Conventionally, the UAE had not been under colonialism; however, the Trucial States were subject to the Britain colonizers. The colonial masters were keen to maintain their territorial boundaries. Prior agreement by Arab leaders and the British government prevented any other power from entering the state. During the decline of the pearling industry, the British were highly vigilant to sustain the existing regional trend of alienation amongst leaders and the people.
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After the war search for oil started in the 1950s, oil was struck in commercial quantities offshore from Abu Dhabi. Export facilities were constructed, and shipment started improving the infrastructure across the Trucial States. The influx of foreign men with construction companies ensured increased security for workers at the mines. The provision of employment increased with the development of oil companies. The British authorities felt the mandate to care for the people in this region by developing the Trucial States. Some of the members in the foreign office had gained experience after working in the Sudanese civil service. The foreigners were ready to help in improving the living standards of the people.
However, economic decline and reduced sale of pearls led to a loss of income and lowered the living standards of the people of Trucial states. The funds planned for developing the cities were alternatively channeled to other priority needs, thus derailing development. The formation of the UAE federation was spearheaded by Abu Dhabi. The federation was funded from the sale of oil by the Trucial States. The British political agency transformed into the British embassy and became one of the fast-growing diplomatic missions, which marked the end of the imperial era.
“The Beginning of the Post-Imperial Era for the Trucial States from World War I to the 1960s.” Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Region: Fifty Years of Transformation, by Frauke Heard-Bey, Gerlach Press, Berlin, Germany, 2017, pp. 126–130.