Dubai's formation is attributed to be around 4,000 years old but it was only in 1833 that it gathered some shape. This is the year when the Al Maktoum branch of the power clan of Al Bu Falasah of the Bani Yas Bedouins shifted from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. More significantly, this saw the reign of Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti who lead them to Dubai and became its ruler from 1833 to 1852. Young, ambitious and intelligent, this leader set the foundation for the open port city as it exists and is flourishing today.
It was not so easy though. Pirates from the Gulf were known to attack the port, due to which a series of co-operative treaties had to be formed and negotiated in 1892.
By introducing a radical concept - offering tax exemption to traders - Dubai tempted businessmen from all spheres spanning gold, silver, textiles, dates, teak, spices and many more to settle there. With this highly business-friendly initiative, Dubai established itself as a flourishing trading hub between India, Africa and the Middle East.
Coming back to the Dubai Creek, history gives us some interesting insights.
The shallow creek waterway didn't help Dubai much because it was not deep enough for ships to be accommodated. Again, Dubai's Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed (1958 to 1990) who is considered to be the founder of modern Dubai risked a great deal by mortgaging the entire emirate to pay for the huge cost of dredging the Dubai creek. The rest, as we all know, is history. His vision and love for taking risks paid off with rich dividends. Big ships sailed into Dubai and in 1966, oil was discovered, further strengthening Dubai as one of the world's leading trading hubs.
In the night, we enjoyed the cruise. Lights, like shining jewels, seemed to embrace us from everywhere. The breeze was laden with the scent of food and expensive perfume, the conversations were warm and punctuated with laughter.
Guests had a great time sampling the delicious spread of food. There was a segment for vegetarian and non-vegetarians. The salad section offered a terrific spread too, as you can see in the picture below.
My husband can be seen at the non-vegetarian section in the picture below.
The following picture showcases three desserts. As many of you know, I love making desserts more than eating them. So, I couldn't resist taking some pics.
The first one shown below is tastier than it looks, but I don't recall the name. It tastes like kheer/payasam but it has soft bread like pieces in it that feel yummy to bite into because it simply melts in your mouth like butter.
There is so much more I'd like to write about my Dubai trip. As a writer, I see places as opportunities for story telling than anything else. Every place has a story, a secret jewel in its soul, that waits to be discovered. Dubai is full of such secret jewels, but one needs enough time and patience to begin the voyage of discovery itself.
To me, the story of Dubai, right from its historical beginnings to its present day iconic status, is one that intrigues. The saga reflects the kind of great leadership that set the foundation for it to flourish.
Dubai, like a temptress, has burst into our senses because of the riches, both culturally and materially, that it offers despite its initial limitations that ceased to matter once it was ready to become a beautiful enchantress.
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