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There are records of the town of Dubai from 1799. Earlier in the 18th century the Al Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in Dubai which was a dependent of the settlement of Abu Dhabi until 1833.
On 8 January 1820, the then sheikh of Dubai was a signatory to the British sponsored "General Treaty of Peace" (the General Maritime Treaty).
In 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over the town of Dubai, "without resistance". From that point on, Dubai, a newly independent emirate, was constantly at odds with the emirate of Abu Dhabi. An attempt by the Qawasim pirates to take over Dubai was thwarted. In 1835, Dubai and the rest of the Trucial States signed a maritime truce with Britain and a "Perpetual Maritime Truce" about two decades later. Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom (keeping out the Ottoman Turks) by the Exclusive Agreement of 1892. Like four of its neighbours, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position on the route to India made it an important location.
In March 1892, the Trucial States (or Trucial Oman) were created.
The rulers of Dubai fostered trade and commerce, unlike the town's neighbors. The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen (chiefly Indians), who settled in the town. Until the 1930s, the town was known for its pearl exports.
After the devaluation of the Gulf Rupee in 1966, Dubai joined the newly independent state of Qatar to set up a new monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai riyal. Oil was discovered 120 kilometres off the coast of Dubai, after which the town granted oil concessions.
On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971. In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a single, uniform currency: the UAE dirham.
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Dubai culture
Culture in Dubai is rooted in Islamic traditions that form UAE National's lifestyles. However, the UAE is tolerant and welcoming to foreigners who do not practice the religion of Islam. Expatriates are free to practice their own religion, alcohol is served in hotels and the dress code is liberal. Women don't face discrimination. Courtesy and hospitality are one of the many virtues of Dubai. Rulers are keen to maintain their culture and do so through a number of practices. One is promoting sporting events that are representative of their past. Falconry, camel racing and dhow sailing are still popular in Dubai.
The official language of the country is Arabic, however most people in and out of the workplace communicate in English. There are so many different nationalities in Dubai, English finds common ground with most people. The majority of road and shop signs, restaurant menus etc. are in both English and Arabic.
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city and visitors can dress however they like. Still, a good amount of respect for local customs is appreciated. In deference to local customs and norms it is a good idea for visitors not to wear very short, tight clothing, at least until such time as they are comfortable with the city. UAE nationals usually wear their traditional dress. For men this is the dishdasha or khandura, a white full-length shirt-dress. It is worn with a white or red checked headdress known as a gutra. In public women wear the black abaya, a long black robe that covers their normal clothes. They also wear a headscarf.
Normally tourist photography is acceptable and expected with all the beautiful things to photograph in Dubai. In general, photographs of government buildings, military installations, ports and airports should not be taken. Like anywhere, it is polite to ask permission before photographing people. It is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women.
Arabic cuisine comprises many types of cooking from countries like Morocco, Egypt, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and more. Throughout the city, vendors sell shawarma, a hot sandwich with lamb or chicken, carved from a rotating spit and served in pita bread with vegetables. A variety of juices from pineapple, banana, mango, or a mixed cocktail can be ordered from fresh juice vendors.
Alcohol is served in licensed premises like restaurants and bars. It is also served in a few recreational clubs. Shisha pipes are smoked at most establishments. They are traditional water pipes that use flavored tobaccos like strawberry or apple. Shisha is usually enjoyed while sitting at a cafe restaurant.
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