The modern state of Negara Brunei Darussalam (or, "Abode of Peace") achieved its independence from the British in 1984 after 96 years of existence as a British protectorate. The state is currently run by a royal family who established a kingdom in Brunei c. 1363, when the first sultan, Sultan Muhammad (Alak Betatar) was installed. The present ruler, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is the 29th sultan from the lineage, and is among the world's richest men. Likewise, Brunei is well known for its wealth, and its population ranks amongst those with the highest per capita GNP and income in the world. As a major oil producer, Brunei uses the income generated from those revenues to develop the economy, expand the infrastructure and improve educational and welfare systems. Income is supplemented by curious tourists, eager to visit a slowly modernizing, fairly isolated country. The Historical Dictionary of Brunei Darussalam looks at the historical, political, economic, cultural and social backgrounds of this intriguing state. Appendixes list the genealogy of the Sultans of Brunei, and present key information on the political heads of the country. Twenty tables give figures on the population, finance, exports and imports. The Dictionary also includes a glossary, chronology and ten maps.