Tag Archives: UAE

The Evolution of Dubai: 1984-2016


Dubai 1984 (Google Earth)


Dubai 2016 (Google Earth)


If you take a close look at these two images, you can see that they seem to be very different. The top image shows what Dubai looked like in 1984 and the bottom is showing what Dubai looks like as of more recent, in 2016.

For many centuries, Dubai was a small fishing village and trading port, as well as very poor. In a single generation though, what was once this humble fishing settlement completely transformed into a popular metropolis and what is now considered to be one of the most luxurious places in the world. The major turning point for the city was the discovery of oil in the region in 1966, which was a key factor in Dubai’s progression and has helped the city become what it is today.

The modernization of this city was led by an oil-funded expansion plan during the 1970’s, which contributed to its era of industrialization and in turn, boosted their economy. Also, there was a “real estate/building boom” during the 2000’s that helped increase their wealth (along with tourism) and several big projects were created; it has around 200 artificial islands and has become home to one of the busiest airports and largest malls in the world, the Burj Al-Arab (the only 7-star hotel), and the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest man-made structure).

It is incredible to believe that this place, which started off as a very underdeveloped place for its time, especially compared to other cities around the world, has become extremely advanced and urbanized in such a short period of time.


Below is a link to a before-and-after comparison photo slider of Dubai in 1984 to 2016: