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shiva Dec 3rd 2008 5:18 pm

Re: The UAE, some history
Thx folks. Will try to find some history for each of the Emirates and add it to this thread as well. We all too often complain of the lack of history and culture here, which just isnt the case in reality. Its just that its not easily accessible.

shiva Dec 3rd 2008 5:37 pm

Re: The UAE, some history
Zayed speaking

Autonomy Dec 3rd 2008 5:56 pm

Re: The UAE, some history

Originally Posted by shiva (Post 7033697)
Thx folks. Will try to find some history for each of the Emirates and add it to this thread as well. We all too often complain of the lack of history and culture here, which just isnt the case in reality. Its just that its not easily accessible.

Great thread and great sentiment.

Sticky - hope this thread grows with great history on Dubai and the UAE.

I'm aware this is the ME Forum, however this is relevant and worth preserving for many forum users...

Thanks Shiva, nice work....

shiva Dec 3rd 2008 6:22 pm

Re: The UAE, some history
Thx, since its of interest I may add another thread on other ME countries....let me get done with the UAE first though!

shiva Dec 4th 2008 6:56 am

Re: The UAE, some history
ADMA-OPCO Oil Company History

Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) operates all Abu Dhabi offshore oil production

shiva Dec 4th 2008 7:02 am

Re: The UAE, some history
Documentray/Company presentation on the histroy of the Al Fahim Group, one of Abu Dhabi's biggest and most powerful local groups, with some local histroy thrown in.

The book "rags to riches: a story of Abu Dhabi" by Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim details both the Al Fahim Groups story and some of the history of Abu Dhabi and is well worth a read.

shiva Dec 4th 2008 7:08 am

Re: The UAE, some history
Documentray on Abu Dhabi. Its a little cheesy and dated but there is some incredible early footage of Abu Dhabi in this film. I suspect this is one of the oil company sponsored documentary/adverts that was sponsored in the 70's and 80's. Nonetheless definately worth watching.

Abu Dhabi: The Beginning - Part 1

Abu Dhabi: The Beginning - Part 2

Abu Dhabi: The Beginning - Part 3

shiva Dec 4th 2008 7:15 am

Re: The UAE, some history
Incredible old footage, circa late 50's of Abu Dhabi.

Harbour Life in the UAE. 1957

Pearl fishers of Abu Dhabi in 1957

Das Island 1957

shiva Dec 4th 2008 7:19 am

Re: The UAE, some history
Quick version of Abu Dhabi history

"Parts of Abu Dhabi were settled in the 3rd millennium BC and its early history fits the nomadic herding and fishing pattern typical of the broader region. Modern Abu Dhabi traces its origins to the rise of an important tribal confederation, the Bani Yas, in the late 18th century, which also subsequently assumed control of the town of Dubai. In the 19th century the Dubai and Abu Dhabi branches parted ways.

Into the mid-20th century, the economy of Abu Dhabi continued to be sustained mainly by camel herding, production of dates and vegetables at the inland oases of Al Ain and Liwa Oasis, and fishing and pearl diving off the coast of Abu Dhabi city, which was occupied mainly during the summer months. Most dwellings in Abu Dhabi city were, at this time constructed of palm fronds (barasti), with the wealthier families occupying mud huts. The growth of the cultured pearl industry in the first half of the twentieth century created hardship for residents of Abu Dhabi as pearls represented the largest export and main source of cash earnings.

In 1939, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan granted petroleum concessions, and oil was first found in 1958. At first, oil money had a marginal impact. A few lowrise concrete buildings were erected, and the first paved road was completed in 1961, but Sheikh Shakbut, uncertain whether the new oil royalties would last, took a cautious approach, preferring to save the revenue rather than investing it in development. His brother, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, saw that oil wealth had the potential to transform Abu Dhabi. The ruling Al Nahyan family decided that Sheikh Zayed should replace his brother as ruler and carry out his vision of developing the country. On August 6, 1966, with the assistance of the British, Sheikh Zayed became the new ruler. [3]

With the announcement by the UK in 1968 that it would withdraw from the Persian Gulf area by 1971, Sheikh Zayed became the main driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates.

