“لا إله إلا الله، محمد رسول الله”
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Regional Influence: Squire
The UED's history traces itself back to the Emirate of Dammam, founded in 1759 by namesake of the current Al Subaai royal family, Shaiykh Thani bin Subaai (1729-1778). The bedouin sheikh turned his family fortunes around after monopolizing the pearl trade in the region, amassing a small fortune and using that to establish a small Emirate in the town of Dammam, naming himself Hakim. The Subaai under first Shaiykh Thani's son, Khalifa (1758-1809), then grandson, Sultan (1776-1831) adopted the title Emir, and continued to rule the emirate until 1824, when the Second Saudi State, the Emirate of Nejd, was created and conquered Dammam. Sultan bin Khalifa managed to save his family's legacy by voluntarily going into exile, and allowing his son, Rashid (1798-1866), to become Hakim under the House of Saud. Rashid would competently lead his family back into prosperity, serving as a faithful lieutenant to the Saudis. He would be succeeded by his son, Khalid (1816-1869) for only three years before his grandson, Mohammed (1838-1890) became Hakim. Upon Mohammed's ruled Dammam faithfully in the image of his grandfather, but upon death in 1890, his 29-year-old son Khalifa (1857-1904) sought to return the family to royalty once again.
Khalifa sided with the Al Rashid family of Ha'il in ousting Abdulrahman bin Faisal Al Saud and exiling him to Kuwait in 1891. In this vacuum, the Emir seized Riyadh, the capital of the Al Saud family, establishing it as a territory of Dammam. In 1903, the Al Subaai reached an agreement with the British to support their family instead of the Al Saud or Al Rashid. Emir Khalifa used this European support to defeat the Al Rashid, seizing Ha'il (modern-day Ha'il, Tabuk, and Medina provinces). As a result of the Al Subaai moving against the Ottoman supported Al Rashidi's, the Sultan ordered his troops to sack the town of Dammam, and arrested Emir Khalifa, executing him in Istanbul the next year. Khalifa's son, Rashid, declared the Arab Revolt against the Sultan, aiming to avenge his father and free the Arabian peninsula once and for all. Despite being unsuccessful in defeating the Ottoman Empire, the Emir was able to devastate their ability to fight in the inhospitable desert. Utilizing guerilla tactics, Emir Rashid was able to prevent the Bey of Egypt from occupying actively.
After the conclusion of World War I, the Al Subaai annexed Mecca, and invaded Jizan to the south. By 1919, they controlled the majority of the Arabian Peninsula, save for Yemen and Oman, and the numerous sheikhdoms and emirates controlled by Great Britain in the East. In 1949, Rashid bin Khalifa died, passing the Emirate to his eldest son, Ahmed. The new Emir, capitalizing on recent oil discoveries in Dammam, modernized and secularized the government. In 1953, Emir Ahmed established the numerous Al-Subaai holdings as emirates, and declared the creation of the United Emirates of Diadochi, with himself as King. He chose his closest advisor and brother, Sheikh Khalid, as Emir of Dammam while he moved the capital to Jeddah, a small sea-side city near Mecca, Islam's holiest city. He then appointed his remaining brothers accordingly; Riyadh to Mohammed, Medina to Saud. He further appointed his three brother-in-laws, Saud bin Abdullah in Ha'il, Abdulaziz bin Abdullah in Jizan, and Mansour bin Abdullah in Tabuk.
Eighteen years later, in 1971, Britain would end its colonial empire in Arabia, establishing numerous independent sheikhdoms on the Eastern coast. King Ahmed would coerce and bribe the royal families of each to renounce their claims, succeeding in claiming all the independent emirates by 1973. He appointed his two remaining brothers, Salman and Essa, who had been children when he established the original emirates, as Emirs of Kuwait and Dubai, respectively. Believing that the oil-rich Emirate of Abu Dhabi was too valuable to allow one of his brothers to govern, the King appointed his maternal uncle Ahmed as Emir.
In October 2009, at the age of 81 and after 60 years of ruling, King Ahmed passed away in Geneva, after a long-term battle with lung cancer. His eldest son, Sultan bin Ahmed succeeded him at the age of 51. The new government, led by King Ahmed's European educated sons, would liberalize its society. In 2010, two months after assuming office, King Sultan announced his Vision 2020 plan to modernize the Emirati economy, progress its social aspects, and establish for the first time a consultative council to act as a parliament. Critics of the regime maintain that although the government has opened up the economy and liberalized society, including women's rights, that no meaningful action has been taken to ensure political liberties, with governance ultimately remaining in the hands of the Al Subaai family, with the most important positions (King, Crown Prince, Foreign, Internal, and Defense ministers) held by royals without parliamentary oversight. Critics have also claimed that the liberalization of society has not gone far enough, in terms of freedom of religion, sexual orientation, and consensual intercourse; and that women do not have the right to legally marry without the approval of their families and may not marry a non-muslim. The King has continued to insist the right of every nation to modernize and liberalize at its own pace, and in respect of its social norms and customs, and advocates for the ability to enact progressive policy without necessarily having to adopt western custom.