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History of the Arabian Gulf Essay



The Arabian Gulf remains of great concern to countries currently in the UAE including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai among other significant countries (Rose, 2010). Naming of the region was a controversial issue in the 4th century and some people refer to it using different names. By 550 BC, the Achaemenid came up with the principal Persian Empire in Iran.

Bordering the Empire was a huge source of water for the Achaemenid dynasty. The area that hosted the source of water became the renowned Persian Gulf that Arabs equally consider the Arabian Gulf. The naming and establishment of the Arabian Gulf interests various geologists, archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists across the world.

Science has a difficult time determining when the Iranian Plateau and the Arabian Peninsula formed the Arabian Gulf. The Arabian Gulf had different names before the people from the Iranian Peninsula settled for the name.

According to Herodotus, an ancient Greek philosopher, the Arabian Gulf was the Red Sea even though other leaders had different opinions including the Persian Gulf and the Sea above Akkad (Beaumont, 2006). Situated alongside the Iranian plateau, the Arabian Gulf provided both an excellent tourism view even though the people from the Achaemenid used it as a source of water for domestic and industrial purposes.

The water body never existed in either Persia or the Arabian Peninsula even though residents of both lands wanted to identify with the source of water. Currently known as Iran, Persia has an undisputable history with the Red Sea wanting it to be the Persian Gulf.

Arabic and Iranian citizens fought for the land that hosted for the water body since the early 19th century precisely the 1960’s. This paper intends to explain the position of the Arabian Gulf including its geographic and political histories (Krane, 2006).

Geography and History of the Gulf

Around 300 BC and 550 BC, Romans and Persians dominated the Persian Gulf. This happened before Arabs took over the water body from the Iranians (Persians) making it to acquire a new title. However, the name Persian Gulf still holds relevance in the 21st century thousands of years after its acquisition by the Islamic community.

Geographically, the Arabian Gulf existed between the Persian plateau and the Arabian Peninsula (Motter, 1952). None of the communities in the Arabic or Iranian sections had the ability to prove that the Arabic Gulf geographically existed on their side of the divide.

For the past over 2000 years, most people referred to the Red sea as the Persian Gulf because it physically separated the Iranian land from the Arabic land even though inclined more towards the Iranian plateau. Many geographers described the Arabian Gulf as the Red Sea without the knowledge of the residents under dispute.

According to Western geographers and archaeologists who carried out research in the region, the Arabian Gulf was the Sinus Persicus. The Achaemenid Empire has a good recollection of where the Arabian Gulf existed. According to King Darius of the Achaemenid kingdom, his extensive travels enabled him to assess different parts of the Persian plateau and the Arabian Peninsula.

Around the 4th to 5th centuries, he identified the Red Sea as the Persian Gulf while identifying the Mediterranean Sea as the Rome River. In essence, Darius and Herodotus had a similar account of the Red Sea by linking it to the Persian community (Roberts, 1980).

Greece is a common point of reference when discussing classical writers, philosophers, geographers, travellers, and artists. Strabo and Ptolemy are great geographers from Greece who travelled across the Persian plateau and the Arabian Peninsula during the 4th century.

Before 1960, most western maps identified the Arabian Gulf as the Persian Gulf because political factors made it possible for the Persian Empire to command a huge section of the Red Sea. Persia was very powerful and in it had the geopolitical capability to own the water body and this made the Red Sea the Persian Gulf.

Geographically, the Arabian Gulf is 251, 000 square kilometres wide and a large portion of the inland sea lies in Saudi Arabia (Roberts, 1980). This explains why many geographers in Greece felt that the Gulf needed to acquire the Arabic name instead of the Persian name.

However, some people feel that Iran fits the ownership of the inland sea and it should bear the name the Persian Gulf because Iran covers most parts of the sea to the north while Saudi Arabia covers it to the south. Many countries border the Arabian Gulf/Persian Gulf to the north including Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq among other UAE countries.

Political Issues

Politics play a significant role in property ownership and command of territorial lands under dispute. Around the 4th century up until the 1960’s the Persian or Arabian Gulf remained an element of controversy between the Persians and Arabic counterparts.

Even though a big section of the inland sea lied towards the Arabian Peninsula, Persia took control of the land because of the powerful Achaemenid Empire that settled in the region around 550 BC. Around this period, the Persian Empire enjoyed autonomy, hence enabling it to exercise authority over lands that existed around it.

