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Emirates, The forgotten Pearl

Since ancient times, before oil and gas, the pearl trade used to bring the Gulf most of its income. Livestock and dates might have provided a welcome addition, but most of the profits came from the sea. Pearls from the Gulf began to be known by Europeans in the 17th century. The market, in full expansion at the beginning of the twentieth century, slowed down sharply during the First World War. In the end, pearls of culture from Japan carried the coup de grace to the trade around the 50s. This decline was offset in the 1930s-1940s by the first oil explorations, and in the 1960s by the first oil exports, bringing to the Emirates a new and flourishing source of income.

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