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Dhaka is the capital and most populous city of Bangladesh, as well as the most populous metropolis in the Bengal region of South Asia. It is the tenth-biggest and fourth-most densely populated metropolis in the world, with a population of 8.9 million persons inside the city boundaries and a population of more than 21 million residents in the Greater Dhaka Area as of 2011. It is the capital of Bangladesh and the country's largest city. Located in the heart of Bangladesh's economic, political, and cultural life, Dhaka is one of the most important cities in South Asia, as well as the largest city in Eastern South Asia and among the Bay of Bengal countries, as well as one of the largest cities in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries. The city is bordered by the Buriganga River, the Turag River, the Dhaleshwari River, and the Shitalakshya River, all of which are considered to be part of the Bengal plain.

Historically, the region around Dhaka has been inhabited from at least the first millennium BC. The city grew to prominence in the 17th century as the provincial capital and commercial hub of the Mughal Empire, and it has remained so to this day. Dhaka served as the capital of the proto-industrialised Mughal Bengal for 75 years (1608–39 and 1660–1704), during which time the city saw rapid growth. It was one of the most affluent towns in the world since it was the focal point of the muslin trade in Bengal. The city was called Jahangirabad in honour of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, and it served as the administrative centre for the Mughal Subahdar, Naib Nazims, Dhaka Nawabs, and Dewans, among others. The splendour of mediaeval Dhaka reached its zenith in the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was a haven for traders from all across Eurasia. It was the epicentre of a thriving marine commerce that drew in merchants from all around Europe. With beautifully landscaped gardens, tombs, mosques, palaces and forts, the Mughals enhanced the beauty of the city. In the past, the city was referred to as the "Venice of the East." Electricity, trains, theatres, Western-style institutions and colleges, as well as a modern water system, were all introduced to the city when it was under British administration. After being designated as the capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam province in 1905, it grew in importance as an administrative and educational hub for the British Raj. After the end of British control in 1947, the city was elevated to the status of administrative capital of East Pakistan. During the year 1962, it was designated as Pakistan's legislative capital. Following the Liberation War, it was designated as the capital of an independent Bangladesh in 1971.

Dhaka is the financial, economic, and entertainment hub of Bangladesh, and it contributes for up to 35 percent of the country's total GDP, according to the World Bank. Since its foundation as a modern capital city, Dhaka has seen significant growth in terms of population, land area, social and economic variety. The city has developed into one of Bangladesh's most intensively industrialised districts in recent years. The capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, is a prominent beta-global city, since it is home to the headquarters of a number of worldwide firms. By the twenty-first century, it had developed into a megacity. The Dhaka Stock Exchange now has around 750 firms listed on it. The city is home to more than 50 diplomatic missions, as well as the headquarters of the BIMSTEC organisation. Culture in the city is noted for its rickshaws, food, art festivals, and religious diversity, among other things. More than 2000 buildings from the Mughal and British eras may be seen in the old city, including significant constructions like as the Bara Katra caravansaries and the Choto Katra caravansaries.