chapter  4
20 Pages

The United Arab Emirates

ByJ.S. Birks, C.A. Sinclair

In 1971 the seven lower Gulf states of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwan and Fujairah moved from their loose association as the Trucial States to form a close political union, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The social and demographic transformation of the United Arab Emirates which this industrial programme will entail has been little considered, except perhaps in Abu Dhabi. The Trucial States received assistance from two foreign governments: Kuwait and the United Kingdom which, in 1953, established a school in Sharjah. The UAE is perhaps the best example of a capital-rich state suffering from severely limited indigenous human resources, but experiencing spectacular economic growth. The development plans of the Emirates are dramatically ambitious on the agricultural, financial and industrial fronts. The limited exposure to modern education meant that only a small proportion of the Emirates’ population had experienced formal education in 1968.