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The UAE Before and After Independence: Political Impact (Essay Sample)


The student was required to discuss the UAE Before and After Independence in terms of social, economic and political impact.


The UAE Before and After Independence
Institutional Affiliation
The UAE Before and After Independence
The UAE is a federation of seven states that have gradually developed to be among the most influential economies in the Middle East. Despite being traditionally conservative, the nation has been the most liberal states in the Gulf. Politically, the country remains authoritarian. The relationship with its neighboring states such as Iran has been tense for a long period due to territorial disputes over the Gulf islands. The nations depended on fishing as the main economic activity but after the discovery of oil in 1950’s the economy of the country have significantly been transformed. Currently, the UAE no longer depends on oil alone as it has diversified hence becoming a regional trading and tourism hub.
Before the discovery of oil, UAE was underdeveloped with its population living in poverty. However, the situation changed after the country was able to extract and export oil in the global market. In the Middle East, Dubai is currently considered as one of the most modern, safe and stable countries in the world. This state of peace and economic prosperity has attracted many foreign investors into the nations who have further contributed to the economic development of the country. The paper will compare the state of United Arab Emirates before and after independence considering the social, economic and political impacts.
UAE Before Independence
Before 1971, the United Arab Emirates was also referred to as the Trucial States which comprised a collection of Sheikhdoms that extended from the Straits of Hormuz to the Persian Gulf in the west. According to Pant (2014) UAE was not strong as the sheikhdoms were loosely defined. UAE was under the protectorate of the Britain government and had a limited freedom to make notable progress without external help. Baylis, Smith, and Owens (2013) notes that before being independent, Dhabi comprised of small villages populated with only one or two-floor homes. After discovering oil in the 1950s the sheikhdom started to gain power. During this time, Sheikh Zayed had strong persistence and the United Kingdom realized that they had little to do to prevent emergence in UAE. The UK there after decided to remove the protectorate over the United Arab Emirates in 1968. Garey (2012) highlights that the immediate results of the remove the protectorate was the formation of nine states which included Qatar, Dubai, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwan, Ras Al Khaimah Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. Also, Sheikh Zayed knew the need of strength and unity to make the country independent and financially stable.
Social Impact
Before the United Arab Emirates got independence, it was underdeveloped and its citizens lacked expertise and technical skills. The population was much smaller and lived in a rural societal setting. Additionally, the UAE was a desert a fact that fueled more poverty among the people. Almezaini (2012) notes that at this time, Adu Dhabi had 700 palm huts known as Barasti, several buildings as well as Forts. Before the social reforms took place, the UAE was occupied by Arab Bedouin tribes who were nomads and fishermen. Besides, the people living in the deserts survived through camel hoarding and fishing. This implies that they could not grow their economy at a higher rate.
The nation was still under the colonial rule meaning they did not have the freedom to trade hence limiting the rate of economic growth. Aljifri, et al. 2014 reveals that before independence, Arab houses, camel, horses, Pearl boating, were the main cultural symbols of the society. However, in 1960, the society started undergoing a rapid social transformation that enabled them to live in better houses. The development of towns led to rural-urban migration enabling people to participate in economic activities that improved their way of living.
Economic Impact
At the beginning of the 20th century, Adu Dhabi was the poorest Emirates, Sharjah being the most powerful and populated. At this time, people lived in fishing villages. They were also involved in camel herding, pearling and cultivation in the oasis. However, Wolfsfeld, Segev, and Sheafer (2013) argued that the pearl industry was affected by the invention of cultured pearl by the Japanese. This created hardships to the local people of UAE who depend on pearl industry for a livelihood. The economic activities started improving after the discovery of the oil as the money generated from the oil had a marginal impact on the people of UAE. The first extraction of oil enabled the Emirates to make a substantial amount of revenue as their maritime job was confined under British regulation. According to (Rossiter, n.d) the first oil business was created in 1933, but oil was not found until after several years.
Political Impact
Referring to Davidson (2013) before the United Arab Emirates gained independence, the nation was very unstable as they were colonized by the Britain. The work of Baylis, Smith, and Owens (2013) showed that after the pirates had attacked the maritime location of the UAE, the British leaders decided to retaliate to re-establish their trading routes with India. The political instability in the nation at this nation affected the rate of economic development. The result of this instability was increasing fear and poverty among the people. The British government signed a trace in 1890 to protect the nation, and in exchange, the Trucial States were not required to make any another treaty with any other government. Almezaini (2012), highlight that the Britain ruled the UAE for one century after which their leadership fell in 1971. The People of UAE got independence after the leadership of Britain declared that they could not afford to govern the nation and could no longer defend the Trucial sheikhdoms.
UAE After the Independence
The United Arab Emirates got independence in December 1971 from the British government. Aljifri, et al. (2014) makes the claim that the British revealed that they were no longer able to control the states of UAE which included Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain. As a result, the people were able to engage in their social and economic activities more freely as they were able to make their decisions without external interferences.
Social Impact
The independence of UAE had a positive impact on the people. It is after independence that the population of the different states of the nation started to rise. Individuals were able to earn a living without much struggle since the economy of the country was also developing. Niblock (2015) outlined that the developments in the UAE started attracting people who witnessed the achievements. Urbanization began after the nation got independence which led to growth and increased migrations into the towns.
Schools and other social amenities were constructed enabling development of the education system. Acquisition of the modern education resulted in a change in lifestyle among the people. A significant population stopped depending on fishing and pearl industry for a living as they could start other commercial businesses and get employed in offices. After independence, people from different parts of the world also got their way in the nation and a multiethnic society emerged. Consequently, the way of life of the people gradually changed from being depended on traditional means of living to modern employment and profit oriented businesses. Niblock (2015) notes that the construction of the large shopping mall, commercial city centers and residential homes led to a social development of the people.
Economic Impact
The level of economic growth before independence was very low and a majority of people in the UAE lived in absolute poverty. During this time people depended on informal sector which contributed less to the wealth of the nation. Katzman (2013) outlined that the discovery of oil marked a new beginning to the economic well-being of the country. The society started gaining economic stability from the proceeds from exported oil. Currently, UAE has grown economically to become an economic center in the Middle East. Fay and Bristol-Rhys (2013) argues that foreign investors have gained interest of investing in the nation due to the high rate of return. As a result, the country continues to expand its commercial sector to a level that predicts more success even in future. Pant (2014) enumerates that the production of oil by UAE contributes to 30% of its GDP.
Political Impact
The political structure of UAE has developed gradually since the start of the 20th century leading to a unique structure of governance compared to other states in the world. The country has experienced political stability which has been the main factor contributing to economic pros...
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