During the antiquity until the early 19th century, most countries dominated territories through acquisitions especially when they had well-trained armies. According to Rose (2010), Arab nationalism began to rise and this threatened the very existence of the Persian Empire in an area it initially controlled.

Arabs wanted a fair share of the inland sea because in terms of length and depth, a greater portion of the Red Sea was on the Arabian Peninsula as opposed to the northern side in which the Persian kingdom existed.

Political rivalry between the Persians and Iranians made it possible for the two power forces to determine the strongest team. The Arabs emerged victorious in the battle, thus enabling them to name the Red Sea as the Arabian Gulf.

The Muslims recognised the water body as the Baḥr Fārsi to mean the Persian Sea. Muslims took advantage of the turmoil to claim the disputed inland sea. The only way to achieve this was to ensure religious conversion of Arabs and Persians to Islam. The Gulf mostly consisted of Jews and Arabs following their backgrounds from the Roman Empire, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Persian plateau.

Religion is a strong supporter of various political ideologies and this helped the Muslim community take control of the Persian Gulf during the 10th century. The arrival of Muslims in the inland sea made the Arabs and Persians know that the disputed inland sea was of great significance to other communities (Rose, 2010). Muslim invasion created further turmoil in the area making the wars to prolong up until the 19th century.

Currently, a section of the population refers to the inland sea as the Persian Gulf while others call it the Arabian Gulf. In almost all probability, the water body serves both the Arabian and Iranian sides of the divide equally. Many prominent cities in the world within Kuwait, Dubai, Qatar, and the entire UAE establish beautiful buildings along the coastline.

Portuguese and Dutch in the Gulf

Portuguese at Bahrain

During the Atlantic world commonly known for its colonial activities, the Portuguese and the Dutch travelled extensively across the Indian Ocean. Vasco da Gama gained prominence during the trips in which Portugal and Netherlands’ residents sought to acquire resources from African States and selling them at a high price in Canada and Northern America around the 16th century.

The Portuguese used violent strategies to acquire resources from the Gulf by engaging in war with the Ottomans. The power hungry Portuguese engaged in battle that saw them attack the army led by Antonio Correia around the late 14th century. Their greatest intention was to enter Bahrain and acquire the natural resources including gas and oil.

During the Atlantic world, only the powerful European nations emerged successful in their endeavours (Motter, 1952). The British were a little bit lenient and their operations included long-term efforts to establish ground in their target grounds. This also incorporated the Dutch strategy ensuring that the community from Netherlands built schools and social amenities while teaching the communities the Dutch language.

The main intention was to declare a long-term mission in the attacked lands while ensuring that the Arabs remained faithful to the foreign rule. Bahrain was equally rich in Pearl and the Portuguese and the Dutch sought to acquire the resources forcefully.

Not all leaders could condone the self-fish character of the Portuguese and Shah Abbas, a King from the Persian Empire, ensured that the Portuguese left Bahrain in 1602, hence enabling the Persians to gain independence. At this point, Persians became the most prominent Empire of the period.

Each year on the 29th day of April, Iranians celebrates the National Persian Gulf day to remember the way the emperor sent the Portuguese away from Bahrain (Motter, 1952). Evicting the Portuguese was a challenge that no other emperor attempted and this made Abbas a very powerful leader in Persia. As such, many foreign States began seeking business associations with Persia under the rule of emperor Abbas.

The Dutch and the Maritime Business Ventures

The Dutch took interest in Persia because they wanted to do business with emperor Abbas. By the mid-16th century, the emperor controlled Hormuz Island and Bandar cities and this enabled the emperor to name the city after him. Though considered a bureaucratic approach, this increased the emperor’s influence within the Persian plateau.

Naming Bandar after Abbas was an attempt to prove his dominance in Persia after evicting the Portuguese those other colonial powers regarded as strong (Burgh, 1953). The Persian Gulf also became a business hub for the British, the Dutch, and the Spanish among others. Ordinarily, maritime transport provides an excellent avenue for carrying bulky goods.

Weaponry from Persia reached Russia and other countries through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Russia is rich in natural resources including Uranium and the country suffers poor international relations because of its links with Iran and the nuclear power project in the country. The relationship between Iran and Russia began when geographers still recognised Iran as Persia.

Netherlands also used the maritime means to transports products to and from Persia. During the business ventures, the Dutch occupied parts of the UAE, Oman, and Kuwait among other nations to the north of the Persian Gulf. By settling in the prominent cities, the Dutch had the opportunity to exercise political authority in Persia.

