Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael Kocsis

Dubai/Sharjah Boundary Arbitration of 1981

Living reference work entry


The Dubai v. Sharjah Boundary Arbitration concerned a dispute between two federated states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), over the location of their land and maritime boundaries. Before the UAE was established in 1971, Dubai and Sharjah were among several Trucial states (Emirates) under Great Britain from 1891 to 1971. Great Britain, through its political agents, attempted to determine the boundaries between the states in the 1950s. Nevertheless, Dubai and Sharjah’s conflict continued until they submitted their dispute to an Arbitral Tribunal (Tribunal) on November 30, 1976. The Tribunal issued a ruling on October 19, 1981. The Tribunal derived its reasoning by applying international law in the context of the country’s history and geography and by determining how evidence of sovereignty would be affected by the areas’ social and political organization (Bowett 1995, 110). The arbitration of boundary disputes was not common within the region; moreover, neither party had...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington College of LawWashingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin W. Gray
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada