It is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country.
The emir of Dubai was keen to attract foreign traders and lowered trade tax brackets, which lured traders away from Sharjah and Bandar Lengeh, the region's main trade hubs at the time.
Excavations by the Dubai Museum in the region of Al-Jumayra (Jumeirah) found several artefacts from the Umayyad period.
In 1833, following tribal feuding, members of the Al Bu Falasa tribe seceded from Abu Dhabi and established themselves in Dubai.
The area was covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coast retreated inland, becoming part of the city's present coastline.
After the spread of Islam in the region, the Umayyad Caliph of the eastern Islamic world invaded south-east Arabia and drove out the Sassanians.