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The history of the UAE creation does not refer only to the territory division but mostly takes into account the role of the leaders of separate states called oil sheikhs. It is known that the power of any country involves the historical events that occurred due to the decisions and actions of people. The most powerful countries and kingdoms are those that unite strong leaders and make them act and work for the sake of their country’s flourishing and economic growth. Such situation that combined timely and right decisions became actual for the Trucial States that are known nowadays as the United Arab Emirates, the country that made use of the oil deposits and whose leaders and oil sheikhs directed the huge income towards the sphere of construction and development. The oil sheikhs played a crucial role in the process of the United Arab Emirates creation, and their decision to combine their powers enabled to the country to separate from the British Empire and make the UAE one of the most prosperous country in the world.
History of Trucial States
To get the clear picture of the creation of the Trucial States, it is essential to take into consideration the beginning of the 17th century, when the Portuguese were forced to leave the Persian Gulf and there appeared a new state of Yaruba. This state gave the basis for the state of Al Qawasem named by the dynasty of sheikhs that came to rule after the Yaruba dynasty. There were continuous fights in the sea region, which led to the tension between Oman and the British Empire. The situation resulted in the severe control of the British Empire over all the trade spheres in the region, including the monitoring of the vessels and ships, presence of the military powers in the seawaters surrounding the Persian Gulf, and control over the slave trade (Ulrichsen, 2017, p. 29). Later they prohibited the armory trade and took control over the exploitation of pearl banks. The official governor was the British officer representative. However, in 1853, sheikhs Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah that ruled in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ajman signed the document that established the constant peace in the sea, and later they formed the Trucial States of Oman (Ulrichsen, 2017, p. 37). This was the start of a huge process of emirates division, combination, and formation. The process occurred at the beginning of the 20th century (Davidson, 2015, p. 19). The way to becoming a powerful state was full of inner conflicts concerning the division of specific oasis parts and other territories.
Despite the difficult economic and political situation that started in the beginning of the 20th century and lasted until the late 60s, the sheikhs managed to find the opportunity to unite and form the powerful country. The situation in the emirates worsened when at the end of the 1920s the production of artificial pearls started in Japan (Morton, 2017, p. 155). Before that, the economy of the Trucial States based on the pearling and the artificial pearls development created a severe economic crisis for the formation and development of the Trucial States. However, at the same time, they found oil on the territory of the current United Arab Emirates. The rights for the development of oil deposits were totally under control of the British government representatives, and the main process of oil extraction did not start before the 1950s (Morton, 2017, p. 157). The sources of oil became the question point for a number of sides including American, British, and Arabian representatives. Numerous territories of emirates that were known to be rich in oil became the territories of fights and constant disputes between the emirates representatives and foreign companies mostly American and British ones (Miller, 2016, p. 121). This was the time for the Arabian government to take the opportunity to unite the emirates and to take the responsibility for oil extraction and economy growth of the territories. The most influential personalities during this time were the sheikhs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and namely Zayed bin Sultan and Rashid bin Said correspondingly (Miller, 2016, p. 35). They met to discuss their further actions and agreed to invite the representatives of other emirates, the Trucial States, Bahrein, and Qatar (Miller, 2016, p. 39). Zayed bin Sultan played a major role in the process of creation of the new governmental structure and prosperous country in the future.
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The Role of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and Other Sheikhs
Sheikh Zayed played the most significant role in the process of development of the country that is known nowadays as the United Arab Emirates. The ruler of the emirate of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan belonged to the Abu Falah dynasty. His ancestors started their history among the rulers of the country since 1761 (Ulrichsen, 2017, p. 20). Sheikh Zayed was born on the territory of the Trucial States. Representatives of this kind have been ruling Abu Dhabi since the very beginning of the emirates, that is since 1761. Sheikh Zayed was the 14th ruler of the Nahyan family. After the sheikh Shahbut was overturned from the position of the emirate leader by the British government, the sheikh Zayed became the most powerful representative of power on the territory of current emirates (Ulrichsen, 2017, p. 25). The sheikh Zayed was a very clever person and consecutive governor. The leaders of other emirates, mostly oil sheikhs, listened to him and to his ideas, respected his decisions, and mentioned his name with admiration.
The population of the emirates supported him and his ideas, because he acted caring about ordinary people and prosperity of his country. When he became the leader of the United Arab Emirates, he announced that the resources that were available on the territory of the emirates should be used for the sake of prosperity and development of the country and the people of this country. He worked hard to establish the positions of the newly created country and take over the control of oil sources as well as other spheres of emirates’ economy. Thus, the sheikh Zayed was known as the most influential, powerful, and productive governor of the emirates. He successfully managed to lead the meetings between the representatives of other states and obtained full independence from the British government. His main aim was to achieve an independent unity of states, lead his people and the country to success, and build a rich and flourishing society. Some time later, he was elected as a president of the UAE and was the most popular ruler in the history of the United Arab Emirates.
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In fact, the sheikh Zayed bin Sultan managed to realize all his promises during a surprisingly short period of time. Although the situation with the growth of oil prices during that time remedied the situation, without sensible governing the realization of the sheikh’s plans would be impossible. He succeeded in transforming the outskirts of British Empire into the flourishing state with one of the highest standard of living in the world (Davidson, 2015, p. 17). The conditions of life changed to correspond to the highest indices, including the level of education, medicine, architecture, and business. Moreover, the politics of the sheikh Zayed bin Sultan attracted many investments in the oil production industries, building the basement for the future growth of the economy of the states. Thus, the sheikh achieved his goals and made the UAE one of the most economically stable countries in the world.
The formation of the current state of the UAE was influenced by the prominent personality of the sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and other sheikh representatives of the emirates. Due to their ability to find a compromise and work together to achieve the common aim of the country’s success, it became possible to obtain the independence and gain a strong position internationally. They started to cooperate with Japan, the USA, the UK, South Korea, and other countries (Davidson, 2015, p.253). These combined activities enabled to keep and develop the culture of the states and make the country recognizable for the rest of the world. Later this created the basis for building the image of the UAE as one of the most interesting tourist destinations. However, such achievements were possible only due to the combined powers of representatives of all emirates and the crucial role played by Arab sheikhs.
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In conclusion, it is essential to mention that the development of the UAE from the Trucial States was difficult for all spheres of life, including political and economic situation. The country was under significant influence of the British Empire and American business representatives, especially after finding the oil on the territory of the current UAE. The situation was worsened by the economic crisis caused by the fall of the pearl industry. However, the strong personality of the sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and other sheikhs of emirates, particularly, their willingness to unite their abilities for the sake of the future success of all emirates played a critical role in the process of the country’s development. Despite numerous fights for the territories rich in oil between the American and British representatives, the sheikhs managed to lead their country to independence and build the strong and successful society. The power of unity of people is immense when they combine their powers for the welfare of their country and its prosperous future.