United Arab Emirates - Rise to power

After oil was discovered in Abu Dhabi in 1962, revenues from petroleum exports began to grow. However, the ruler, Sheikh Shakhbut, Zayid's elder brother, took a conservative approach because he feared that development could lead to disintegration of the social fabric and an end of the traditional way of life. Zayid tried unsuccessfully to persuade his brother to change his views and to use the oil money for constructing infrastructure and for providing needed social services. With the approval of his family and the British, Zayid deposed his brother and acquired power in a coup in1966. In 1971, when the federation was formed, Abu Dhabi was the largest and richest emirate. Not surprisingly, Zayid was elected president of the federation. Zayid has consistently supported the concept of the federation and has contributed significant funds to the federation budget as well as to the smaller emirates.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: