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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.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's Federal Supreme Council.
The exodus from Abu Dhabi was led by Ubaid bin Saeed and Maktum bin Butti who became joint leaders of Dubai until Ubaid died in 1836, leaving Maktum to establish the Maktoum dynasty.
Dubai signed the first treaty of Perpetual Maritime Truce in 1820 along with other Trucial States, which was followed by a further treaty in 1853.
It also – like its neighbours on the Trucial Coast – entered into an exclusivity agreement in which the United Kingdom took responsibility for the emirate's security in 1892. First, in 1841, a smallpox epidemic broke out in the Bur Dubai locality, forcing residents to relocate east to Deira.
Then, in 1894, fire swept through Deira, burning down most homes.
Dubai was known for its pearl exports until the 1930s; the pearl trade was damaged irreparably by the Great Depression in the 1930s and the innovation of cultured pearls.A flotilla of small boats from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm al-Quwain picked up survivors but in all 238 lives were lost in the disaster.