إمارات الساحل المتصالح
Anthem: Ishy Bilady (Long Live my Nation) Ishy Biladi
Trucial States (in red)
|Government||Federal constitutional elective monarchy|
|Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum|
• Exclusive Agreement
|489,550 km2 (189,020 sq mi)|
• 2015 census
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|ISO 3166 code||TRU|
The Trucial States of Oman (Arabic: إالإمارات الموحدة من عمان), commonly known as the Trucial States, Oman, or the Trucial Coast, is a country located in the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Hashemite Arabia to the west, Yemen to the southwest, and having a maritime border with Bahrain to the north by the Persian Gulf and with Iran to the east by the Arabian Sea.
It is a federation of 16 states, traditionally emirates, with Abu Dhabi serving as the capital. Each state is governed by a ruler with membership in the Federal Council, the legislative body of the government, which elects a president and vice president of the federation. In practice, the emir of Abu Dhabi is usually the president while the ruler of Dubai is the vice president and prime minister. It is considered to be an authoritarian state by the Democracy Index, being criticized by human rights groups.
The Trucial States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with a high-income economy centered around oil extraction and refining, natural gas, tourism, banking and development projects. It is the richest country in the Arab world by per capita GDP, and has the most diversified economy among Gulf Cooperation Council members. The Trucial States is the world's second-largest exporter of natural gas after Russia and is one of the six largest oil exporters. The Trucial States has a total population of 16.74 million, out of which about 7.61 million are Trucial citizens while the other 9.13 million are foreign expatriates.
A middle power, the Trucial States is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League, and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). It has one of the most professional military forces in the region.
History[edit | edit source]
Early history[edit | edit source]
The Gulf region was first converted to Islam in the 630s. In the 16th century, it was taken over by the Portuguese Empire. Then, portions of what is now the Trucial States came under the direct influence of the Ottoman Empire.
British era[edit | edit source]
Throughout the 19th century, the various tribal confederations, emirates and sheikhdoms of Eastern Arabia, previously known to the British as the "Pirate Coast", signed perpetual treaties with the British Empire. These "truces" established an informal British protectorate over the region and guaranteed the safety of British shipping and the pearling industry. Slavery was abolished in 1873. The United Kingdom and the Trucial States established closer ties in 1892. This treaty, the Exclusive Agreement, formalized the protectorate. Qatar, Muscat and Oman entered a similar agreement in 1910.
The Dhofar Rebellion[edit | edit source]
From 1962 to 1972, rebels in Dhofar province in southern Oman waged war against the British-supported Sultanate of Muscat and Oman. The Dhofar Liberation Front, led by Musallam bin Nufl, was at the forefront of the separatist movement in Dhofar, supported initially by Saudi Arabia. By 1966, the rebels held all of Dhofar. More revolts broke out in the north and in Bahrain, advocating for regional autonomy. During this time, many states rejected British-aligned rule and declared independence. The sultanate's temporal power was dissolved in 1970.
Independence and unification[edit | edit source]
The Dhofar rebellion severely weakened the country, leading the British to reconsider their position. In 1971, the United Kingdom decided to withdraw from Arabia, leaving its protectorates with an uncertain future. Vulnerable and fearing an invasion by Saudi Arabia or Iran, the rulers of the Trucial Coast formed a union together with the states of Oman, which became the modern nation.
The presidency of the Trucial States was established on a 5-year term basis without term limits. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, a descendant of the great Trucial sheikh Zayed the Great, was elected the first President of the Trucial States. Zayed attempted to make the position hereditary, but faced opposition from the emirs of Oman. Nevertheless, he managed to secure a second term in 1976. Zayed was not re-elected for a third term following a political upset that led to the Emir of Dhofar, Mohammed Al Maamri, being elected president in 1981. After Mohammed's untimely death in 1983, power was concentrated in Muscat under Sayyid Saud bin Hilal bin Hamad al Busaidi until 1994, when it again shifted to the Trucial Coast under Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai.
Recent years[edit | edit source]
After the death of Sheikh Maktoum in 2006, his brother Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was elected president. He was re-elected in 2011 and 2016.
In 2015 the military was sent into Yemen to assist the Hadi government against Al-Qaeda in Hadhramaut province. Some 1,600 soldiers are involved in operations. The Trucial States have continued to maintain a presence in Yemen for the duration of its civil war.
Geography[edit | edit source]
The Trucial States is divided into 17 states, with the ten western ones based upon traditional emirate lines, and the seven southern ones more modern divisions apart from Muscat.
The country includes a number of islands in the Arabian Gulf, which include Abu Musa, Faror, Tunb el-Kubra and Tunb el-Sughra, Das and others, administered as part of several states. Some are also claimed by Iran in a longstanding dispute, but there has been a Trucial presence on them, especially by the military. Mayyun Island (Perim) is presently under Trucial control as well.
States[edit | edit source]
Politics[edit | edit source]
The Trucial States is a federation of 17 constituent monarchies. The president shares influence with the Trucial Supreme Council, which is the electoral body made up of the 17 ruling emirs, and the Federal Council, composed of 20 members elected by citizens and 20 appointed by the rulers of each emirate.
Elections are held every six years for the council. Voting is extended to all citizens, male and female, provided they have an address and have not committed certain crimes, which would bar a person from voting for some years.
Presidential elections are held every five years, and restricted to the Trucial Supreme Council. The current president is Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, of Dubai.
International affairs[edit | edit source]
Economy[edit | edit source]
Petroleum and natural gas form a large part of the economy. Other sectors include banking and tourism, primarily in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Large-scale developments, such as hotels, office towers, islands and other entertainment venues forms another sector of the economy. The Trucial Development Board is spearheading public and private efforts to diversify away from fossil fuel revenues into more long-term areas.
Sport[edit | edit source]
Traditional sports in the Trucial States are camel and horse racing. Football is by far the most popular sport, with the Arabian Gulf League dominating on the peninsula.
Military[edit | edit source]
The Trucial States has one of the largest militaries in the Middle East. Total ground troop figures are 162,800, including some 220,000 reserves. The military includes 1055 tanks, 817 aircraft and 214 vessels. Conscription is mandatory for six months for all males from the age of 18 to 55. The navy actively patrols the Gulf region for security purposes.
The only combat operations of the army as of 2017 are in eastern Yemen, backing the Humaidi government and fighting mostly Al-Qaeda. A squadron of fighter jets have been deployed to Hashemite Arabia to participate in the aerial campaign against the opposition in Syria.