After the Emirates gained independence in 1971, oil wealth continued to flow to the area and traditional mud-brick huts were rapidly replaced with banks, boutiques and modern highrises."


shiva Dec 4th 2008 7:35 am

Re: The UAE, some history
The UAE a Potted History

"The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia. The seven states, termed emirates, are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain."

"The United Arab Emirates was originally formed from tribally-organized Arabian Peninsula sheikhdoms along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf and the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Oman. It had been part of Oman and was then called Oman's Gulf. The UAE was only established thirty seven years ago; the emirates bonded together and became one united country, which has evolved into a modern, high-income nation.

Portuguese expansion into the Indian Ocean in the early sixteenth century following Vasco da Gama's route of exploration saw them battle the Ottomans up the coast of the Persian Gulf. The Portuguese controlled the area for 150 years in which they conquered the inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula. It is noteworthy to mention that Vasco da Gama was helped by Ibn Majid, an Arab from Julphar (now known as Ras Al Khaimah, one of the UAE emirates), to find the route of spices.

British & Ottomans
Then, portions of the nation came under the direct influence of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century. Thereafter the region was known to the British as the "Pirate Coast", as raiders based there harassed the shipping industry despite both European and Arab navies patrolling the area from the 17th century into the 19th century. British expeditions to protect the Indian trade from raiders at Ras al-Khaimah led to campaigns against that headquarters and other harbours along the coast in 1819. The next year, a peace treaty was signed to which all the sheikhs of the coast adhered. Raids continued intermittently until 1835, when the sheikhs agreed not to engage in hostilities at sea. In 1853, they signed a treaty with the United Kingdom, under which the sheikhs (the "Trucial Sheikhdoms") agreed to a "perpetual maritime truce." It was enforced by the United Kingdom, and disputes among sheikhs were referred to the British for settlement.
Primarily in reaction to the ambitions of other European countries, the United Kingdom and the Trucial Sheikhdoms established closer bonds in an 1892 treaty, similar to treaties entered into by the UK with other Persian Gulf principalities. The sheikhs agreed not to dispose of any territory except to the United Kingdom and not to enter into relationships with any foreign government other than the United Kingdom without its consent. In return, the British promised to protect the Trucial Coast from all aggression by sea and to help in case of land attack.

In 1955, the United Kingdom sided with Abu Dhabi in the latter's dispute with Oman over the Buraimi Oasis another territory to the south. A 1974 agreement between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia would have settled the Abu Dhabi-Saudi border dispute; however, the agreement has yet to be ratified by the UAE government and is not recognised by the Saudi government. The border with Oman also remains officially unsettled, but the two governments agreed to delineate the border in May 1999.

Sheikh Zayed, Oil & the Union
In the early 1960s, oil was discovered in Abu Dhabi, an event that led to quick unification calls made by UAE sheikdoms. Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1967 and the British started losing their oil investments and contracts to U.S. oil companies.

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.The British had earlier started a development office that helped in some small developments in the Emirates. The sheikhs of the Emirates then decided to form a council to coordinate matters between them and took over the development office. They formed the Trucial States Council and appointed Adi Bitar, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum's legal advisor, as Secretary General and Legal Advisor to the Council. The Council was terminated once the United Arab Emirates was formed.

In 1968, the United Kingdom announced its decision, reaffirmed in March 1971, to end the treaty relationships with the seven Trucial Sheikhdoms which had been, together with Bahrain and Qatar, under British protection. The nine attempted to form a union of Arab Emirates, but by mid-1971 they were still unable to agree on terms of union, even though the British treaty relationship was to expire in December of that year.

Bahrain became independent in August and Qatar in September 1971. When the British-Trucial Shaikhdoms treaty expired on December 1, 1971, they became fully independent.

The rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai decided to form a union between their two emirates independently, prepare a constitution, then call the rulers of the other five emirates to a meeting and offer them the opportunity to join. It was also agreed between the two that Adi Bitar write the constitution by December 2, 1971.

On that date, at the Dubai Guesthouse Palace, four other emirates agreed to enter into a union called the United Arab Emirates. Ras al-Khaimah joined later, in early 1972.

The UAE sent forces into Kuwait during the 1990–91 Gulf War.

The UAE supports military operations from the United States and other Coalition nations that are engaged in the invasions of Iraq (2003) and Afghanistan (2001) as well as Operations supporting the Global War on Terrorism for the Horn of Africa at the Al Dhafra Air Base located outside of Abu Dhabi. The air base also supported Allied operations during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and Operation Northern Watch.

On November 2, 2004, the UAE's first president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, died. His eldest son, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, succeeded as ruler of Abu Dhabi. In accordance with the constitution, the UAE's Supreme Council of Rulers elected Khalifa as president. Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan succeeded Khalifa as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi"


See Also:

Abu Dhabi
Umm al-Quwain
Ras al-Khaimah

shiva Dec 4th 2008 8:00 am

Re: The UAE, some history
Dubai History: a quick guide

" Very little is known about pre-Islamic culture in the south-east Arabian peninsula, except that many ancient towns in the area were trading centers between the Eastern and Western worlds. The remnants of an ancient mangrove swamp, dated at 7,000 years, were discovered during the construction of sewer lines near Dubai Internet City. The area had been covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coastline retreated inland, becoming a part of the city's present coastline. Prior to Islam, the people in this region worshiped Bajir (or Bajar). The Byzantine and Sassanian empires constituted the great powers of the period, with the Sassanians controlling much of the region. After the spread of Islam in the region, the Umayyad Caliph, of the eastern Islamic world, invaded south-east Arabia and drove out the Sassanians. Excavations undertaken by the Dubai Museum in the region of Al-Jumayra (Jumeirah) indicate the existence of several artifacts from the Umayyad period. The earliest recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095, in the "Book of Geography" by the Andalusian-Arab geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri. The Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi visited the area in 1580 and mentioned Dubai (Dibei) for its pearling industry. Documented records of the town of Dubai exist only after 1799.

In the early 19th century, the Al Abu Falasa clan (House of Al-Falasi) of Bani Yas clan established Dubai, which remained a dependent of Abu Dhabi until 1833. On 8 January 1820, the sheikh of Dubai and other sheikhs in the region signed the "General Maritime Peace Treaty" with the British government. However, in 1833, the Al Maktoum dynasty (also descendants of the House of Al-Falasi) of the Bani Yas tribe left the settlement of Abu Dhabi and took over Dubai from the Abu Fasala clan without resistance. Dubai came under the protection of the United Kingdom by the "Exclusive Agreement" of 1892, with the latter agreeing to protect Dubai against any attacks from the Ottoman Empire. Two catastrophes struck the town during the mid 1800s. First, in 1841, a smallpox epidemic broke out in the Bur Dubai locality, forcing residents to relocate east to Deira. Then, in 1894, fire swept through Deira, burning down most homes. However, the town's geographical location continued to attract traders and merchants from around the region. The emir of Dubai was keen to attract foreign traders and lowered trade tax brackets, which lured traders away from Sharjah and Bandar Lengeh, which were the region's main trade hubs at the time.

Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1799, is the oldest existing building in Dubai. Dubai's geographical proximity to India made it an important location. The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen, chiefly those from India, many of whom eventually settled in the town. Dubai was known for its pearl exports until the 1930s. However, Dubai's pearling industry was damaged irreparably by the events of World War I, and later on by the Great Depression in the late 1920s. Consequently, the city witnessed a mass migration of people to other parts of the Persian Gulf. Since its inception, Dubai was constantly at odds with Abu Dhabi. In 1947, a border dispute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the northern sector of their mutual border, escalated into war between the two states. Arbitration by the British and the creation of a buffer frontier running south eastwards from the coast at Ras Hasian resulted in a temporary cessation of hostilities. However, border disputes between the emirates continued even after the formation of the UAE; it was only in 1979 that a formal compromise was reached that ended hostilities and border disputes between the two states. Electricity, telephone services and an airport were established in Dubai in the 1950s, when the British moved their local administrative offices from Sharjah to Dubai. In 1966 the town joined the newly independent country of Qatar to set up a new monetary unit, the Qatar/Dubai Riyal, after the deflation of the Gulf rupee. Oil was discovered in Dubai the same year, after which the town granted concessions to international oil companies. The discovery of oil led to a massive influx of foreign workers, mainly Indians and Pakistanis. As a result, the population of the city from 1968 to 1975 grew by over 300%, by some estimates.

