As you can imagine the history of the UAE, and indeed the whole Arabian Peninsula, is an extended and complicated affair. Evidence suggests that like most nations close to the Mediterranean, settlements were first established in the UAE territories around the 3rd Century BC. The proceeding centuries saw the birth of the Prophet Mohamed. The Islamification of the Arabian Peninsula and the rise of powerful Caliphates, which would later go on to expand and control vast swathes of land, including Northern Africa, Spain, the Middle East, parts of Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
The Emirates themselves were not officially established until the late 1960’s. In the centuries before their creation, the Emirates were a loose collection of states, occupied and controlled by a number of prominent Bedouin and Arab tribes. In 1971, after the withdrawal of the British protectorate, the states of Dubai and Abu Dhabi formerly established a union between the two Emirates; this federation was later extended to the other 5 surrounding states, creating what we now know as the United Arab Emirates.
Although there are a number of historical monuments across the UAE, it is for all intents and purposes, a relatively new nation. The shots of Dubai past & present dramatically show how quickly the area has changed from a rudimentary coastal village, to a modern day metropolis. The transmogrification of the Emirates has been achieved predominantly through access to vast revenues incurred by oil production. Others would also say that the transformation of the UAE, and in particular Abu Dhabi, would not have been possible if not for the vision and tolerance of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the former president of the UAE.
During his time in office, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan invested vast amounts of the country’s revenues into infrastructure projects, such as building hospitals, schools and universities. The Sheik and the remaining leaders of the UAE have also invested billions into turning what was considered by many as an inhospitable and unattractive destination into one of the world’s most up and coming tourist spots. In recent years vast building projects have commenced across the UAE including the creation of large complexes like this Radisson Blu resort in Fujairah and this hotel in Dubai, as well as more extravagant buildings such as the indoor ski/snow resort in Dubai, Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, the Burj Khalifa and the Palm Jumeirah.