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TRUCIAL STATES

From 1962 to 1963 I was employed by International Aeradio Ltd (IAL) at Dubai Airport in what was then the Trucial States. These were a group of semi-independent Arab Sheikhdoms located on the western edge of the Gulf whose military defence and foreign policies were controlled by the United Kingdom.

The Trucial States comprised Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujair, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al-Quwain. Following full independance they became the United Arab Emirates.

I also spent some time at Bahrein before being posted to Nigeria in 1965. In 1967 I returned to the Gulf where I was stationed at Kuwait.

A word on the geographic term Arabian Gulf. Then, as now, it was highly political. The traditional term was the Persian or Iranian Gulf, but this could be construed within the Arab world as implying ownership by Iran . For the same reason the term Arabian Gulf was disliked by the Iranians.

Today most Western politicians avoid this controversy by using the term "The Gulf", a practice I have tried to follow here.