Dubai is a mega city now, a city of the world, a city of superlatives. But Dubai as we know of it now has not always been what it is. Before the 1960s, Dubai and much of the other emirates which form the powerful United Arab Emirates was a a barren land with limited opportunities and restricted facilities. Then in the late 60s, fortunes were set to turn with the discovery of oil in that region. However something more significant happened at around the same time which secured the future of Dubai as a global powerhouse – the formation of the United Arab Emirates.
On December 2nd 1971, after multiple rounds of negotiations, 6 emirates formed a union christened as the United Arab Emirate. Ras Al Khaimah joined the union in 1972 and the UAE remains till date as a union of these 7 emirates who have been building the future of the Middle East together.
If you are in Dubai and are awestruck by its architectural marvels and jaw dropping technology, you should reserve a couple of hours to visit the newly opened (opened to public on 6th January 2017) Etihad Museum which documents this journey through a state-of-the-art visuals, quite Dubai style. Spread over a sprawling 25,000 sqm, the museum is located on the same historical site of the Union House, the very place where the constitution of the United Arab Emirates was signed in 1971. And it is an apt tribute to the history and the overwhelming journey of a group of nations from sandy wilderness to a thriving metropolis. It is a testimony of what can be achieved if we all stand together.
- It might be wise to call before visiting the Museum as it is sometime closed for public due to diplomatic visits
- Ticket price is 25 AED as on the data of writing this post
- Your ticket doesn’t allow you to enter the Union House which is in the same compound as the Museum but was the actual place where the constitution was signed. You can call ahead to see if the Union House can be visited
- There is a small cafeteria in the museum with good view of the surroundings should you wish to spend some more time in the Museum
Hope you enjoyed this blog on the history of Dubai and the Emirates and would make it a part of your next trip to Dubai.
Signing off, and as always,