general info WHAT'S THE STORY OF 2 DECEMBER?
What's the story of 2 December?
Updated on 10 December 2017

By: Salamah Ghudayer

2 December is the National Day of the United Arab Emirates. It is the anniversary of the nation we know today being formed, uniting the seven separate sheikhdoms. There is a misconception by some that 2 December is our Independence Day and it is not. It is even wrongly written as such on some websites, but only by people who did not do their due diligence.

The seven Emirates; starting from the west; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah were all in existence for hundreds and hundreds of years at least, prior to the unification. The area was known to the international community as the Trucial States and casually as the pearling coast and even the pirate coast. The nine states included in the official Trucial States were the UAE’s seven Emirates, plus Qatar and Bahrain. It was just a term to easily summarise the list of tiny, neighbouring nation states.Where some historians got it wrong, was adding the Trucial States into being a part of, or governed by the British Commonwealth. This was just not the case. Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi had British embassies and Sharjah had a Royal Air Force (RAF) airstrip. Yet the sole governing, assembly of troops, security of land and the wellbeing of the people was always the absolute duty of each Emirate’s sheikh. The water off the coast however, was a different story.

In 1835, there was a treaty with the British most if not all the Trucial State members signed. It was called the General Peace Treaty with Maritime Truce. The truce was made to keep the British from being attacked by these states; and that the British would not attack in return. The water off the coast would be safeguarded by the British Navy, as their government needed to keep the trade routes of the east safe for them. So, this treaty was regarding; who would protect the waters, why they were there and that they came in peace. In the first week of March 1892, Dubai and others signed an additional treaty with the British called the Treaty of Exclusivity. The Emirates which signed agreed not to sell any property to any other empire or nation; which would then cause the maritime treaty to be unstable. Britain wanted to be ‘the’ superpower in the Gulf and neighbouring seas; not the French or Portuguese. Then on 1 December 1971, the British gave up the security duty of the water off the coast of each Emirate and a completion of the above treaties which was received by Sheikh Zayed Al Nahayan the Ruler of
Abu Dhabi.

2 December was then the time to announce what had been in negotiations for many years, thanks to the persistence and deep friendship between Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan - the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum - the Ruler of Dubai. Various government structures and names had been debated and discussed amongst all the Trucial State members. Qatar and Bahrain decided to go it alone. Ras Al-Khaimah needed some extra time; one great possibility was that it had many agreements on its own with other nation states and was well known on its own throughout the preceding era. Yet after much determination and great care to various independent states, the culture and the tribes, an agreement had been reached - the formation of the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates would speak with one voice internationally, and protect their water, coast land and people. Each Emirate autonomous yet under a federal system with some federal laws and the protection of a federal government economically and in foreign affairs. Each Emirate’s Sheikh would be kept as an independent leader over his Emirate. A national council and soon after national cabinet would be formed. Yet one of the biggest differences to the people, would be no more tribal wars or land grabs. The people and governments had building and growing to do instead. There were successes to be had and examples to be set. We would be one nation; together, where everyone, would be safe and welcome.

 

With thanks to Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Call 04-3536666 or
visit www.cultures.ae

Share this page!
COMMENTS
MORE ON general info

The fuel prices for July 2020 have been announced which sees no increase or decrease in the cost of a litre of petrol and diesel from June, and prices remain the same for the fourth consecutive month.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) has announced new guidelines for those citizens and residents wishing to travel abroad. 

Burj Khalifa marks the reopening of mosques by being lit up with the call to prayer message. 

A new day package has launched in Dubai that gives mums the chance to enjoy some well earned relaxation time while sat in the sunshine.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority has announced that all residents returning to the UAE from 1 July, will have to complete a COVID-19 test at an accredited laboratory.

Restrictions on residents entering Abu Dhabi are to be lifted allowing entry into the Emirate, on condition of presenting a negative coronavirus COVID-19 test that was taken within the previous 48 hours.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) has announced that mosques and other places of worship can reopen.

Summer in Dubai is well and truly here, which means the return of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS). The 23rd edition of DSS will start on 9 July and run to 29 August

Since the end of the National Sterilisation Program was announced last week, authorities have seen an increase in the number of violations of the preventative and precautionary measures in place to prevent the spread or coronavirus COVID-19.

Dubai based Emirates has announced it will commence scheduled flights to seven additional destinations from July. The new destinations include Khartoum from 3 July, Amman from 5 July, Osaka from 7 July, Narita from 8 July, Athens, Larnaca and Rome al

First Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  ... Next Last 
FEATURED
A 'must do' when in Dubai.
The Dubai Fountain was designed by California-based WET, the creators of the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas, and is 275 metres long with five circles and two central arcs. Over
Unveiled in February 2010, the Burj Khalifa stands 828 metres high - 320 metres taller than Taipei 101 which held the record since 2004. The Burj Khalifa currently holds seven records, including the highest occupied
Since its opening in December 1999, the Burj Al Arab has been one of the most photographed structures in the world. Sometimes referred to as "the world's most luxurious hotel
The UAE is surrounded by two bodies of water, both offering different diving experiences. Dubai is good for shipwrecks, which are home to Barracuda, Snappers and Jacks, with common
Take a magic carpet ride across rolling red sand dunes, with an amazing bird's eye view of the untouched desert below.
HAPPENINGS
Are you missing travelling and exploring new places? Even with us being confined to our homes, you can still keep discovering new places through complimentary virtual tours arranged by digital platform Google Arts and Culture.
If you are expecting a quiet month with not much else to do other than some me-time, then think again. The calendar this month is packed full of things for everyone to do. There are things for everyone from music lovers, fitness fans, foodies, art.
Do you love food and more food? Then this is for you. Etisalat Beach Canteen, part of Dubai Food Festival, is back for daily from 8pm onwards until 14 March. The food carnival is on Jumeriah Beach
Top things to do in Dubailand, Motor City, Sport City and Green Community
Top things to do in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Emirates Living, Jebel Ali, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
Top things to do in Al Barsha, Barsha Heights and Al Quoz
Top things to do in Downtown Dubai, DIFC, Business Bay, Al Meydan and Dubai Design District
Top things to do in Jumeirah 1,2,3, Beach Road, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim, Al Sufouh, Palm Jumeirah
Top things to do in Sheikh Zayed Road, 2nd of December Street and Al Satwa
Top things to do in Bur Dubai, Karama, Al Mankhool, Al Jaddaf and Oud Metha
Top things to do in Deira, Garhoud and Al Muteena.
Dubai stands in line with cities like Paris, Milan, London and New York, so you can never be bored of this city. There are a million of things to see, try, and taste!
And you won't be disappointed.
Your little ones will thank you.
INSTAGRAM
FOLLOW
Discover Dubai
Stay Connected - Drop us your email.