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Dubai Brief History
Dubai as we know it was created in 1971 with the foundation of the United Arab Emirates. There are however written accounts stating that the city has existed for at least 150 years before the UAE was formed. During the early 18th century Dubai was established by the Al Abu Falasa clan of Bani Yas. Dubai however remained a dependant of Abu Dhabi until 1833, when the Al Maktoum dynasty of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over Dubai without any resistance from the Abu Falasa clan. The Maktoum Family have been the rulers of Dubai ever since. Presently Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the head of the family.
Dubai was under protection of the British Empire from 1892 onwards under the “exclusive Agreement”. Under this agreement the UK agreed to protect Dubai from any attacks from the Ottoman Empire.
Dubai is part of a federal framework with the other emirates which share legal, political, military and economic functions. Each emirate has jurisdiction in the areas such as civic law enforcement and the upkeep of the local facilities. Dubai has the largest population of any of the emirates and as of 2007 800 new residents were moving to Dubai every day.
Utility services such as telephone and electricity were established in the 1950s along with an airport, when the British moved there local administrative offices from Sharjah to Dubai.
Oil was discovered in Dubai during the early 1960s, after which the town granted concessions to international oil companies. The discovery of oil led to a massive population increase, mainly due to foreign workers from India and Pakistan. Some sources estimate the growth from 1968 to 1975 at over 300%. During the course of the 1990s many trading communities moved their business to Dubai, this accompanied by rising oil prices allowed Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and tourism.
As Dubai continues to develop a reputation as a holiday hotspot with plenty of luxury hotels and enough designer shops to satisfy every shopaholic's needs, it is worth noting that there are many other aspects to the emirate that make it such an attractive place to stay.
First and foremost, Dubai offers the safe and secure environment that many people crave, but are unfortunately unable to get in some of the world's leading cities. This is a clean and relatively crime free city that offers a safe haven for residents and tourists alike, which is a huge positive in drawing people, especially families, to the emirate.
Tax, or the lack of it, has always been one of the biggest incentives in attracting expatriate workers and investors to Dubai. A life without income tax, which in some countries can amount to as much as 48 per cent of income, has obvious appeal.
In addition to this, with no capital gains tax or rental income tax charged, it is easy to see what has attracted so many foreign investors to buy property on these shores.
Over the past few years, Dubai has been a property investor's dream. Many people who took the plunge and purchased property here have achieved some fantastic returns on their investments, through both capital growth and high rental returns.
The good news is that for those who have not yet stepped on to the property ladder here, there are still some good opportunities in the market, which remains strong.
If the key factors in deciding where to buy property is location, location, location, then Dubai is in pole position. It is easily accessible from all corners of the globe and sits within a few flying hours of many different countries, making it the ideal option for a second home or for those looking to relocate while still maintaining close links with their home country. Indeed, its strategic location has helped Dubai position itself as the business hub for the entire region with great links to huge consumer markets such as India. This will only increase with time.
Admittedly the price of some goods and services has increased in recent months, but when compared to some other major cities, Dubai is still able to offer its residents a relatively low cost of living.
While the lack of supply has forced rental rates up and the prices of some products have risen as a result of the strength of certain foreign currencies, there are still bargains to be had here. For example, petrol in Dubai is at least four times cheaper than in the UK and there are many places where you can eat out here for much less than you would pay for cities such as Dublin or Paris.
An important factor for many is that Dubai is able to offer the personal freedom, political and economic stability that they are not afforded in their home country.
In addition, another major pull is the lifestyle. There is an abundance of leisure and entertainment opportunities and the climate lends itself well to outdoor activities and family fun at the beach, although it has to be said that only the hard core sun worshippers will make it there in the summer months.
Finally, there are the people. As one of the world's fastest growing cities, with hundreds of people moving here each week, Dubai's cosmopolitan environment makes it a great place to meet interesting and fascinating people from all walks of life. And that really is a privilege.