When was the UAE founded?

United Arab Emirates history


Archaeological finds indicate settlement of the islands off the coast of what is now the United States. as early as the 3rd millennium BC. down. Nomadic tribes probably lived on the mainland. The first larger settlements in the coastal region did not emerge until the 8th century AD. as trading bases. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese founded what is now the V.A.E. Settlements, traded predominantly in pearls, later also in slaves. In the 18th century the Bedouin settlements were founded in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The coast was also called "pirate coast", the existing islands, sandbanks and coral reefs, which make the passage of these waters difficult even today, served numerous pirates as a starting point.

In order to secure the sea route to India and to defend against the constant attacks on their ships, there was a conflict between the trading and colonial power Great Britain and the sheikdoms (emirates) who were active on the "pirate coast". After a series of military conflicts, treaties were signed between Great Britain and the various emirates at the end of the 18th century, which guaranteed the British ships free passage and in return economic support and arms aid for the sheikdoms against rival peoples. The Emirates officially became protectorates under British sovereignty. In 1853, between European power and the seven today in the U.A.E. united sheikdoms concluded the so-called "Treaty of Eternal Peace", which reaffirmed the protectorate of the British, while the emirs undertook to end the slave trade and piracy.

Pearl fishing became the most important trade in the region. When cultured pearls came onto the market in the early 1930s, the demand for real pearls fell sharply. The sheikdoms' economic and financial dependence on Great Britain continued to grow.

The first oil fields were discovered in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the 1950s. Production began in 1962, and seven years later in Dubai as well. With the proceeds from the sale of the "black gold", the region suddenly achieved great prosperity. Seawater desalination plants were built and put an end to the constant shortage of drinking water. The now possible irrigation made it possible to cultivate agricultural crops. From 1966, Sheikh Said ibn Sultan Al-Nahayan tried to expand the social network in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, which included free medical care for the population and pension provision. The neighboring emirates should also benefit from his development program.

In the late 1960s, Great Britain withdrew from the Persian Gulf region. Instead of the protectorate areas, a merger of the Emirates from Bahrain to Oman was planned, but this did not materialize.

In December 1971 the six emirates of Abu Dhabi (Abu Zaby), Dubai (Dubayy), Sharjah (Ash Shariqah), Ajman (Ajman), Fujairah (Al Fujairah) and Umm al-Quaiwan merged to form a federal federation called " United Arab Emirates "(Al-Imarat al-Arabiyah al-Muttahidah). In 1972 the small sheikdom of Ras al-Khaimah joined as the seventh emirate. The seat of government became the city of Abu Dhabi in the largest and richest of the Emirates. Said Ibn Sultan Al-Nahayan (Emir of Abu Dhabi since 1966) was elected as President of the Federation by the "Supreme Council of Rulers", which is made up of the seven emirs.

In the same year the V.A.E. joined the "Arab League" (this organization of Arab states was founded in Cairo in 1945 with the aim of economic, political and military cooperation). In 1974 the state was officially recognized by neighboring Saudi Arabia after the borderline between the two states had been redefined (the border between the two countries is still not precisely defined).

In the 1st Gulf War (1980-1988) the V.A.E. joined the Council of the Gulf States under the leadership of Saudi Arabia and supported Iraq against fundamentalist Iran. In 1990 and 1992 (2nd Gulf War) the V.A.E. the anti-Iraq coalition under the leadership of the USA mainly with financial means. In the 1990s, the V.A.E. several defense alliances with western states (1994 USA, 1995 France, 1997 Germany). In 1996 Abu Dhabi was finally determined as the capital and the previously provisional constitution was adopted as permanent.

In November 2004 President Said Ibn Sultan Al-Nahayan died. His eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid Al Nahayan, succeeded him to the throne of Abu Dhabi; in addition, the Supreme Council of Rulers elected him President of the U.A.E.

In 2006, for the first time, 20 of the 40 members of the Federation Assembly were elected by citizens. The eligibility to vote was, however, limited to almost 7,000 citizens selected by the emirs and excluded Islamist groups.