Colonisation by the Dutch and the Portuguese

It was probably very difficult to colonise a community dominated by the Jews, Arabs, and Muslims. The three religious movements depend on solidarity in order to keep the common enemy at bay. After arriving in Persia in the 16th century, the Portuguese believed that it would be easy to invade the Persian plateau or the Arabian Peninsula. According to the colonial powers, the two states were in dispute over the inland sea.

This was the most opportune time to access the oil rich peninsula. According to geopolitical analysts, colonisers often preferred using diverse techniques in order to create a breakeven point in which people from the same country would turn against each other.

Instead of achieving the divide and rule technique that the Britons initially used to succeed, the Dutch and the Portuguese failed to convert the Muslims and Arabic Persians and Arabs. Colonisers during the Atlantic world mostly used religion as an excuse to access other countries (Kostman, 1995). They mentioned that they intended to spread Christianity to the African and Arab dominated continents.

Colonisation was not an easy exercise for the team of Europeans because Persians had the objective of safeguarding their territories from external invasion. In addition, Persia had the industrial and weaponry capabilities to protect the land explaining the overwhelming interest European states had in the country.

Until today, Iran remains very significant for exporting war artilleries to other countries with a major client being Russia. The USSR was very powerful until the decline of the Soviet Union in 1991.

As a result, Russia could not dare confront Iran because of the presence of Abbas and possession of weapons of mass destruction. On the other Hand, the Dutch and the Portuguese had a fair share of a bad experience in attacking one of the greatest empires in the history of the world.

Netherlands and the Minerals within the UAE

The Arabian Gulf contained minerals such as myrrh, gems, pearls, and ceramics. The business intentions of the Dutch were explicit in the jewellery industry of the countries bordering the Red Sea. According to archaeologists, clear pearls existed in the countries since inception and it was only until the 5th century that the Persian Empire identified the precious stones.

A rush for the Persian pearl saw the colonisers forget their initial plan to invade the plateau and the peninsula. When the Dutch sought the precious stones, it was evident that only the Arab lands contained the pearls and the myrrh. In essence, the Persian Gulf needed to recognise that Arabian States dominated in terms of resources.

The Arabian side also had a big portion of the inland sea making it the best avenue for maritime activities and a business metropolis for the Dutch, British, Portuguese, and other Westerners. During the entire period, no country managed to manoeuvre by introducing their language or religion to the Arabian Gulf (Burgh, 1953).

It was easy to do business with foreigners who embraced the Arabic culture because assimilating the residents was impossible.

Other commodities in which westerners took interest included cinnamon and frankincense among other spices. As such, the west had to embrace the Arabic culture because colonising the Persian State was difficult. Besides a strong army, the countries had resources that would enable the communities fund any war.

Arrival and Consequences of British Presence in the Gulf

When the British arrived in the Persian Gulf around the 16th century, they sought to do business, to access oil, and to take advantage of the existence of pearls. People knew the British for the voyages across the Indian Ocean during the Atlantic World. They wanted to settle in any land that had natural resources because their intention was to access a market for tea, and cotton.

The cotton came from India and it was not until the early 19th century that Mahatma Gandhi led a rebellion against the British rule in the country. The British also had a presence in most parts of Africa helping to introduce tea, cotton, coffee, and other cash crops. In Persia and the Arabic world, the British targeted consumers who would purchase the finished products in a costly manner.

Britain intended to promote its business in order to benefit its economy while depriving other people of their rights to own resources. There is evidence the British colonisers assessed the environment around the Gulf after the Portuguese and the Dutch invaded the region.

Promotion of Business

Britain acquired cotton from India and it needed a market to purchase its finished products. In return, it eyed the oil and gas in the region while constantly engaging in the pearl business. Evidently, the British had the resources and political will to command any target region across the world in order to conduct business. Britain also wanted a market or Opium from China and tea from India.

All the resources, it acquired through forceful invasion to other countries that it considered vulnerable during the Atlantic world. However, the Persian Empire established a strong front to fight the British colonisers. Emperor Abbas could not allow the Portuguese or British to take advantage of the Gulf. In unison, both the Arabs and Persians participated in the eviction of the British forces out of the land.

Long-term Projects

The British wanted to establish long-term projects within the Gulf. They sought to build schools, and promote long-term projects that would ensure a relationship between them and the Gulf occupants existed. Many people knew the British system of governance that involved setting up a community against the other. The British knew that taking control of a territory involved making the residents of a place to embrace the foreign culture.

