A brief political history of United Arab Emirates

A brief political history of United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Ummal-Quwain. Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language in the Emirates.

UAE as a region is mid way through the eastern and western world and thus very important economic centres. In the late 15th century, following the exploration trail of Vasco De Gama, the Portuguese noticed the region and became the first among European nations to attempt exerting supremacy over the Gulf of Oman and waterways leading to the Indian Ocean. Portuguese controlled the trade in the region from early till the end of 16th century. Their control ended when Ottoman naval forces defeated the Portuguese naval forces at several places along the coast. Eventually, the British got the upper hand in the region and controlled the trade.

Due to the piracy in the region, the local rulers made an agreement with the British empire to tackle the problem of piracy along the Coast in 1820. In the previous year the British had conducted extensive operations .But the next year they came together to fight the pirates as one and this established the British empire in the region. This led to several European countries losing out in the race to control trade in the region. These raids on the pirates continued until about 1835, when the sheikhs made a truce which was formalized in a treaty with the British that was enacted in 1853.

British aimed at solidifying their bonds with the sheikhs and sidelined the other European countries by signing a treaty in 1892. With this, the Sheikhs were not able to dispose their territories to a non-British Government or enter into a relationship with any other foreign Government without the consent of British. In return the British Empire promised to protect their coast from any external agents causing disruptions in the region and also protect them from any attack. Under the British control, the region indulged in trade of pearl to several countries and developed the industry. The discovery of oil in the region in early 1960 changed the political dynamics in the region.

Oil discovery led to the US companies setting up base in the region and British started losing on their investments in the region. With this loss of income, they could not afford to govern the region as earlier. They decided to move out of the region in 1968 and finished the process by 1971. The treaty with the seven “trucial sheikhdoms” and Bahrain and Qatar was officially ended. The ruler of Abu Dhabi tried to convince the British forces to stay back and protect them for a consideration, which was turned down by the British. Abu Dhabi realised the need to be together and decided to form a union with Dubai.

Abu Dhabi was the first emirate to begin exporting crude oil in 1962 and was followed soon by Dubai, whose exports had begun by 1969. The rulers of both these emirates plied the increasing revenue from the export of oil into the development of public infrastructure like houses, schools and other educational institutions, hospitals roads etc. The creation of a federation between the sheikhdoms was prompted by the expansion of the oil industry, which underwent economic boom, starting from the 1960s.

UAE is a rich in art and culture .There are people from a lot of countries settles here for work. Trade developed their economy and demanded worker from other countries to come and work. Friday is observed as a holiday in the region due to this day being the holy day for the native Muslim community.

 

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