But when it was founded in 1833, it had a population of just 800 people, mostly fishermen. It was with the discovery of oil that the city experienced its truly astounding transformation.
The best way to illustrate the pace of this change is to compare photos of Dubai from the 1950s and 1960s with what it looks like to day.
Take a look. You’ll barely be able to believe it.
The city centre
A bird’s-eye view of the city then and now
The sea front
The first Jashanmal store in Dubai then and now