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Dubai was originally a small fishing and trading settlement. In 1830, Dubai was taken over by Maktoum family who still rule the emirates today. From then there has been no looking back, as Dubai made rapid progress in trade and traditional activities. By 19th century, Dubai was reputed to have the largest souks on the Gulf coast, with 350 shops in the Deira district alone.

Dubai was a protectorate of Britain as part of the Trucial States extending along the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. In 1971, British withdrew from Dubai. Then Dubai came together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah to create the federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

However, the major change in Duabi came when oil was discovered in 1966. Oil exports saw the country develop infrastructure and other amenities.