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16-Nov-2015 14:02 by 6 Comments

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It forms a rare physical link to a legacy of Christianity which is thought to have spread across the peninsula from 50 to 350 AD following trade routes.Certainly, by the 5th century, Oman had a bishop named John – the last bishop of Oman being Etienne, in 676 AD.

This led to a group of rulers travelling to Medina, converting to Islam and subsequently driving a successful uprising against the unpopular Sassanids, who dominated the Northern coasts at the time.The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world, It appears the land of the Emirates has been occupied for thousands of years.Stone tools recovered from Jebel Faya in the emirate of Sharjah reveal a settlement of people from Africa some 127,000 years ago and a stone tool used for butchering animals discovered at Jebel Barakah on the Arabian coast suggests an even older habitation from 130,000 years ago.There is no proof of contact with the outside world at that stage, although in time it developed with civilisations in Mesopotamia and Iran.This contact persisted and became wide ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains, which commenced around 3000 BCE.In ancient times, Al Hasa (today's Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia) was part of Al Bahreyn and adjoined Greater Oman (today's UAE and Oman).

From the second century AD, there was a movement of tribes from Al Bahreyn towards the lower Gulf, together with a migration among the Azdite Qahtani (or Yamani) and Quda'ah tribal groups from south west Arabia towards central Oman. In 637, Julfar (in the area of today's Ra's al-Khaimah) was an important port that was used as a staging post for the Islamic invasion of the Sassanian Empire.The earliest Christian site in the UAE was first discovered in the 1990s, an extensive monastic complex on what is now known as Sir Bani Yas Island and which dates back to the 7th century.Thought to be Nestorian and built in 600 AD, the church appears to have been abandoned peacefully in 750 AD.The country's exact size is unknown because of disputed claims to several islands in the Persian Gulf, the lack of precise information on the size of many of these islands and that most of its land boundaries, especially those with Saudi Arabia, remain un-demarcated.is a country at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran.In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.