Britain only penetrated a small section of the Persian plateau and the Arabian Peninsula (Kostman, 1995). The union shared between the two regions enabled the communities to uphold their cultures even though few people helped in supporting the British. This enabled them to acquire oil and gas even though it had to battle for the same resource with the French and the Portuguese.

The tussle also involved the Spanish community and the Dutch. During this period, Europe had a strong movement considering the British invasion into the Americas and their ability to displace the Native Americans.

As such, all countries that felt the presence of the British knew that they had lost their resources to one of the most powerful colonisers in the world. Britain had to invade the space over the long-term, but it was difficult to achieve the objective in the presence of rivals that used force because their projects were short-term in the Gulf.

Spreading Christianity

When the Atlantic world first emerged, the intentions of the European States included spreading Christianity. About the same time, Spain was battling to end the Islamic Spain rule and to embark on Christian dominance. Spain had a difficult time spreading Christianity because it had problems back in the country. The Britons had a difficult time penetrating the overly conservative society.

Spreading Christianity was overly difficult because Arabs and the Persians developed a united front to protect their culture and religion. Christianity helped Britain access different countries during the Atlantic World.

Through Christianity, the British introduced formal education to other parts of the world. Around the Gulf, the Arabic and Persian cultures became a source of artistic expression and the conservative culture became almost impossible for the British to penetrate (Krane, 2006).

British Empire’s expansion all over the world

The British had the resources to invade the countries it targeted during the Atlantic World. They used different subtle ways to win the good will of the people. Unlike the Belgians and the Portuguese who used force, the British preferred introducing their culture to the people, it colonised. In order to conquer a strong community the British used the divide and rule technique that involved setting up a rival community over the other.

Good command of English also assisted Britain in establishing learning institutions along the Gulf. The British used all the available intellectual and physical resources to attract the attention of the people living around the Gulf region to no avail. Significant area under the British command included the Trucial States that people lately call the UAE (Krane, 2006).

The British also realised that the Gulf residents could retaliate and they had to use aggression to control the UAE. According to geographers, the British targeted the Trucial States because of their proximity to the Gulf and because they had pearls and other resources.

Today, the British still consider the UAE as a potential tourism ground for its population. This explains why most Britons carry out businesses with UAE countries especially Qatar and Dubai.

The British in India

The British have a history in India since the 17th Century until the late 19th century. The fact that Britain established schools India created room for formal education. Statistically, the formal education would later help the British to acquire resources from the people with who they communicated. The target resource was the cotton and the market since India had a huge population.

After exporting the cotton, Britons transformed them into clothes and sold the finished products to the Indian people. Other target populations included the Canadians and North Americans who were equally under the British rule. To stop this, the Indian founding father, Mahatma Gandhi, sought to empower the people of India by teaching them to sew Khadi clothes for use.

This reduced dependence on the British and the Britons had to reduce control on the people of India because cotton was no longer available for the foreigners. However, Britons exercised controls in parts of East Africa and the target communities were Kenya and Uganda.

Through this, Britons managed to introduce Indians to the parts of Africa, thus enabling them to establish railroads (Krane, 2006). This helped Asians in establishing networks of trade and railway construction in East Africa. However, Ugandan leader, Amin evicted the Asians from the land because he never wanted any traces of British rule in the country.

The British in Canada

In America, the British were in parts of the north and in Canada. The common Boston tea party was a result of the rejection of British tea in America. According to Americans, the foreign forces only introduced high taxes while barring Canadians from enjoying their local resources. In addition, exports from America could not reach the market place because of the high rates of taxation and barriers created.

The British introduced a local government in Canada and this helped them in marking their territory. This happened after the great British immigration into the US to displace the natives. The command that Britons have over different people gave them the fame they required during the 16th century along the Gulf (Kostman, 1995).

Choosing the Gulf Area

When the British took control of India, they acquired tea and cotton. Most of the tea went to Canada until the occurrence of the Boston tea party too stop the East Indian firm from importing tea into the US. The Gulf situation was different because the British had to construct a railroad to connect its suppliers and customers.

Tea and cotton from India could reach the Trucial States while cinnamon, pearls, oil, and gas could traverse the Gulf through the same road or other maritime avenues. In Persia, king Darius I was a very powerful leader of the Achaemenid around 600 BC (Roberts, 1980). The Arabians and the Persians coexisted peacefully even though there were looming speculations about a war over the ownership of the Gulf region.

It was evident that the Persians exercised control over the region because of their powerful leaders. The British wanted to take control of the Trucial States even though they had to defeat the Achaemenid Empire. The British East India Company arrived in the Trucial States around the 19th century to take over the land. The company consisted of labour force from India under the control of the Britons.

