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 UAE government has granted a 10-year gold visa to Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus striker will be joined by six other sportsmen who will also receive the long term gold visa.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that the construction works of all phases of the roads leading to the Expo 2020 site have been completed. RTA completed the last two phases of the road construction works on 15 February. It

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai has recently announced that private schools will not be eligible for tuition fees hike for the academic year 2020 to 2021. The KHDA announcement followed the release of the annual Educat

The popular annual food festival, Taste of Dubai, returns for its 13th edition next month. The festival will take place at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre from Thursday, 12 March until Saturday, 14 March. 

Ever wanted to go overnight camping at a waterpark? Now you do not need to hit faraway sand dunes to have a camping experience, you can do it in the heart of the city at Laguna Waterpark.

Never underestimate the value of me-time and who better to spoil with that special treat than yourself. Every month Dubai's spas offer some great treatments and amazing packages for you to indulge in some well earned rest and relaxation. Take a look.

In November this year, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that it will be shutting down the call centre facility to book an RTA taxi, and will move to the new digital platform Hala on Careem App. However, the decision to close down

Prestige Make Up offers a wide range of beauty products to enhance every woman’s face, eyes, lips and hands. Prestige offers high quality, long lasting avant-garde make up formulated to last all day without touch-ups.

The world’s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa turns 10 years old on 4 January 2020 and a big celebration, featuring a light show is expected to mark the occasion. It is a decade since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Xcluzive offers high-quality and affordable products to keep your nail game in check all day, every day. Offering a wide range of essentials, including nail clippers, scissors, filers, buffers and everything in between, the exclusive line of Xcluzive

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
Even with an extra day, February is the shortest month of the year, but it doesn't mean it is short on things to do. This month there are things for book lovers, sports enthusiasts, music fans, foodies and those that love to laugh.
After an action packed weekend of fun and activities, you could be forgiven for wanting to take it easy this week. But don't! You will only miss out on a whole load of great things happening in Dubai over the next few days, and there is something for
Get ready for a great weekend with music, comedy, art and sport all happening around this great city. Go with friends and family to watch international golf stars in action, enjoy the sounds of live jazz as the band from one of the world's most
This weekend, venture outside at your peril and beware of things that go bump in the night. It's a spooky weekend, where ghosts and ghouls come out to scare us for Halloween, and if that is your thing then there are lots of ways you can mix and
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.