Dubai June 2014 - Page 3

Dubai 3 Etymology In the 1820s, Dubai was referred to as Al Wasl in British documents. Few records pertaining to the cultural history of the UAE or its constituent emirates exist because of the region's oral traditions, which meant that folklore and myth were not written down. In local folklore, the name Dubai was called to the location as an attribution to a woman called Dabya (Arabic: ‫.)ﺩﺑﻴﺔ‬ Many theories have been proposed as to the origin of the word Dubai. One theory suggests that the word Dubai was used to describe the souq, which was similar to the souq in Dibba. Another theory states that the name came from a word meaning "money", as people from Dubai were commonly believed to be rich due to the thriving trading center of the location. An Arabic proverb says "Daba Dubai" (Arabic: ‫ ,)ﺩﺑﺎ ﺩﺑﻲ‬meaning "They came with a lot of money." According to Fedel Handhal, a scholar on the UAE's history and culture, the word Dubai may have come from the word Daba (Arabic: ‫( )ﺩﺑﺎ‬a past tense derivative of Yadub (Arabic: ‫ ,)ﻳﺪﺏ‬which means "to creep"), referring to the slow flow of Dubai Creek inland. The poet and scholar Ahmad Mohammad Obaid traces it to the same word, but to its alternative meaning of "baby locust" (Arabic: ‫ )ﺟﺮﺍﺩ‬due to the abundant nature of locusts in the area before settlement. Despite the abundance of theories on the city's name, none can be truly verified due to the lack of primary sources regarding Dubai's nomenclature. History Main article: History of Dubai Although stone tools have been found at many archaeological sites, little is known about the UAE's early inhabitants as only a few settlements have been found. Many ancient towns in the area were trading centers between the Eastern and Western worlds. The remnants of an ancient mangrove swamp, dated at 7000 BC, were discovered during the construction of sewer lines near Dubai Internet City. The area was covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coast retreated inland, becoming part of the city's present coastline. Pre-Islamic ceramics have been found from the 3rd and 4th centuries. Prior to the introduction of Islam to the area, the people in this region worshiped Bajir (or Bajar). 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. Excavations by th