Khaleej Times
turns 40
As the newspaper completes 40 years, we look back at the events that have shaped the UAE.
  • From the archives

    July 30, 1978
    Rashid opens Dh45m slipway

    His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the Dh45 million slipway on the Creek. The function was witnessed among others by Defence Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. Contract for building the 40-berth slipway was signed by Sheikh Rashid in September the previous year.

    Forty years ago, this is how a parking lot in Deira Creek looked like after being hit by a tidal wave.
  • From the archives

    May 1, 1979
    Rashid appointed Prime Minister

    His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has been appointed the new Prime Minister of the country. But he will also continue as vice-president. The appointment was approved at a two-hour emergency session of the Supreme Council, held at the Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi under the chairmanship of the President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

    His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed with his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed at Sandhurst Academy.
  • From the archives

    January 4, 1980
    Bronze Age skeleton found in Dubai

    A major archaeological discovery has been made in Dubai. A complete human skeleton, believed to date back to the Bronze Age (2,500 years ago), was found in the Al Qusais area on December 29, 1979. This is the first known complete skeleton of that age to be found in the UAE and possibly the Gulf. Buried in a kneeling position, the remains measure over 7ft in height.

    Runa Laila, a popular singer from Bangladesh, wows the crowd at the Sharjah Expo Centre.
  • From the archives

    May 13, 1981
    Sheikh Zayed, Indira Gandhi
    hold talks

    His Highness President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had a two-hour meeting at Al Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi to discuss international cooperation amidst the growing tension brought about by the Iran-Iraq War. The two leaders called on countries in the region “to strengthen cooperation to preserve peace and avoid interference by superpowers”. The visit also strengthened the UAE-India relations.

    Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan receives Indira Gandhi during her visit to the UAE.
  • From the archives

    January 3, 1982
    Abu Dhabi celebrates new airport

    Two brothers made history when the first flight from Bahrain (GF 360) arrived at the new Abu Dhabi international airport. Ten-year-old Faisal Khalid Kanoo became the first passenger to land at the airport while his brother, 14-year-old Nabeel Khalid Kanoo was there to receive him. It seemed that the whole city had turned out to witness the inauguration of the airport. The old airport (now a VIP airport) ceased to operate at mid-day.

    Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan during the opening of Al Ruwais petroleum industrial complex on March 10.
  • From the archives

    February 15, 1983
    Fujairah sees opening of Wadi dam

    A crescent-shaped 2.8km-long dam, which can preserve about 10m cu. metres of water annually, was commissioned on this day. The dam, the biggest in the UAE, was built at a cost of Dh24 million. The entire project comprised three dams, with the main dam measuring 600m long, 16m high and 71m wide with a base of 92m. The water requirement of Fujairah was 18m cu. metres then.

    Cars and mini trucks being transported to the subcontinent countries in this photo taken on Sept. 9, 1983.
  • From the archives

    December 12, 1984
    Dubai’s first on-shore oil field inaugurated

    Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, Deputy Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Dubai, has inaugurated Dubai’s first on-shore oil field, Margham. Sheikh Maktoum unveiled a plaque at the plant, which is rated to process 25,000 bpd of condensate per day. He cut a ceremonial ribbon and pushed a switch to declare the plant open in the presence of a distinguished gathering of Sheikhs, heads of diplomatic missions, and government officials.

    His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi inaugurates the first National Art Festival at Sharjah Expo Centre.
  • From the archives

    October 24, 1985
    Emirates takes wings

    Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Crown Prince of Dubai, inaugurated Emirates, the national carrier of Dubai, with the congratulations and blessings of the President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the support and goodwill of the people. After cutting the ribbon at the special arch built at the stairs leading to the A300 Airbus door, Sheikh Maktoum inspected the aircraft, which bears the UAE flag.

    Dubai Creek was the centre of all the happenings, bustling with activities all around.
  • From the archives

    October 16, 1986
    Zayed, Rashid re-elected

    The Federal Supreme Council unanimously reelected Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the President of the UAE and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, as the Vice-President and Prime Minister, for another five-year term starting on December 2, 1986. The Supreme Council, which met in Abu Dhabi, also voted unanimously to extend the life of the interim constitution by another five years.

