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The District Council of Hulu Terengganu was established on 1 January, 1981 under the 3rd Section of Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171) (Amendment 1978). Prior to this it was known as Jumaah Bandaran Ulu Terengganu. It was formally launched by the Menteri Besar of Terengganu at that time; Dato' Seri Amar Diraja Dato' Haji Wan Mokhtar bin Ahmad at the Kuala Brang Municial Hall on Monday, 30 August 1982.

Hulu Terengganu is located 40 km from the centre of Kuala Terengganu, covering an area of 53.4 square km and three parishes; Kuala Berang, Tanggol and Penghulu Diman. On 18 July 1996, the district of Hulu Terengganu; a 3,874.63 square km area was gazetted as the jurisdictional area of the local government (MDHT).

Currently it encompasses seven parishes; Kuala Berang, Tanggol, Tersat, Penghulu Diman, Jenagor, Hulu Telemong and Hulu Berang. Its operation area is 53.4 square km whereas the administrational area is 3,821.23 square km.

The population is numbered at 74,918 (year 2000 bancian), 3,586 more than during MDHT's early years (year 1970).