Located on the southeastern coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai makes its great significance in human history. The city of Dubai is one of the members of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Among the member of UAE, Dubai holds the largest population and the second-largest land area. Like the United States of America, Dubai is well-renowned today – particularly for its economy. Also, Dubai also serves as one of the beautiful places for tourism across the globe. Business organizations are not only interested in establishing their businesses there, but also to marvel at the tourist spots in the city. This paper includes the background of Dubai including its history, significant historical events, educational structure and environmental record.
It was in 3000 BC that Dubai is said to have begun (“Dubai history,” n.d.). According to archaeologists, the place is most probably settled from at the Bronze Age. Dubai was known for its desert lands. But it also has a nearby sea and a number of mountains, dry river beds, coasts, and mudflats (Bennett, 2008). Although it seemed difficult to live in it, people in still found their living through fishing, boat-building, and pearl collecting. By the 16th Century, Portuguese travelers began the European influence through the trade routes located in the area. One significant event in its early history is the settlement of Maktoum Bin Butti of the Bani Yas clan on the Dubai Creek in 1800s. His dynasty still rules in Dubai today. Some acknowledged this settlement as the beginning of Dubai’s history. The family clan took control of the two primary means of living in the area: the local trade (boat building) and the pearling industry (2008). By the turn of the century, Dubai’s port was developed to have more than 350 shops run by merchants trading as far as Africa, Persia, India, and throughout Arabia (Lyons, 2010). By the mid-1900s, trades drastically increased. Trade in gold, textile, spices, and pearl attracted more traders in other nearby nations. In 1961, since the creek was not wide enough to allow bigger trade ships to have access, finances were laid out to dredge and widen the creek. By 1966, oil was discovered in Dubai and the infrastructure for its export was constructed (2010). For the purpose of having mutual security and prosperity, United Arab Emirates were formed – of which Dubai is a member (“Dubai history,” n.d.).
Further prosperity took place in Dubai at the latter part of the 20th Century. Dubai World Trade Center was erected; emirates airline was launched; Jebel Ali Free Free Zone was opened for more international investments; Dubai World Cup was held; Dubai Shopping Festival was launched; and the Burj Al-Arab – which is considered as the world’s only seven-star hotel – was opened (“Dubai history,” n.d.). Until today, further developments characterized the city. More fascinating architectural projects are done; free internet cities were publicly opened; and more. Indeed, looking at its condition both in the beginning and today, Dubai rose from dust to glory.
In terms of war-related events in the history of Dubai, it has never been directly involved in wars. However, Dubai is often linked to international terrorism activities. In some cases, Dubai becomes a hiding place for suspects. In December 1995, Hadji Ayoub Afridi – a boss in the international terrorist and drug-trafficking network in Afghanistan – were convicted and hunted. Unfortunately, he was able to go to Dubai in the UAE, where he took an escape flight to New York (Cooley, 2002). Another war-related event in the history of Dubai has to do with the September 11 attack in New York and the terrorist attack in Kolkatta on January 22, 2002. Following the latter terrorist attack, the group Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islam was held responsible. This group was funded by the Dubai-based Aftab Ansari – who was also reported to be the recipient of the ransom money used in the September 11 attack in the World Trade Center in New York (Prabhakar, 2003).
Another significant issue in the history of Dubai is the emerging health problems that seem to rise along with the city’s urban development in the last decade. The government is facing serious health care challenges as population grows rapidly (Oxford Business Group, 2008). However, these health problems are not only confined in Dubai but also extend throughout the entire UAE. One burden is related to oral health. Dubai scientists claimed that the people have poor awareness concerning oral health. The development of dental caries, oral precancerous lesions, and cancer made a widespread effect on the UAE members. Also, it is attested that people throughout the UAE are affected by non-communicable diseases. The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS) reported that non-communicable diseases – particularly cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) – are the major contributor of deaths in the UAE these years (2008). Statistics show that CVDs account for 28 percent of all deaths in the entire region. Further, diabetes mellitus is also a major epidemic disease in the UAE. MOH and DOHMS claim that a quarter of the UAE citizens are suffering from diabetes these years (2008). In all these emerging health issues in UAE, Dubai increases its awareness and health care systems for the public.
Education is also a significant part Dubai’s development. The rapid rise of population in the UAE led to the necessity of investment in education (“Education,” n.d.). Like the other members of the UAE, Dubai is committed to provide quality education for the people. The following discussion is about the education structure in Dubai. Nursery education is taken by children aging 2 years old onwards. These children adopt variations in the methods of teaching but use English as the main instruction language (“Education System in Dubai,” n.d.). At Kindergarten level, children aging 4 to 5 years old learn basic subjects like English, Arabic, religion, art, music, and math. Before entering the primary level, students are required to take admission tests. In Dubai, many schools teach students in this level other foreign languages. Foreign curriculums – ranging from British National Curriculum to Japanese system – are also used by some schools (“Education System in Dubai,” n.d). Primary level students are usually 6 to 12 years old in age. In secondary education level, students are required to take subjects such as math, social studies, physical education, religion, and Arabic. However, they can choose whether they will take subjects, like science, languages, history, sociology, etc., or not (“Education System in Dubai,” n.d). Tertiary education significantly developed since the last decade. Both the number of students and teaching staff increased. Dubai has a number of institutions that offer various graduate and post-graduate programs, which are usually taken up for 6 years.
Lastly, Dubai is also known for its preservation of the natural environment. It is never common for a developing urban society to also maintain its living environment. In fact, Dubai did not only maintain its environment but also developed it. Along with other members of the UAE, Dubai is committed to international agreements on environmental issues. At the Environment 2001 Conference and Exhibition, UAE told that it would invest US$46 billion on environment-related projects in the next 10 years (Explorer Publishing, 2010). Dubai government has enforced laws governing the use of chemical materials and has banned any further development along the coast without any government permission (2010). Of course, Dubai and the rest of the UAE also face certain environmental issues. Some building projects also affected some marine species and habitats. Also, certain wildlife animals were forced to leave throughout the development of the region. Nevertheless, Dubai still shows efforts and controls for the sake of the natural environment compared to other developed countries.
Dubai is a good example of great human developments in history. Present day shows that Dubai already becomes a glorious place on the face of earth.
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Cooley, J. (2002). Unholy wars: Afghanistan, America and international terrorism. London, UK: Pluto Press.
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