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Monday 30 August ,2021

The National Archives reviews the role of the Council of Rulers of the Trucial States’ and Abu Dhabi's leading role

Sheikh Zayed's generosity, smart leadership and love for his country and people were a guarantee to the Council's continuity and success.

The National Archives reviews the role of the Council of Rulers of the Trucial States’ and Abu Dhabi's leading role

The National Archives organized a virtual lecture entitled The Council of Rulers of the Trucial States, and the leading role of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi between 1952-1971. It confirmed the leadership and the parental approach of the Builder and Founder Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan with the people of all the Emirates ever since he assumed the reigns of Abu Dhabi in 1966, and his efforts in this Council for the development of the Emirates and its infrastructure.

Ms. Khawla Abdullah Al-AlilY, who presented the lecture, discussed the role played by the Council of Rulers of the Trucial States and the leading role of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, noting that the establishment of the Council of Trucial States and the start of its meetings in 1952 constituted a significant turning point in the emirates’ community, as the seven rulers continued to hold regular meetings discussing the development of the emirates and coordinating businesses and affairs. Therefore, it was a great step and a new stage that paved the way for the establishment of the Union, as the direct meetings had strengthened relations between the rulers.

Ms. Khawla Al-Alili appealed to researchers and those interested in the history of the country to review the British documents to establish historical facts which had been distorted, such as the claim that the rulers were obliged to attend the meetings of the Council, as this, in fact, is far from the truth, because the rulers had the desire to  meet and discuss the affairs of their emirates. They realized early that such meetings constitute an administrative base consolidating their opinions and ideas to set off to serve their compatriots.  Ms. Al-Alily pointed out that the notion of the Council had been on the table since 1932, and she emphasized that the meetings of the rulers in the Council brought them and their crown princes closer together, and through these meetings they realized that their emirates are integrated in all fields.

The lecture defined the Council of Rulers of the Trucial States as a consultative institution established by the British government in 1952 and included the rulers of the Emirates to discuss matters related to development and daily projects that serve citizens at the time. Subsequently, several committees were set up in the Council, such as the Education Committee, the Health Committee, and the Advisory Committee.

The objectives of the Council of Rulers of the Trucial States aspire to prepare development plans for the Trucial States’ infrastructure, and to encourage them to communicate and unite, assume common responsibilities, provide basic services in health and education, keep pace with the development in the other neighbouring emirates (Bahrain and Kuwait), and curb the effects of the decline of the pearl trade.

The lecture, which was delivered remotely through interactive communication technology, addressed the pioneering role played by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as the greater emirate that also has an important political and economic weight, especially after the discovery of oil. Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Sultan Al Nahyan fulfilled that role, and then Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was known for his generosity took over. British documents portray his powerful presence in the meetings of the council and his presentation and discussion abilities and skills. He encouraged the importance of the UAE joining international organizations.

The lecture noted that the late Sheikh Zayed generously covered the expenses of projects in the Trucial States, and he also paid the balances of the citizens' water and electricity bills in Fujairah, Ajman and Umm al-Quwain, and cared for the citizens in the other emirates. He used to contribute to the budget of the Council's fund; thus, the contributions of Abu Dhabi accounted for 90% of the total contributions of the Council. The lecture concluded with several questions, inquiries and discussions from attendees.