Shaykh Zayed with Others at Defence Force Display


This 1962 photograph shows Shaykh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan (1918–2004), his brother, Shaykh Khalid, and foreign advisers watching a display of the Abu Dhabi defense forces. Shaykh Zayed, the youngest son of Shaykh Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, became the ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966. Abu Dhabi was at that time one of the Trucial States, so-named in reference to the 19th-century truce between Great Britain and the local shaykhs who were the hereditary rulers of territories bordering Saudi Arabia on the west and Oman on the south. These states became fully independent in 1971, and Shaykh Zayed played a key role in the formation of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates that formerly comprised the Trucial States. The photograph is from the Colonel Edward "Tug" Bearby Wilson Collection in the National Library, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, and was taken by Wilson. Colonel Tug Wilson (1921–2009) was a British army officer who, in the 1960s, was seconded to the government of Abu Dhabi to help build the national defense force. He was a personal friend of Shaykh Zayed, with whom he shared interests in falconry and horseback riding.

Last updated: November 23, 2011