    Abu Dhabi city has always kept a green face, thanks to the vision of Sheikh Zayed.
  • From the archives

    November 20, 1987
    Dubai radiation level normal

    A Dubai Municipality official has said that a bomb attack on the Iranian nuclear plant at Bushehr has not yet altered the environmental radiation level of the emirate. The radiation level average for Dubai city during the past year has been consistent at less than five micro rads per hour (unit of radiation dose). The following day's reading showed that the level was below three micro rads per hour. This level is very low.

    Dubai residents step back on solid ground after taking a short abra ride across the Dubai Creek.
  • From the archives

    March 9, 1988
    Maktoum, Zia open Dubai golf course

    His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Crown Prince of Dubai, and Pakistani president Gen Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq, inaugurated on this day the Emirates Golf Club, the first championship golf course in the Gulf region. A parachutist jumped from a helicopter to deliver a club to Gen Zia for the tee-off to formally open Dubai’s 18-hole grassed golf course to a warm applause from 3,000 spectators.

    The Naif Souq, which was newly built, offered ample space for local businesses in the emirate.
  • From the archives

    January 30, 1989
    Air show gets off to a flying start

    The biggest aviation event in the Middle East, Dubai ’89, got off to a spectacular start, as thousands witnessed the world’s most sophisticated jets giving a dazzling display of their prowess. The UAE Defence Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who inaugurated the exhibition, was present during the 90-minute aerial show. Officials briefed him on the 28 aircrafts on display at the tarmac.

    His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurating the Sharjah TV station.
  • From the archives

    October 22, 1990
    Sheikh Maktoum named PM, VP

    His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, Ruler of Dubai, has been named Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE. The President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, announced the appointment, following the passing away of Sheikh Rashid on October 7. Sheikh Maktoum later formed a new cabinet which replaced the 22-man group of ministers formed by his father in 1979.

    A June 15 photo shows the UAE national football team posing for a group picture before their World Cup first-round match against West Germany in Italy.
  • From the archives

    February 7, 1991
    First test-tube baby delivered

    The first test-tube baby conceived at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain was delivered on the previous day. The girl, weighing 1.3kg, is in good health, according to Dr Majdi, a member of the three-doctor team, who performed the caesarean operation on the 25-year-old mother. The other doctors were Dr Hanz Gransil and Dr Cheeck. Dr Majdi said the mother was referred to the test-tube baby section in May after she developed an infection.

    This image shows a busy Friday marketplace outside a Deira hotel, crowded with Asian residents from the area on the look-out for weekend bargains.
  • From the archives

    May 13, 1992
    Burjuman Centre’s grand opening

    The Dh350 million Burjuman Centre, ready to open the following day, has all the ingredients of a successful shopping mall, its general manager Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said. In an interview with Khaleej Times, he unveiled details of what went into the making of Burjuman, which means “land of the finest pearl”. “You have to see it to believe it. We are not simply selling a shopping mall, but an experience,” Mr Ghurair said.

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurates the Emirates Golf Club course.
  • From the archives

    February 15, 1993
    Zayed speaks on foreign policy

    The President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, affirmed the UAE’s keenness to boost its relations with all world nations for the common good and interest of mankind. During the opening of the International Defence Exhibition (Idex ’93), he said the UAE’s foreign policy was based on mutual respect for all world nations.

    His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, visits the newly-opened Quran Monument.
  • From the archives

    April 1, 1994
    Dh700m Al Ain airport now open

    The UAE added another string to its aviation bow this week following the inauguration of Al Ain International Airport. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the unveiling ceremony of the Dh700 million project. The first plane to touch down at the newly-opened airport was a Boeing 767 Gulf Air flight from Oman.

    A birds-eye view of King Faisal Mosque surrounded by the lush greenery of Sharjah Ittihad Park.
  • From the archives

    May 19, 1995
    Mercedes, Camry taxis deployed

    The first batch of 120 brand new Mercedes E220 and 1995 Toyota Camry cars were set to begin their month-long trial in Dubai to provide 24-hour service to customers. Dubai Transport Corporation fixed the flag down rate at Dh3, and Dh1 for every succeeding kilometer. Taxi meters were also adjusted to calculate the time wasted in traffic jams and passengers had to pay Dh20 an hour if they asked the taxi to wait for them.