It sought to construct a railroad in order to enable easy trading activities. Britons had the resources and intellectual property enough to control the rest of the world. The Gulf area was a potential trading zone and an area where cross docking could easily occur. In essence, the British East India company could use the road of maritime transport in order to import and export products across the Gulf.

The Achaemenid Empire had to give way to the British East India Company and the Royal Navy. This enabled the Britons to construct the Silk Road among other renowned avenues that could connect the Middle East and Asia (Roberts, 1980).

At around this period, the Sassanid Empire rose to power, the British were still able to continue with their construction prospects until the rise of emperor Abbas. The British made the Gulf a business hub within and outside the Middle East, thus enabling it to trade with many countries including China.

Tribal Leadership

The British used the divide and rule method in most cities of the Trucial States. They included the present day Qatar, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait among others. This method helped the British in acquiring conquest against the target countries. The tribal alliances helped the British in understanding the weakness of enemies, as it enabled other communities to dominate over others within the same region.

Some of the common states that became bait included the current day Iraq, which was Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia tuned against Persia (Iraq) and animosity still exists between the two countries while Russia takes advantage of the existing power struggle (Beaumont, 2006).

Cities including Oman and Bahrain distanced themselves from other Trucial States because the British gave some leaders chieftaincy titles to govern the others. Power strife within the Arabian Gulf ensued as some strived to belong to the north towards the Persian side, but others had to remain to the southern side.

The Interwar Period and Impact of Discovery of Oil

The warring period began in the mid-19th century involving the colonisers and the US. During this period, only countries that managed to attract the attention of the Trucial States could access the oil and gas. Discovery of oil only increased tension between the Persian plateau and the Arabian Peninsula.

Emperor Abbas could not withstand the Portuguese quest for oil and pearls and he had to devise a strategy of sending the colonisers back to Europe. The British preferred using the Hormuz region to transfer oil to Britain through the Indian Ocean. The Portuguese used a similar channel and power strife emerged between the colonisers themselves.

Each coloniser wanted to prove powerful, but the only way to survive in the Gulf was to adapt to the culture of the population. Discovery of oil occurred over 8000 years ago and the Gulf provided an avenue for maritime transport explaining why each country wanted to own the region (Burgh, 1953). During this period, the colonisers fought for supremacy and the Persians and Arabs wanted to own the Gulf region.

It was until the 1960’s that people began referring to the region as the Arabian Gulf because most oil deposits existed to the southern side of the inland sea. As such, the Arabs had claim of the largest portion of the disputed region, hence enabling it acquire the title of the Arabian Gulf.

Power Balance Shift

The Trucial States, Mesopotamia, and the Persians began to take control of the oil rich Gulf after the colonial era. Power balance naturally shifted from the Persian Empire to the Arabian side. This was a natural process because the Arabian Gulf had the greatest portion of oil deposits. This happened because the Red Sea stretched over 600 miles towards the southern side, which was the Arab side.

This explains that presence of a big coastline at the UAE bordering Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi among other States. Towards the Persian side, Iran had to struggle for the ownership of the oil deposits with Iraq. The Trucial States became the greatest suppliers of over 60% of the world oil and natural gas (Rose, 2010).

It was evident that the Persian side had the political capability to control the Gulf, but the Arabs had the geographic evidence and resources to claim the Gulf. The Persians and Arabs engaged in conflicts since the 17th century until the 19th century when the Persian side failed to convince the rest of the world that it owned the Gulf.

Other countries in the Middle East also developed interest in the Gulf including the Jews, which led to the Arab and Israeli war that continues. Currently, the UAE remains the greatest supplier of natural gas and oil to other parts of the world. Political instability characterised by oil and gas wars still see and the UAE battle for the prevailing political space in the world.


Companies in Europe and America constantly battle to have the greatest share of the Arabian oil. The US, French and UK companies seem to influence the rivalry that existed between the Middle East and other nations that require similar supplies. The US faces opposition from Libya and Saudi Arabia following the condemnation of poor leadership structures in the countries.

This also follows the US’s invasion of Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. According to the East, the US did not have the authority to invade Iraq while looking for the Taliban. It only had the power to stay in Afghanistan. Many European States especially NATO members used this to destabilise the relationship between the US and the UAE (Krane, 2006).

