Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stamp Issuers - Abu Dhabi

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is one of the seven emirates that currently comprise the United Arab Emirates or UAE as is commonly abbreviated. An emirate is a land or region ruled by an emir (prince, governor) and predominately refers to a land in the Middle East. It is more accurate to spell the term as amir, which is close to the original Arabic term, but it has been anglicized as emir.

Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates by both population and land area, adjoins the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman. It straddles both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Historically, Great Britain had substantial influence in the petroleum industry in Abu Dhabi and administered the first postage stamps of the region, with were simply overprinted British stamps. After the British withdrew their stamps on March 30, 1964, Abu Dhabi began issuing its own stamps. This marks the starting point of the brief era of Abu Dhabi issued stamps.

Abu Dhabi issued a total of 83 stamps (as identified by the Scott International Postage Stamp catalogs) until they and five other emirates joined to form the United Arab Emirates in 1972. The seventh emirate joined shortly thereafter. By January 1, 1973, the UAE, assumed full duties of issuing postal stamps for the entire federation, thus ending the era of Abu Dhabi stamps.

Many of the stamps issued by Abu Dhabi focused on the emir, although falcons were featured on many issues. The falcon is used for hunting in Arab lands, and remains an important cultural symbol for the area. The stamp displayed, issued in late 1968 pictures Sheikh Zayed and a falcon, along with progress being made in the emirate.

It is not hard to collect the entire set of Abu Dhabi stamps, but be prepared; the stamps are relatively expensive. The first set of 11 stamps runs about $50, the next three, about $40, and so on.

No comments: