Maritime zones of the United Arab Emirates with particular reference to delimitation
Al Neyadi, Matar Hamed Hlais
This thesis is an examination of the United Arab Emirates claim to maritime zones and its practice in determining the boundaries of these zones. Such a comprehensive examination scarcely requires justification or introduction. The political and economic importance of determining the boundary of any state is self-evident. The matter of an undetermined boundary in the resource rich Gulf in particular was, and still is, a major threat to stability in the region. This study focuses on the problem of unsettled maritime boundaries with particular reference to the effect of certain disputed islands on the UAE-Iran boundary in the Arabian Gulf. The study assumes that the less the impact these Islands are afforded, the greater the opportunity of reaching a solution to the related sovereignty dispute between the two parties. Certain methods of dispute settlement are suggested where the restricted effect of these Islands could most readily be obtained. Finally, this work has the benefit of examining the UAE Federal Law of 1993 in respect of delimitation of its maritime boundaries; the Dubai/Sharjah Border Award of 1981, which was published in 1993; and the UAE-Saudi Arabia secret boundary agreement of 197 4, released in 1994. The thesis is divided into seven chapters. The first will examine the issue of maritime zones in international law, as well as the UAE practice in this field. The second and third chapters will address the issue of maritime boundary delimitation in international law. Chapter Four will focus on the UAE practice in determining its maritime boundaries both internal and external. It will also identify the UAE' s potential boundary with neighbouring states. Chapters Five, Six and Seven will be devoted to addressing the overall problem of the Iranian-UAE's un-delimited maritime boundaries. Chapter Five will examine the policy of the two states on offshore boundaries. It will also discuss the boundaries between Iran and the UAE in the Gulf of Oman and in the Abu-Dhabi sector. Chapter Six will discuss in some detail the issue of the three disputed islands, namely, Abu Musa, Greater and Little Tunbs islands, and their effect on the boundary of Iran and the UAE. It will also examine the effect of islands on maritime boundaries in general. The final chapter will address certain methods of disputes settlement that the parties have not yet utilised, which have the potential to facilitate an amicable solution.