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Volume :4 Issue : 15 1978      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

AN ANALYSIS OF THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Auther : By Dr. Yusof Abul-Haggag

 

          In December 1971, the Arab World witnessed the birth of a new State, the United Arab Emirates, which brought into one political entity the seven small unites that, together, constituted the area known formerly as the Trucial States.

          In its first section, this article attempts to emphasize the geographical factors, both physical and human, that underlie and justify the unity of this part of the Gulf basin, a topic that has not so far received due attention from scholars of the Middle East.  These include such factors as contigiousness, a favorable geographical situation, an essential homogeneity of race, religion, language and culture, and a common historical experience.  It is to be noted here that the majority of immigrants during the last few years have come from Arab countries, which confirms the Arab character of the population (650,000 according to the 1977 census results, as against an estimated population of 320,000 in 1972).  The proportion of the non-Arab populace is decreasing progressively and rapidly.

After a discussion of the reasons underlying the surprising delay in the emergence of a unified State in this region, the achievements fulfilled since the Union are evaluated and compared to other examples.

The present economic map of the U.A.E. is descried in the next section, while the future of the State in its more meaningful aspects, receives due attention.  Large oil reserves that should last for +50 years at the present rate of production ensure a concrete means of economic development.  Much can be achieved in this sphere, especially in the coastal area.  The progress in the last few years has been impressing.  More can be realized.

Yet, there is to be faced a number of problems, of both a political and a socio-economic nature.  The country still awaits a permanent constitution, and more consolidation of its political structure.  An increase in the present population (650,000 in 1977) is of vital importance.  Encouraging immigration from Arab countries is probably the best route to follow, which would also ensure a greater degree of national homogeneity.  Education awaits more expansion, since, as expressed by Sheikh Zaid Ben Sultan, it is the “know-how” that forms the real foundation for progress.

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