Russia also faced a cold treatment after promoting the generation of nuclear power in Iran. In essence, the discovery of oil became the greatest aspect of separating the western powers even though this empowered America making it the world superpower while stripping off Russia the ability to control the Soviet Union. Power balance always shifted towards the community that engaged its resources less in war.

Benefit of the Oil to the Gulf

The discovery of oil within the Gulf was exceptionally vital to the modern history of the Arabs and Iranians. Oil became a source of income for the Trucial States. This made it possible for the countries to invest in technology, real estate, and the gas industry. The oil also provided the Gulf with publicity making the Trucial States some of the best tourist attraction areas (Kostman, 1995).

UAE countries have beautiful coastlines that make it possible for them to accommodate tourists from other parts of the world. Besides income generation and publicity, the Arabian Gulf enjoys political strength even though some parts of the UAE struggle for power because of the powerful resource under their control.

20th Century History of the Gulf Region

Contrary to other warring regions of the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf region hosts countries that strive to compete economically. Some of the most developed States in the world are from the Gulf region. Dubai currently hosts the world’s largest skyscraper Burj Kahlifa because of its ability to trade in oil and gas.

However, the gas mostly lies in the Iranian plateau, thus enabling the country to generate nuclear power even though the exercise is under dispute from major countries across the globe. The Gulf region has the Gulf cooperation council that monitors the export of oil within the UAE countries. This empowers the countries that receive free advice on how to manage the natural and cash resources.

Gulf countries are the greatest employers of human resources from different countries especially in the formal sector. Many countries refer to the Gulf as the Arabian Gulf even though Iran refers to it as the Persian Gulf. When referring to the Gulf region, most people identify with the seven countries of the UAE even though the Gulf consists of oil producing countries that separate Iran from the Arab north.

The Gulf takes credit for oil, gas, mangrove trees that make it an excellent tourist attraction, and the coastal outline. The Presidents of the Gulf region constantly meet to discuss progress and to analyse the growing global interests in the region including foreign direct investment (Kostman, 1995).

Modern History

There is limited socio-economic activity between Iran and the Arabian Gulf after 1960. This occurred when the Arabian Gulf got independence from the aggressive Persian Gulf region that exercised political control round the region since the 4th century. Currently, different countries refer to the region as the Gulf to refer to oil producing countries in the Middle East.

The Gulf seems to take interest in the West, America, and Asia. There is a significant difference between activities in Iraq, Iran, and Israel because they are not part of the Gulf. The Gulf mostly employs human resources from third world countries with countries like Qatar preferring casual labourers for the oil industry and domestic duties (Cole, 1987).

In addition, after the Chinese real estate bubble, most people expected the same to apply to the UAE, but it only affected Dubai and Bahrain while other countries including Oman seem to perform well in the industry. Naturally, the past affects the present, which in turn influences the future.

This explains the solidarity shared by the countries within the Gulf region. The Trucial States used a similar strategy to defeat the colonial powers in the mid-19th century. This union seems to grow strong with leaders intervening whenever one country within the Gulf has a political problem.


The Gulf gained independence after 1960 even though people came to know it after 3000 years of existence. The Arabian side of the divide became the bearer of the greatest amount of oil deposits while the northern side that hosted Iran had large gas deposits. After the reign of the Achaemenid, the Sassanid, and the era of emperor Abbas, it was time for the Arabian side to take control of its territory.

The Trucial States that today represent the UAE became economically powerful because of their connections with the British. The strong link enabled them to use the Silk Road among other developed routes to export and import resources within and outside Asia (Krane, 2006). The connection to the Hormuz Strait also enabled the Trucial States to use the Indian Ocean for trade purposes (Rose, 2010).

Currently the UAE rests on the Gulf that is 615 miles in length and 210 miles wide. Trade, tourism, and British presence helped the Trucial States to get independence from the Persian emperor, which had control over the region for the longest time possible.

Currently, the Iranians still refer to the Gulf as the Persian Gulf in order to spite the UAE even though the UAE is very categorical about the issue. It markets the region as the Arabian Gulf or simply the Gulf to make the rest of the world understand that it runs the region.


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Burgh, W. G. (1953). The legacy of the ancient world. Melbourne: Penguin Books Publishers.

Cole, J. R. (1987). Rival Empires of Trade and Imami Shiism in Eastern Arabia, 1300 – 1800. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 19(2), 177-204.

Kostman, C. (1995). In Search of Ancient Seafarers in the Arabian Gulf. Retrieved from

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Motter, T. H. (1952). The Persian Corridor and aid to Russia. Washington: Center of Military History Publishers.

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