"Dubai, What is in the name?" Dubai by Doctor38

Dubai Travel Guide: 2,797 reviews and 8,265 photos

Dubai in Arabic means young Desert Locust!! Why is it called that way? Will this area was full of Locust as recent as 50+ years ago. Actually Dubai area was known for Grass hopper to an extent that there is a very old Arabic Proverb (may be pre-Islamic era or early Islamic period), when some body want to describe something as plentiful he would say "like the Locust of Dubai”.

The Stem Deb/Dub in Semitic languges has lots of connections to insects and animals, it also means to crawl or walk and It is interesting for you to know that Debroha, the Biblical name, which means a bee in Ancient Caananite language (Dabbor in Arabic is also a type of bee)

Ok I will digress but you might be interested to know that in Arabic launguage lots of Animal names come from this stem ( db ) for example

Daabah: Animels in general
Dubb : Bear
Dhabb: Lizard
Dhaby (like in Abo Dhaby, UAE capitol): Gazelle
Dabbor :bee
Thobab: Fly (insect)
Theeb : Wolf
Dhaba' : Hayina

The pesky insects not only disappeared from Dubai but almost from the entire Arabian Peninsula. The insects used to invade the area from Africa across the Red Sea! Why aren't they around any more! I don't know. You might be surprised to know that people used to eat em!! I asked my grand father how it tasted like. Will his answer was (No not chicken) but shrimps. I have to admit that 30 years ago during a fluke, aberrant, mini Locust invasion of the surrounding area I saw a plate full of Locust? How was it prepared? Will it was boiled and NO I did NOT eat any of it. Any way I guess in the early 20th Century and time prior to that those Locust ate nothing but clean desert vegetation and where probably a source of healthy proteins.

I suppose -I am not sure- that people in the deserts of Africa do still eat these Locust, Please feel free to correct me if you think that I am wrong.

If you want to know more about Locust read

  • Intro Updated Apr 30, 2010
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Reviews (5)

Comments (7)

  • ines2003's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    good information, nice picture great job bye

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2008 at 5:28 AM

    Great job on Dubai page. I bet Dubai will be the next all time tourist destination like Italy and France!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    As usual interesting and informative tips - and no Im not eating locusts either. We didnt eat them in Morocco but Ive watched them being eaten by African tribes in other countries on TV docu's!.... bye for now.

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:42 AM

    Very interesting page on Dubai's naming history and locusts! Good tips. Gillybob greetings

  • canuck68's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2007 at 4:18 PM

    You live in a very nice city. I am wondering how hot it gets there. I think I will pass on the locusts.

  • Polskigirl's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2007 at 5:45 AM

    Nice place looks Dubai, tks for share and let us to Know it. Also, many tks for your comments in the migraine Forum. I hope sirenna dont have it, mine its going better....just few nauseas and eye pain still.

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2007 at 3:06 PM

    Enjoyed reading about Dubai, hope you write more. The Metro will be great when it's finished! greetings from New Zealand, Pam :-)

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