For those who visit the UAE today, staying in air-conditioned hotels and shopping in ultra-modern malls, the country itself remains an enigma – a glass and concrete creation that seems to have sprung from the desert overnight. Keepers of the Golden Shore looks behind its glossy facade, tracing the traditional tribal bonds of an ancient land to the society of today and casting a new and revealing light on this intriguing, innovative and resilient people.
Across the spread of its deserts and mountains, islands and seas, the UAE has a rich and diverse history. From the ancient people who came out of the desert to settle the land, through the invasions and wars these people fought, to the myth of piracy and the mystique of pearls, and the arrival of the oilmen in the stifling heat, Keepers of the Golden Shore tells the extraordinary story of how the Emirates and its ruling families evolved from a tribal society to become one of the richest countries on earth.
‘Keepers of the Golden Shore covers the country from prehistory to the present day in less than 250 pages . . . a welcome, readable and much needed starting point for new readers and new arrivals to the UAE who want a better understanding of the people and places around them.’ – The National
‘This excellent and readable book, with a wealth of illustrations, begins by charting the early tribal history of the coast and its extensive trading relationships.’ – The Anglo-Omani Society Review
‘Quentin Morton, who grew up in the Gulf, writes with calm authority and rational judgment about the often passionate rivalry between the various emirates and their ruling families, several of which engaged in fratricide and other dastardly acts . . . for anyone who wants to understand from where what is now the UAE emerged and how that happened this is a most useful and readable account.’ – Jonathan Fryer, Interlib magazine
‘Quentin Morton offers us a comprehensive history of the United Arab Emirates from the earliest times to the present. It is an enthralling tale, told with verve and clarity and covers the emergence of Greater Oman after the coming of Islam, the rise and fall of the pearling industry, the hungry years of the Second World War and the discovery of oil. Evocative illustrations remind us that this is living history in the sense that much of the history is relevant to the life of the UAE today, particularly relationships within the emirates and the state’s relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia.’ – Sir Harold Walker, former ambassador to the UAE
Michael Quentin Morton grew up in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in the 1950s and ’60s. He has written a number of books on the history of the Middle East, including Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Inﬂuence and Oil in Arabia (2013).