Dubai’s Business History by Decade

12 Nov, 2017 - UAE Life & Economy
Dubai export

Dubai is one of the world’s best known cities. It has led the region in terms of tourism and business becoming a hub for both.

Here’s a timeline of some of Dubai’s major business achievements.

1955: Dubai Creek is dredged

1959: Dubai Airport opens

1966: Oil is discovered in Dubai

1969: Dubai starts exporting oil


1975: Dubai Islamic Bank opens

1975: Arabtec Construction begins operations

1978: The Khaleej Times becomes the country’s first English language newspaper

1979: Jebel Ali Free Zone inaugurated


1980: Al Bayan becomes the UAE’s first Arabic language newspaper

1985: Emirates Airline established, Sir Maurice Flanagan KBE its first CEO

1989: The Dubai Desert Classic opens its greens to golfers


1996: The Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race, is held for the first time

1999: Dubai opens its first oil refinery

1999: Dubai Internet City founded

1999: The Burj Al Arab is inaugurated

1999: The real estate market opens to non-GCC nationals


2000: The Dubai Financial Market opens

2002: Dubai International Financial Centre inaugurated

2003: Emirates makes the biggest order in aviation history, for $19 billion worth of aeroplanes

2005: DP World founded

2005: Dubai World Central announced

2007: Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) founded

2007: Dubai Cares is founded, the charity raises more than $1 billion immediately


2010: The Burj Khalifa opens its doors

2010: Al Maktoum International Airport begins operations

2011: Driverless Dubai Metro begins operations

2013: Dubai wins the bid for Expo 2020

2014: The UAE Space Agency is launched with a mission to Mars is announced

2017: The Dubai Land Department becomes the first government entity to transfer all records on to Blockchain

2017: The prototype for Dubai’s flying taxis goes on show, it is announced that they will be available for use in 2022