ABU DHABI POSTAL HISTORY
Abu Dhabi postal history can be divided into three different periods, British, Independent, and UAE postal administration. During the year 1959, there was an arrangement for providing a mail service for the several hundred oil company employees on the Das Island. The company keeps a supply of British stamps overprinted BAHRAIN and sends the mail ready stamped to the British Postal Superintendent in Bahrain where it is cancelled there with Bahrain cancels and sent it from there to its destination.
On January 1959, there was an idea by Mr. D. F. Hawley, Political Agency in Dubai when introduce the Trucial States stamps in Dubai, make special type of stamp for Abu Dhabi by overprinting the Trucial States stamps by ABU DHABI.
In 1960 stamps of British (Queen Elizabeth II) surcharged only NP or RUPEES were supplied from Dubai to the island to replaced the British BAHRAIN overprinted stamps.
The stamps, which were sent from Das Island to the British Postal Superintendent in Bahrain, tied by BAHRAIN cancels. Four different Bahrain cancels where used during December 1st, 1960 to December 31st, 1966. The first type (Type B1) was the small single circle cancel inscribed "BAHRAIN", this type was the first British type that used in Bahrain. The second type is the double circle cancel (Type B2) inscribed "BAHRAN". The oval steel Registered cancel numbered 1 (Type B3) is the third type that used in Abu Dhabi and the fourth one is the last British agency cancel numbered 2or 5 were registered on December 5th, 1961 (Type B4).
The first post office was established in Abu Dhabi and Das Island on Saturday March 30th, 1963. The ruler of Abu Dhabi at this time Shaikh Shakhbut opened the Abu Dhabi post office, and among those present were the Political Agent, Shaikhs Mohammed bin Khalifa, Khalid, and Sultan, Mr. W.T. Clark, managers of the Banks, and commercial firms in Abu Dhabi. The British Value Only stamps were used in Abu Dhabi when the post office opened as soon as designs for a series of Abu Dhabi stamps has been agreed with the ruler. At the end of the first days operations, the demand for stamps was much greater than the postal authorities had anticipated and the postmaster remarked that he had exhausted his entire supply of Rs. 5 stamps!
Two type of cancels came into use in the same day of the opening of the post offices, the first one is (Type 1) ABU DHABI TRUCIAL STATES numbered 1 or 2. The second is (Type 2) DAS ISLAND ABU DHABI. TRUCIAL STATES numbered 1 or 2. Both cancels continued in use during Independent and (Type 1) continued in use during UAE administration. The latest use for (Type 1) is September 23rd, 1972, and the latest use for (Type 2) is October 12th, 1971.
In fact, the Trucial States issue of 1961, have come to be used in Abu Dhabi but due to the ruler objection to the design of the lower value (seven palm trees of differing size), the British Value Only surcharged stamps were used.
The first Abu Dhabi definitive was issued on March 30th, 1964 and to mark the occasion the Political Agent presented the ruler with a full set of the stamps in an elegant leather album sent by the Postmaster General.
The post office transferred from Bahrain to Das Island on January 6th, 1966. British surcharged stamps and Bahrain cancels were remained valid for use until December 31st, 1966.
During the British postal administration, British and Abu Dhabi stamps were used, combination of British and Abu Dhabi stamps usage are also known used during the year 1965. During the British era 16 different stamps were used this composite one British set (1960-61 Value Only stamps 11 values) plus the High Value varieties stamps (2r. Type I, II, and III) and (5r. Type I, and II). Other values (Low values from the 1960-62 issue - 1np., 3np., 6np., and 12np.) are also known used but philatelicaly. Also the first three Abu Dhabi sets were used during the British postal administration, this includes 25 Abu Dhabi different stamps. Three Abu Dhabi aerogrammes were used also during this period.
Independent postal administration era start on January 1st, 1967 when the Abu Dhabi took over the postal service. Eleven Abu Dhabi sets were issued during the Independent postal administration and these includes 55 Abu Dhabi different stamps. Ten aerogrammes are used during the Independent postal administration, this not include the different varieties.
UAE came into being on December 2nd, 1971 and on August 1st, 1972, the UAE postal administration controlled the postal service in the seven emirates. Abu Dhabi issued its first stamp after the Union on December 8th, 1971, and on June 3rd, issued its first set that bearing the word UAE. During August the 1970 Abu Dhabi definitive issue overprinted with UAE. Only 16 different stamps were used during this period and two different aerogrammes.
More information about Abu Dhabi postal history can be found in the following EPM links:-
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