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HISTORICAL INFORMATION  
Early Settlements:  
Around 7 to 8 thousand years ago, the first modern men arrived in the area. These were hunters and fishermen whose flint tools can still be found in the desert today.
 
   
There is the first evidence of a settled population in the Al Ain area. This dates from almost five thousand years ago and it eventually became the crossroads of major land trade routes. The climate still appeared to be more temperate than now as these people cultivated millet and other food grains. The reconstructed tower at Hili, part of Al Ain, with its fine carvings and relief's, dates from this period.
 
   
The Semi-nomadic fishermen of earlier centuries must have developed boat building skills that enabled them to travel up the Arabian Gulf and records show that these vessels sailing in 2000 BC were very similar in design and materials to dhows in use today.
 
   
In 1820 Britain signed a series of agreements with the sheikhs of the towns along the coast, focussing on the need to preserve a truce at sea during the pearling season. From those agreements came the name 'The Trucial Coast' as the UAE was known until the establishment of the Federation in December 1971.
 
   
Thanks to the agreements with Britain, conflict at sea gradually disappeared. One beneficiary of the maritime peace was Dubai, which under the leadership of the Sheikhs of the Al Maktoum family, was able to persuade the main Indian-based British steamship to use Dubai instead of Bandar Lingeh on the Iranian coast as its main port of call in the lower Arabian Gulf. As a result local pearly merchants were able to extend their commercial ties, and during the 1920s Dubai merchants were prominent in the Bombay pearl markets.
 
   
Fortunately at around the same time, oil was discovered in the Arabian Gulf, and by 1939 concession agreements had been signed with exploration beginning shortly after the Second World War.
 
   
In 1968 the British told the seven rulers that they would renounce their treaties with the Arabian Gulf states by the end of 1971. HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, immediately agreed to federate their two emirates and invited others to join, leading to the establishment of the United Arab Emirates with HH Sheikh Zayed as its President.
 
   
Tribes  
The people of the UAE are Arabs and Muslim, belonging to a host of large and small tribes that have, in may cases, lived in the country since long before the relevations of Islam well over a thousand years ago.
 
   
Three types of tribes existed:  
Nomadic Bedouin who used to move from one place to
 
 
another and whose members relied totally on animal husbandry
   
Seasonal moving tribes who moved to mountain tops in
 
the north of the country in summer and moved back to the plains in the south during winter
   
Semi-nomadic tribes who interchanged between
Bedouin and settled life. They moved to the coast when life became difficult in the desert and then back to the desert when more favourable conditions prevailed.
 
   
 
   
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