding of Dubai's ruling family, the Al Maktoum family, the city became a working and collaborative city recognized both domestically and internationally.

Oil was then discovered in Dubai in 1966 which propelled the city into unthinkable fortune and made Dubai the modern city it is today. With the first oil delivery from Dubai in 1969 and the establishment of the nation state of the United Arab Emirates after independence from Great Britain in 1971, the city acted independently and strongly in the international community.

After the discovery of oil, nothing was like this in Dubai © Panoramen / Flickr

So why is Dubai so rich? Yes, the Al Maktoum royal family's discovery of oil coupled with strategic maneuvering was important, but it was also innovation, a commitment to modernity and human creativity that drove entrepreneurs, companies, investors and expats to move to Dubai and to enrich the city. The foundation of pearl diving and a strong sense of tradition also laid the foundation for Dubai, without which nothing could have been built. The reasons Dubai is such a strong city is based on a number of factors, not just the recent oil boom (although it played a big role). A long history of trade, innovation by the country's local people and a commitment to building for the better has helped Dubai achieve the status of one of the leading cities of our century. So next time you enjoy the luxury and wealth of Dubai, remember its humble beginnings and the traditions of its nomads and pearl divers who worked so hard to lay the foundations for what would become the big city of Dubai.


Author: Jacob Bishop

Jacob Bishop is a 65 year old journalist. Certified organizer. Twitter expert. Creator. Tvaholic. Social media geek. Future teen idol.