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Umm al-Qaiwain

Umm al-Quwain (transliteration: umm al-quwwayn) (literally meaning "Mother of two powers") is one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates. It is located in the north of the country. The emirate is ruled by Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mu'alla, who has been a member of the UAE's Supreme Council since 1981. The emirate had 62,000 inhabitants in 2003 (making it the least populous emirate in the federation) and has an area of 750 square kilometers. Accepted alternative spellings include Umm al Qiwain (used on its former postage stamps) as well as Umm al-Qawain, Umm al-Qaywayn, Umm el-Qiwain, and Umm al-Quwain.


In 1775 Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, founder of the ruling Al Mualla lineage of the Al `Ali clan, established an independent sheikdom in Umm al-Quwain.

On 8 January 1820, Sheikh Abdullah I signed the General Maritime Treaty with the United Kingdom, thus accepting a British protectorate in order to keep the Ottoman Turks out. Like four of its neighbours, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah, its position on the route to India made it important enough to be recognized as a salute state (albeit of the lowest class: only 3 guns).

On 2 December 1971, Sheikh Ahmad II joined the United Arab Emirates.

The successive rulers were:

  • 1775 - 17.. Sheikh Majid Al Mu`alla
  • 17.. - 1816 Sheikh Rashid I ibn Majid Mu`alla
  • 1816 - 1853 Sheikh Abdullah I ibn Rashid Al Mu`alla
  • 1853 - 1873 Sheikh Ali ibn Abdullah Al Mu`alla
  • 1873 - 13 June 1904 Sheikh Ahmad I ibn `Abd Allah Al Mu`alla (b. 18.. - d. 1904)
  • 13 June 1904 - August 1922 Sheikh Rashid II ibn Ahmad Al Mu`alla (b. 1875 - d. 1922)
  • August 1922 - October 1923 Sheikh `Abdallah II ibn Rashid Al Mu`alla
  • October 1923 - 9 February 1929 Sheikh Hamad ibn Ibrahim Al Mu`alla
  • 9 February 1929 - 21 February 1981 Sheikh Ahmad II ibn Rashid Al Mu`alla (b. 1904 - d. 1981)
  • 21 February 1981 - Sheikh Rashid III ibn Ahmad Al Mu'alla (b. 1930)