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Fujairah

Fujairah

The Emirate of Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. The only of the seven with a coastline solely on the Gulf of Oman and none on the Persian Gulf, its capital is Fujairah.

The Emirate of Fujairah, dominated by the Sharqiyin tribe, sits at the mouth of the important trade route, the Wadi Ham (which is guarded by the Sharqiyin Al Bithnah Fort), through the mountains to the interior and the Persian Gulf Coast. Known as the Shamaliyah, the east coast of what is now the UAE was subject to Muscat until 1850, when it was annexed by Al Qasimi of Sharjah, in an agreement made between Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi and the Sultan of Muscat. The Shamaliyah was governed by Al-Qasimi Wali at Kalba although frequently seceded and in 1901 Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Sharqi, chief of the Sharqiyin, declared independence from Sharjah. This was recognized by a number of the Trucial Sheikhs and also by Muscat, but not the British, who were frequently provoked by the independently minded Ruler. At this time, The Emirate of Fujairah consisted of some 150 houses and 3,000 date palms and its people lived mainly through pearling and date cultivation. Since the absorption of Kalba by Sharjah in 1952, the Shamaliyah is shared by the emirates of Fujairah and Sharjah.

In 1952, The Emirate of Fujairah entered into treaty relations with Britain, becoming the last of the emirates to join the Trucial States. Having withheld this recognition for over fifty years, the British government only granted it because the oil exploration company Petroleum Concessions Limited (PCL) needed to sign a concession with a recognized ruler. On 2 December 1971, The Emirate of Fujairah joined the United Arab Emirates.

Archaeological finds in the Emirate of Fujairah point to a history of human occupation and trading links stretching back at least 4,000 years, with Wadi Suq (2,000 to 1,300 BC) burials located at Bithnah and the Qidfa' Oasis. A third millennium BCE tower was used to construct the Portuguese fort at Bidiyah, identified with the Portuguese 'Libedia', a fortress recorded in de Resende's 1646 map - the fortress itself has been carbon dated to 1450–1670.

The Emirate of Fujairah is also rich in late Islamic fortresses, as well as being home to the oldest mosque in use in the United Arab Emirates, Al Badiyah Mosque, which was built in 1446 of mud and bricks. It is similar to other mosques found in Yemen, eastern Oman, and Qatar. Al Bidyah Mosque has four domes (unlike the other similar mosques which have between seven and twelve) and lacks a minaret.

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