The land comprising the UAE was under the Umayyads: Expansion under Muhammad, — Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, — Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, — Antiquity[ edit ] The land of the Emirates has been occupied for thousands of years. Stone tools recovered from Jebel Faya in the emirate of Sharjah reveal a settlement of people from Africa some , years ago and a stone tool used for butchering animals discovered at Jebel Barakah on the Arabian coast suggests an even older habitation from , years ago.
This contact persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains , which commenced around BCE. From the second century AD, there was a movement of tribes from Al Bahreyn towards the lower Gulf, together with a migration among the Azdite Qahtani or Yamani and Quda'ah tribal groups from south-west Arabia towards central Oman.
Sassanid groups were present on the Batinah coast. In , Julfar in the area of today's Ra's al-Khaimah was an important port that was used as a staging post for the Islamic invasion of the Sassanian Empire.
Thought to be Nestorian and built in AD, the church appears to have been abandoned peacefully in AD. This led to a group of rulers travelling to Medina , converting to Islam and subsequently driving a successful uprising against the unpopular Sassanids, who dominated the Northern coasts at the time. The Caliph Abu Bakr sent an army from the capital Medina which completed its reconquest of the territory the Ridda Wars with the battle of Dibba in which 10, lives are thought to have been lost.
Ottoman and Portuguese era[ edit ] See also: Piracy in the Persian Gulf A map of the area in The harsh desert environment led to the emergence of the "versatile tribesman", nomadic groups who subsisted due to a variety of economic activities, including animal husbandry, agriculture and hunting.
The seasonal movements of these groups led to not only frequent clashes between groups but also the establishment of seasonal and semi-seasonal settlements and centres. By the 17th century, the Bani Yas confederation was the dominant force in most of the area now known as Abu Dhabi. The following year, Britain and a number of local rulers signed a treaty to combat piracy along the Persian Gulf coast, giving rise to the term Trucial States , which came to define the status of the coastal emirates.
Further treaties were signed in and Primarily in reaction to the ambitions of other European countries, namely France and Russia, the British and the Trucial Sheikhdoms established closer bonds in an treaty, similar to treaties entered into by the British with other Persian Gulf principalities.
The sheikhs agreed not to dispose of any territory except to the British and not to enter into relationships with any foreign government other than the British without their consent. In return, the British promised to protect the Trucial Coast from all aggression by sea and to help in case of land attack.
However, the British prohibition of the slave trade meant an important source of income was lost to some sheikhs and merchants. Khawr al Udayd was claimed by Abu Dhabi at that time, a claim supported by the British. The First World War had a severe impact on the industry, but it was the economic depression of the late s and early s, coupled with the invention of the cultured pearl , that wiped out the trade.
The remnants of the trade eventually faded away shortly after the Second World War , when the newly independent Government of India imposed heavy taxation on pearls imported from the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The decline of pearling resulted in extreme economic hardship in the Trucial States.
The seven sheikhs of the emirates then decided to form a council to coordinate matters between them and took over the development office. The council was terminated once the United Arab Emirates was formed. The Trucial Oman Scouts was a small military force used by the British to keep the peace.
In , the United Kingdom sided with Abu Dhabi in the latter's dispute with Oman over the Buraimi Oasis , another territory to the south. Aware of the potential for the development of natural resources such as oil, following finds in Persia from and Mesopotamia from , a British-led oil company, the Iraq Petroleum Company IPC , showed an interest in the region.
A number of options between PCL and the trucial rulers were signed, providing useful revenue for communities experiencing poverty following the collapse of the pearl trade. However, the wealth of oil which the rulers could see from the revenues accruing to surrounding countries such as Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia remained elusive.
A number of undersea oil surveys were carried out, including one led by the famous marine explorer Jacques Cousteau. In March, it struck oil in the Upper Thamama, a rock formation that would provide many valuable oil finds.
This was the first commercial discovery of the Trucial Coast, leading to the first exports of oil in ADMA made further offshore discoveries at Zakum and elsewhere, and other companies made commercial finds such as the Fateh oilfield off Dubai and the Mubarak field off Sharjah shared with Iran.
As oil revenues increased, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan , undertook a massive construction program, building schools, housing, hospitals and roads. When Dubai's oil exports commenced in , Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum , the ruler of Dubai, was able to invest the revenues from the limited reserves found to spark the diversification drive that would create the modern global city of Dubai.
By , it had become clear the British government could no longer afford to administer and protect what is now the United Arab Emirates. British MPs debated the preparedness of the Royal Navy to defend the sheikhdoms. Secretary of State for Defence Denis Healey reported that the British Armed Forces were seriously overstretched and in some respects dangerously under-equipped to defend the sheikhdoms.
On 24 January , British Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced the government's decision, reaffirmed in March by Prime Minister Edward Heath to end the treaty relationships with the seven Trucial Sheikhdoms, that had been, together with Bahrain and Qatar, under British protection. Days after the announcement, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan , fearing vulnerability, tried to persuade the British to honour the protection treaties by offering to pay the full costs of keeping the British Armed Forces in the Emirates.
The British Labour government rejected the offer. An Iranian destroyer group broke formation from an exercise in the lower Gulf, sailing to the Tunb islands. The islands were taken by force, civilians and Arab defenders alike allowed to flee. A British warship stood idle during the course of the invasion. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia laid claim to swathes of Abu Dhabi.
When the British-Trucial Sheikhdoms treaty expired on 1 December , they became fully independent. It was also agreed between the two that the constitution be written by 2 December Bahrain and Qatar declined their invitations to join the union. Ras al-Khaimah joined later, in early UAE forces joined the allies against Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait in The country had already signed a military defense agreement with the U.
The first ever national elections were held in the UAE on 16 December A small number of hand-picked voters chose half of the members of the Federal National Council, an advisory body. UAE has largely escaped the Arab Spring , which other countries have had; however, more than Emirati activists were jailed and tortured because they sought reforms.
Furthermore, some people have had their nationality revoked. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.