Over the centuries other countries pursued their own interests in the Gulf area. Sometimes this resulted in long-term relationships being forged between them.
In this part of the exhibition we have displayed some examples of documents taken from our vast collection housed in the different archives of the Center. We start off in the sixteenth century, when the Portuguese were the first of the European powers to come to the Gulf. Plans of their forts at Dibba and Khor Fakkan can be seen. The Dutch were soon to follow and set up trading posts on the Persian coast. Although they never settled on this side of the Arabian coast, the Dutch did make some important trips to these parts and traded with the people of the area, which is well documented in their archives.
Around the same period the British came to the Gulf, also for trading purposes, first on the Persian coast and later on the Arabian coast.
Treaty relations were first established between the British and the local Sheikhs in the early nineteenth century as a result of the need to protect trade and thus their role in the region was transformed from a purely commercial one to that of a more political one. These treaty relations lasted well into the twentieth century and copies of the original treaties can be seen in the center display case.
Other documents on display come from the Turkish, French, German, Japanese and American archives. All these nations as well have had interests in the Gulf region of either commercial or political nature.