Author: Dr. Ahmed M.Salah Ouf, Ph.D
Cities of the United Arab Emirates are the gift of their suitable locations on the Gulf as safe havens for fishing and pearl-hunting ships which made the livelihood of the small population since the 1500’s when the origins of the existing population moved in. Cities on the Gulf never attained a very high urban status prior to the discovery of oil because their environmental settings were poor compared to the neighboring wall-established urban centers in Oman, Iraq, Iran, and India. Stopping for food supplies, fuel, and water was more plausible on the shores of Oman Sultanate which had better natural resources and a stable independent government as early as the 1300’s. Settlements on the southern shores of the Gulf were only catering for the local population and spontaneous stops of ships crossing the gulf to the major port city of Basra at the times of the Muslim Khaliphate which ended by the 1500’s when its capital moved to Istanbul in Turkey. Pearl hunting was the only craft indigenous to the area that gave it a good name up to the 1900’s.