On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates after former protector Britain left the Persian Gulf in 1971. In 1973, Dubai joined the other emirates to adopt a uniform currency: the UAE dirham. In the 1970s, Dubai continued to grow from revenues generated from oil and trade, even as the city saw an influx of Lebanese immigrants fleeing the civil war in Lebanon. The Jebel Ali Free Zone, comprising the Jebel Ali port (reputedly the world's largest man made port) was established in 1979, which provided foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital.

The Persian Gulf War of 1990 had a huge impact on the city. Economically, Dubai banks experienced a massive withdrawal of funds due to uncertain political conditions in the region. During the course of the 1990s, however, many foreign trading communities — first from Kuwait, during the Persian Gulf War, and later from Bahrain, during the Shia unrest, moved their businesses to Dubai. Dubai provided refueling bases to allied forces at the Jebel Ali free zone during the Persian Gulf war, and again, during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Large increases in oil prices after the Persian Gulf war encouraged Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and tourism. The success of the Jebel Ali free zone allowed the city to replicate its model to develop clusters of new free zones, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Maritime City. The construction of Burj Al Arab, the world's tallest freestanding hotel, as well as the creation of new residential developments, were used to market Dubai for purposes of tourism. Since 2002, the city has seen an increase in private real estate investment in recreating Dubai's skyline with such projects as The Palm Islands, The World Islands and Burj Dubai. However, robust economic growth in recent years has been accompanied by rising inflation rates (at 11.2% as of 2007 when measured against Consumer Price Index) which is attributed in part due to the near doubling of commercial and residential rental costs, resulting in a substantial increase in the cost of living for residents."

See also:

Pictures of Dubai

Sheikh Zayed Road taken in 1990

Sheikh Zayed Road taken in 2004

Clock Tower roundabout: Before circa 70's?

Clock Tower roundabout circa early 2000's

Map of Dubai in 1822
from here:

Jumeira Beach Road

Beach Road

Creek circa 60's

Pictures and stories of Dubai through time can be found here:

and here:

Old Abu Dhabi:

shiva Dec 4th 2008 8:02 am

Re: The UAE, some history
Dubai Airport 60's

Etisalat the early days
all taken from here:

shiva Dec 4th 2008 8:21 am

Re: The UAE, some history
UAE links

some links for further info

Emirates Natural History Group:
incredible resource for information on the UAE's natural history with a phenominal online archive of articles on everything from archaeology and fossils to plant life and geology

Natural Emirates:
guide to flora and fauna

UAE Interact:
historical guide, from prehistory on

has some great local interest stuff on all subjects

Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS):
incredible resource for archaeology in the UAE, some really stunning stuff and right at the cutting edge of knowledge about early man in the Middle East. now been merged into
Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage:

Sharjah Museums Department:
Sharjah now has some of the best museums in the Middle East

shiva Dec 4th 2008 8:30 am

Re: The UAE, some history
General Middle East info, news, history.
One of the best web resources for the region is the online version of the publication "Saudi Aramco World", they have been published since 1949 and contain some excellent information and stories on the region
Saudi Aramco World", :
back issues:
subject index: (would take years to work through all of this)

shiva Dec 13th 2008 4:33 pm

Re: The UAE, some history
Ras Al Khaimah Museum
Well worth visiting, ok the place is falling apart but to their credit they are renovating it. Fantastic collection with some real eye openers from roman amphora and ancient Iraqi glass to chinese plates

Factoid: RAK is the birthplace of Ibn Majid the famed Arab navigator whom Vasco De Gamma and the portugese used to forge a route to India, without whom there wouldnt have been Goa etc and spices in Europe would have remained the preserve of the elite and super rich. He is also claimed to have invented the Magnetic compass again without which......

If you decided to visit make sure you drive past the museum along towards the beach and fishing village as most of the buildings in the area are now preserved as archaeological sites, a great glimps into the past.

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