Trucial States

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Location of the Trucial States

The Trucial States (from English truce "peace, ceasefire") were the states on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf in the 19th and 20th centuries. Also known in German as the pirate coast or pirate coast (more rarely as treaty coast , contracting states , pacified Oman or treaty man ), the states of the former armistice coast were named after the agreements with the British in 1835 and 1853 . These states were henceforth a protectorate of Great Britainguided. The seven Trucial States today make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The southern coast of the Persian Gulf became known as the pirate coast because local pirates threatened merchant shipping between the Middle East and East Asia , although European and Arab boats regularly patrolled the sea area from the 17th century.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the British cultivated a close relationship with the sheikdoms on the Gulf Coast, especially the Sultan of Oman , as he controlled access to the Strait of Hormuz , which of course was very important for the British trade routes to India . In order to protect the Indian trade from Arab competition as well as from ongoing piracy, British warships destroyed their bases in Ra's al-Khaimah and other ports along the south coast in 1819 . The following year a general peace treaty was signed, which the main sheikhs residing on the coast joined. There were periodic pirate attacks until 1835, when the sheikhs undertook not to take part in hostilities at sea.

In 1853 they signed the treaty with the United Kingdom, in which the so-called "treaty sheikdoms" agreed to the " perpetual maritime peace" ( Perpetual Maritime Truce or simply Perpetual Truce ). This had been enforced by the United Kingdom, the arbitration was also with the British.

On March 6th and 8th, 1892, Raschid bin Maktum , Emir of Dubai, together with the rulers of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain and Ajman in Ra's al-Khaimah, signed the so-called Treaty of Exclusivity , which gave the sheikdoms as a colony the English colonial power bound as well as that they could not sell, lend or in any other way cede any land to any other government, with the exception of England. The agreement secured the British control of the Gulf of Oman and regulated support in matters of education and health in the Emirates. This was u. a. one of the foundations for the later wealth of Dubai.

Photo from 1969 with Sh. Khaled, Sh. Maktoum, Sh. Tahnoon and Adi Bitar (Secretary General of the Trucial States Council from 1967 to 1971)

The Trucial States are composed of the Emirates Abu Dhabi , Dubai , Sharjah , Ajman , Umm al-Qaiwain , Fujairah and Ra's al-Khaimah . Sharjah was only formed in 1869 by splitting off from Ra's al-Khaimah, and Fujairah in 1902 by splitting off from Sharjah. The emirate of Kalba was also an independent contracting state, split off from Sharjah from 1903 to 1952.

In 1951, the “ Trucial States Council ” was founded in Dubai as a body of the emirs of the Trucial States . However, he was chaired by a British "political agent" ( Political Agent ) . The seven Trucial States tried from 1968 to 1971 to found the Federation of Arab Emirates with Bahrain and Qatar . However, this failed, and eventually Bahrain and Qatar became independent as separate states. On December 2, 1971, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah founded the United Arab Emirates , with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi assuming the leading role. On February 11, 1972, Ra's al-Khaimah joined the federation as the seventh and last former Trucial State .

Trucial Oman Scouts

The Trucial Oman Scouts (TOS) emerged in 1956 from the Trucial Oman Levies (TOL) founded in 1951 . It was a paramilitary association made up of British and some Arab officers. The soldiers came from the region, Transjordan and the Indian subcontinent. The unit grew from around 500 people at the beginning to 2500 people by 1971. The headquarters were in Sharjah City , bases were last in the Buraimi oasis and in most of the coastal cities.


  • Conrad Oehlrich: The border problem in the Persian Gulf. Historical-political aspects for the future of the Trucial sheikdoms. In: Constitution and Law Overseas. Volume 1, No. 4, 1968, ISSN  0342-1228 , pp. 421-445.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Trucial Oman
  2. Trucial Oman Scouts ( Memento from January 11, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 23 kB)