    One of the few public meeting places where thousands meet every weekend, Sharjah Rolla Square, is adorned with antique cannons to display ancient heritage.
  • From the archives

    May 21, 1996
    UAE gets permanent Constitution

    The UAE’s Federal Supreme Council, which met under the chairmanship of the President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, approved a proposal to amend the country’s constitution by striking out the word "provisional" from it and referred the draft amendment to the Federal National Council for discussion and ratification. In the same meeting, it was also decided that Abu Dhabi would remain as the UAE capital.

    27 March, 1996 — American horse Cigar wins $4 million Dubai World Cup at the Naad Al Sheba Race Track.
  • From the archives

    June 12, 1997
    Rashid inaugurates Dreamland

    His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, inaugurates the world’s largest aqua park, ‘Dreamland’. The park hosts 2,200 car park spaces for visitors and it opened with a bang, as fireworks set the scene for a new chapter in UAQ’s journey to becoming a family-fun destination.

    Demolition of old Chicago Beach hotel in Dubai. An under-construction Burj Al Arab Hotel is also seen.
  • From the archives

    July 2, 1998
    Fun-filled start to summer festival

    Parents and children were out in force following the launch of the first Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) festival. The theme of the first summer promotion, introduced to boost the emirate’s economic activity during the summer, is ‘Big Fun for Little Ones’. A giant hive of 30,000 balloons in DSS colours of canary, aqua and royal blue was released into the night sky, after which began a display of fireworks.

    The first batch of passengers at Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 was greeted with flowers and gifts.
  • From the archives

    November 2, 1999
    Mohammed visits residential project

    General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, took a tour of the Dubai Hills Residential Project yesterday. Mohammed Al Abbar, Board Chairman of the Emaar property company (owner of the project), showed delegates a model of the project and briefed them on the details of the residential area, which will cost Dh1 billion to construct.

    Sheikh Mohammed at the launch of Dubai Internet City, the initial project phase of which cost $200 million.
  • From the archives

    October 30, 2000
    Dubai government now online

    With the touch of a button, the Emirate of Dubai was propelled into the forefront of the electronic age. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, inaugurated the Dubai e-Government Portal through which all Dubai government online services can be accessed.

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum opening the valve to release water into the Dubai Marina.
  • From the archives

    May 2, 2001
    Largest man-made island to come up in Dubai

    The world’s largest man-made island will soon rise from the sea off the coast of Dubai on a foundation of rock and sand, It will take two years to build and work on the project is due to start in June this year. To be called Palm Island, it will have two islands planned by Dubai Palm Developers.

    HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launches the Dubai e-Government Portal.
  • From the archives

    February 17, 2002
    Dubai announces establishment of DIFC

    General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE’s Defence Minister, announced the establishment of Dubai International Financial Centre to serve as a “bridge between financial markets of the East and the West”. The centre, like those of London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York, would be a gateway for the flow of capital to and from the region.

    HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announces the launch of Dubai Healthcare City.
  • From the archives

    October 21, 2003
    Dh18b Dubailand mega project launched

    General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, launched Dubailand, an Dh18 billion mega project that will be the biggest development in the tourism, leisure and entertainment sector in the Middle East. The project is expected to attract investors from the UAE and Gulf region, as well as some international investors.

    Sheikh Mohammed being briefed after he inaugurated the Knowledge Village in Dubai.
  • From the archives

    November 3, 2004
    Sheikh Khalifa is named President

    His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, was elected unanimously by the UAE Supreme Council as the new President of the United Arab Emirates. A statement issued by the Office of the President said: “The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, expressed his appreciation for the trust and confidence shown in him by his colleagues and brothers, the rulers of the emirates.”

    General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Defence Minister of UAE, visiting the construction site of Burj Dubai (now Burj Khalifa), the world’s tallest building, in Dubai.
  • From the archives

    November 13, 2005
    DIFC formally launched

    The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was formally inaugurated by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE Defence Minister and president of the DIFC. An invited audience — many of whom had flown in from around the world — witnessed the inauguration that also marked a year of operations and achievements by the Dubai International Financial Centre.

    Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to US player Andre Agassi on top of the helipad of Burj Al Arab on Feb. 22. The helipad is situated 211m high and covers 415 square metres.
  • From the archives

    January 5, 2006
    Sheikh Mohammed becomes Ruler
    of Dubai

    General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, took over as Ruler of Dubai, following the death of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Mohammed was appointed Crown Prince of the emirate by a decree signed by the late Sheikh Maktoum 11 years earlier, on January 3, 1995. Sheikh Mohammed will start receiving condolences.

