One of the world's most
admired young countries, the United Arab Emirates is
an example of how dreams of modernity and
advancement can translate into reality.
In just 34 years, the UAE, a federation of seven
emirates, has transformed itself from a barren
desert to a green garden of unparalleled prosperity.
General Treaty of peace between the British
Government and the Sheikhs of Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al
Quwain, Ajman, Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi is
signed. The treaty is aimed at suppressing piracy
along the Gulf Coast. From this, the area becomes
known as the Trucial Coast.
Britain signs exclusive agreements with the Gulf
States that give Britain control over their foreign
affairs and each emirate control over its internal
His Highness Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi
becomes the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
A Trucial Council is formed between the seven
emirates to promote increased cooperation among
With the approval of Britain and the help of the
Trucial Oman Levies, forces of the Sultan of Muscat
and Oman and those of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi move
into the Buraimi area. The dispute involved the
demarcation of the border between Saudi Arabia and
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan becomes Ruler
of Abu Dhabi. The year also witnesses the
establishment of a number of new administrative
departments headed by members of the Al Nahyan
Ruling Family and some prominent citizens.
In a speech to the House of Commons, British
Prime Minister Harold Wilson, announces the plan for
the complete withdrawal of all British forces from
the Gulf by the end of 1971. The withdrawal would
mean all Gulf states have to carry out their
external relations by themselves. Discussions begin
on formation of a federation of the emirates.
Case of the three islands
Iran lays claim to the islands of Greater and
Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa. The following year, Iran
occupies the three islands. Since then, the UAE has
been repeatedly calling for a peaceful resolution or
the use of international arbitration to resolve the
Iran occupies the islands of Greater and Lesser
Tunbs and Abu Mousa.
Sheikh Zayed, representing the UAE, and Sir
Geoffrey Arthur, the last British Political Agent in
the Gulf, sign a treaty of friendship between
Britain and the UAE.
Formation of the UAE
The newly-formed federation including the
emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al
Quwain and Fujairah takes shape under the able
leadership of Sheikh Zayed. The emirate of Ras Al
Khaimah joins a year later. Each emirate is
represented in the national assembly and the Ruler
of each emirate is entitled to vote in the Supreme
Council of Rulers. They also agree that the
Federation's Constitution would be provisional for
five years, after which it would be replaced by a
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is elected
President and Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum,
Vice-President. The UAE is established as a
federation based on achieving four main objectives:
building an educated society; solving regional
issues by peaceful means; strengthening ties between
Arab countries ? politically, economically and
culturally ? and finally, actively participating in
international forums and organizations.
UAE joins the Arab League. The Abu Dhabi
National Consultative Council and the Cabinet are
formed. Sheikh Zayed inaugurates the 50-member
assembly's first meeting.
His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al
Qasimi becomes Ruler of Sharjah.
The Executive Council replaces the Abu Dhabi
Cabinet. The Council comprises the Emirates'
Merger of oil departments
The UAE Cabinet approves the merger of the oil
departments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah into a
single UAE Petroleum Ministry.
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Bin Hamad
Al Sharqi becomes Ruler of Fujairah
Sheikh Zayed allocates 28 per cent of Abu
Dhabi's income towards assisting Arab, Islamic and
His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmad Al Mualla
becomes Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain. His Highness Sheikh
Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi becomes Ruler of Ajman
The Gulf Cooperation Council, a union among the
states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
and the UAE, is formed with the purpose of
establishing joint projects in various fields. The
Council's first meeting is held in Abu Dhabi.
Delma oil project
The foundation is laid for a $700-million
project to develop one of the largest oil fields.
Women's role in society
Upon the inauguration of the new headquarters of
the Abu Dhabi Women's Association, Sheikh Zayed
states that, according to Islamic and traditional
values, a woman's role is the raising of children,
but she should not be confined solely to that role.
14th National Day celebrations
Sheikh Zayed confirms his belief that the
citizen is the main asset of the country and that
the federation's main aim is to serve its citizens.
Normalisation of relations with the Soviet Union
Sheikh Zayed declares that such an act would
benefit the UAE.
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum dies and is
succeeded by his son His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin
Rashid Al Maktoum as Vice-President of the UAE and
Ruler of Dubai.
The UAE condemns the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Sheikh Zayed refuses to compromise with Saddam,
declaring it was not "our duty to save his face".
Foreign bases not welcome
Sheikh Zayed rejects the setting up of permanent
foreign bases in the UAE, stating that help from
friends was acceptable but bases in the UAE were
neither acceptable nor welcome.
Call for an end to Iraqi embargo
Sheikh Zayed stresses the fact that 18 million
Iraqis were unjustly paying the price on Saddam
Hussain's behalf and calls for an immediate lifting
of the sanctions imposed on the country after the
1991 Gulf War.
UAE's Silver Jubilee
The UAE celebrates its 25th National Day and
Sheikh Zayed's 30th anniversary as Ruler of Abu
The Supreme Council agrees to make the UAE's
temporary constitution permanent and names Abu Dhabi
as the federal capital. Sheikh Zayed stresses the
importance of running the federation through hard
work, which he says is the responsibility of the
Boycotts the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
economic summit being held in Qatar, due to the
deadlock in the peace process and the rejection of
the event by Arab leaders.
UAE restores diplomatic relations with Iraq.
Accord signed with Oman
Sheikh Zayed and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos sign
an agreement defining the borders between the two
countries. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Sheikh
Zayed, the agreement resolves border differences
between the two countries.
Row with Saudi Arabia
The rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran
triggers criticism from the UAE. Sheikh Zayed states
the UAE was treated in a cold and alienating manner.
The issue is resolved following Qatar's mediation.
UAE Forces in Kosovo
Under Sheikh Zayed's instructions, UAE Forces
participate with a contingency with KFOR, the Nato-led
international force, established under a UN mandate
to bring about security and peace in Kosovo. The UAE
is the only Arab country to have participated in the
Support for intifada
The UAE's position was clear, says Sheikh Zayed.
"We also affirm the continuation of our firm and
principled position in support of the Palestinian
intifada and the balanced resolutions of the
Palestinian National Authority in rejection of such
aggressive Israeli policy."
Celebration of stability
In a message to the UAE people on the UAE
Federation's 30th National Day, Sheikh Zayed states
patience, perseverance and continued hard work are
the reason behind the security and stability of the
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi appointed first woman
Sheikh Zayed passes away
He is succeeded by his eldest son, His Highness
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
appointed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is
appointed Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed
Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum dies, and
is succeeded by his brother, His Highness Sheikh
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Vice-President of
the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.