There are records of the town of Dubai from 1799. Earlier in the 18th century the Al Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in Dubai which was a dependent of the settlement of Abu Dhabi until 1833.
On 8 January 1820, the sheikh of Dubai was a signatory to the British sponsored "General Treaty of Peace" (the General Maritime Treaty).
In 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over the town of Dubai, "without resistance". From that point on, Dubai, a newly independent emirate, was constantly at odds with the emirate of Abu Dhabi. An attempt by the Qawasim pirates to take over Dubai was thwarted. In 1835, Dubai and the rest of the Trucial States signed a maritime truce with Britain and a "Perpetual Maritime Truce" about two decades later. Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom (keeping out the Ottoman Turks) by the Exclusive Agreement of 1892. Like four of its neighbours, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position on the route to India made it an important location.
In March 1892, the Trucial States (or Trucial Oman) were created.
The rulers of Dubai fostered trade and commerce, unlike the town's neighbors. The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen (chiefly Indians), who settled in the town. Until the 1930s, the town was known for its pearl exports.
After the devaluation of the Gulf Rupee in 1966, Dubai joined the newly independent state of Qatar to set up a new monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai riyal. Oil was discovered 120 kilometres off the coast of Dubai, after which the town granted oil concessions.
On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971. In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a single, uniform currency: the UAE dirham.
The current ruler of Dubai is H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Like the preceding ruler, his older brother H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he is also the Vice President and the Prime Minister of the UAE.