    The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, registered in the UAE Population Register and obtained his National Card in Abu Dhabi.
  • From the archives

    September 20, 2007
    Mohammed launches Dubai Cares

    His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the Dubai Cares campaign, a new charity initiative during the Holy Month of Ramadan. It will help educate one million children in poor countries around the world. The fund, to be raised over a six-week long drive, will go to countries which lack resources for education and face major impediments to growth.

    His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum officially launched operations of the new telecommunications operator du.
  • From the archives

    February 2, 2008
    Hamdan is Crown Prince of dubai

    His Highness sheikh Mohammed bin rashid al Maktoum, vice-President and Prime Minister of the Uae, has issued a decree in his capacity as ruler of Dubai, appointing sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin rashid al Maktoum as Crown Prince of Dubai.

    The long-awaited Dubai Mall opens its doors to the public, revealing a landmark that will etch Dubai as a retail destination on the world map.
  • From the archives

    September 10, 2009
    Dubai Metro makes maiden trip

    History was made as the Dubai Metro made its maiden trip at 9min and 9sec past 9pm on September 9, 2009. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAe and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the launch and was joined on the historic first trip from the Mall of the emirates station by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

    Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, with other oἀicials at the unveiling of the first flydubai Boeing 737-800.
  • From the archives

    July 2, 2010
    Dubai World Central inaugurated

    “Dubai promised and delivered,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during his tour of the Dubai World Central — Al Maktoum international Airport. Sheikh Mohammed officially inaugurated the first phase of the 140-square kilometer Dubai World Central project in the presence of senior government officials.

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s representative in the Eastern region, during the opening of the Burj Khalifa.
  • From the archives

    May 17, 2011
    RAK Maritime City launched

    Ras Al Khaimah launched the RAK Maritime City (RAK MC), the emirate’s fifth port facility and UAE’s newest maritime free zone. The facility was launched by His Highness Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. The harbour entrance approach depth is nine metres and there is a depth of seven metres available at all the new berths.

    His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, ride on the inaugural Metro Green Line.
  • From the archives

    December 13, 2012
    Mega projects boost economy

    The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has expressed his pride at the completion of projects that are of benefit to the citizens and that strengthen the national economy. He made his remarks while inaugurating the Khalifa Port, . The ceremony was also attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

    The UAE football team celebrates after defeating Uzbekistan 3-2 in the Olympic qualifier in Tashkent.
  • From the archives

    November 28, 2013
    Dubai wins Expo 2020 bid

    Dubai bagged the right to host the world’s biggest exposition following a gruelling campaign and three rounds of voting in Paris, the French capital. The World Expo 2020 tally was overwhelmingly in favour of the dynamic city where dreams are turned into reality through enterprise and passion. Dubai’s tally of 116 out of 163 votes put Russia’s Ekaterinburg in the shade. The residents rejoiced as the winner was announced.

    Their Highnesses Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE; and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the opening ceremony of Shams 1 Solar Project.
  • From the archives

    October 22, 2014
    UAE takes first step to Mars mission

    Emiratis will lead the UAE’s mission to Mars with the UAE Space Agency and Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) signing an agreement in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Vice-President called it mission of national pride which would contribute to the spread of knowledge.

    Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, tries a hand at tram in this photo dated Nov. 11.
  • From the archives

    November 28, 2015
    Country salutes 45 martyrs

    The UAE honoured 45 soldiers who were killed fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the whole country is living a new spirit with the sacrifices of the soldiers “who we hold deep in our hearts with pride for their glorious deed”.

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the blueprint for the new museum which is backed by a strong endowment and led by international collaborations.
  • From the archives

    November 10, 2016
    VP inaugurates Dubai Water Canal

    His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, officially opened the Dubai Water Canal, adding another iconic landmark for the city. Dubai Water Canal extends the Dubai Creek to the Arabian Gulf, connecting the old and the new and further strengthening Dubai as a global centre for tourism.

    HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum opened the Dubai Water Canal.
  • From the archives

    May 1, 2017
    Type with pride in Dubai’s own font

    Dubai got its own type with the Microsoft Word! Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, launched the Dubai Font. He directed all the government institutions in Dubai to adopt the font in official correspondence, saying it is considered a positive shift that will boost the emirate’s competitiveness in smart technology.

    His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, receives the order of the ‘Mother of the Nation’ from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi