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By R.Said Zahlan

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Extra resources for The Origins of the United Arab Emirates: A Political and Social History of the Trucial States

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In the third place-1 say this without hesitation-we should regard the establishment of a naval base, or of a fortified fort, in the Persian Gulf by any other Power as a very grave menace to British interests, and we should certainly resist it with all the means at our disposal. 5 Although the position and importance of the Gulf changed considerably during the next four decades, Curzon's address and Landsdowne's declaration remained the main guides to policy. Despite the endless correspondence on the advisability of altering that policy, in view of the new situations that arose, the outline remained the same, and constant references to the statements of 1903 affirm this.

Although the arrangements reached did not specifically refer The Origins rif the United Arab Emirates to the Trucial Coast, it was generally accepted that they would follow the same lines as those for Bahrain: that the India Office would instruct policy, and would act together with the Colonial Office on matters involving relations with Ibn Sa'ud. But the raison d'etre of the Middle East Department was diminished by the steadily rising power of Ibn Sa'ud, and, in Iraq, the increasing demands for complete independence.

In the narrow lanes roofed with matting, where the gloom is flecked by spots of sunlight, Arabs, Persians and Baluchis display their multifarious and many-coloured wares. Wild-eyed tribesmen with their camelcanes and daggers haggle with the shopkeepers and the wealthier Persian merchants with their long flowing robes and gold-brocaded headdresses pass to and fro, intent upon their business. Graceful dhows glide into the creek, lower their sails and cast anchor while the whole day long small craft are busy ferrying shoppers from one bank to the other.

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