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For almost a century, the territory which today makes up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fell under Great Britain’s sphere of influence. Peace treaties laid the basis for British rule in the Gulf, in exchange for which London promised to protect the emirates against foreign aggressors. In 1968 Great Britain – whose power was waning since World War II – announced its decision to terminate the treaty relationship. The seven emirates subsequently took steps to form the UAE, which has since developed into one of the important centers in the Persian Gulf region.