Along with the other
sheikhdoms that now compose the federation, Dubai
became a British protectorate in the 19th cent. The
Al Maktoum sheikhdom emigrated from Abu Dhabi to
Dubai's creek in the 1830s and established there the
port that eventually became Dubai.
The 'Al Maktoum' are a branch of the same Bani-Yas
tribe that includes the Al Nahyan.
Dubai became the commercial capital of the
sheikhdoms and was an important port of call for
British steamers to India. Dubai occupies an area of
approximately 3,900 kilometres, which includes a
small enclave called Hatta, situated close to Oman,
amongst the Hajar Mountains. Dubai, the capital
city, is located along the creek.
Dubai's focus on trade and industry transformed it
into the leading trading port along the southern
The late Sheikh Rashid bin Said succeeded to the
rule of Dubai in 1958 following the death of his
father, Sheikh Said bin Maktoum Al Maktoum (1912-
58). During the 1960s and 1970s, Sheikh Rashid bin
Said presided over the transformation of Dubai into
a wealthy oil emirate.
Sheikh Rashid bin Said Al Maktoum (b. 1912), as
ruler of Dubai and vice president and prime minister
of the UAE, was the second most powerful Amir until
his death on October 7, 1990. His eldest son, Sheikh
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, succeeded him in all
Before taking over his father's offices, Sheikh
Maktoum bin Rashid (1941) was crown prince and had
several other governmental responsibilities. Sheikh
Maktoum bin Rashid's brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid Al Maktoum is the current ruler of Dubai.