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ABU DHABI  HISTORY


The history of Abu Dhabi has been marked by violence within the ruling dynasty. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has ruled Abu Dhabi since 06 August 1966, when his older brother, Sheikh Shakhbut Al Nahyan (Ruled:1928-66), was deposed in a palace coup with  British support. Zayed was in power until his death in Nov. 2, 2004. 

The tribal forces (Al Qawasim, whose descendants now rule Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah), whose ships controlled the lower Persian Gulf and in much of the Indian Ocean. In the early 19th century, the Qawasim tribal forces provoked the intervention of the British that defeated the Qawasim and the British became dominant in the region.
 
Qawasim, thus lost power and influence in the region and the Bani Yas tribal confederation of Abu Dhabi became dominant along the coast of the lower Gulf.
 
The Al Nahyan originally were beduin of the Bani Yas tribe and were based in the Al Liwa Oasis. An ancestor of the current ruler migrated to the island of Abu Dhabi in the late 1770s and established a commercial port there. Prior to 1966, Abu Dhabi remained a small town and residence site of the ruler, but it had not attracted most Al Nahyan sheikhs, who preferred to live in the interior oases. Even Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan favored the beduin lifestyle as a young man, and for several years under his brother's rule he was governor of Al Ain in the Al Buraimi Oasis.

Abu Dhabi was poor and undeveloped, with an economy largely based upon the traditional combination of fishing and pearl-diving along the coast, and simple agriculture in the scattered oases, like those at Liwa and Al Ain inland. When the world market for the Gulf's high-quality pearls collapsed in the late nineteen twenties and early nineteen thirties, owing to the invention by the Japanese of the cultured pearl and the world economic depression, the already poor emirate suffered a catastrophic blow to its economy.

The first exploration well in Abu Dhabi had been drilled at Ras Sadr in 1950, to be followed by others in what is now the Western Region, and then with other wells offshore. By 1958, the first commercial oil-fields were discovered, first onshore, in the Bab field, and then offshore, at Umm Shaif. The first export cargo of oil left Abu Dhabi in 1962. 

Beginning in the late 1960s, the oil-boom-induced transformation of Abu Dhabi into a cosmopolitan city prompted politically ambitious Al Nahyan members to settle in the capital, where many of them obtained positions in the expanding emirate and federal bureaucracies. 

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan designated his son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed  Al Nahyan ( 1949), as crown prince. In 1992 he served as president of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council and as head of the Department of Social Services. In addition, he was deputy commander in chief of the federal Union Defense Force. 
 


 
UAE History
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Sheikh Zayed, the 'Anti-Hero'!
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
 


 
 
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This report is an indictment of dishonest UAE authorities, who operate without respect for the rule of law and the inherent dignity of mankind".
 
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