kuwait's foregin relations with the eurpean countries started Kuwaiti Researcher . Fahad Al Abdulajaleel

Pearl diving and fishing were the main source of livelihood in Kuwait at its inception. At the end of the 18th century, Kuwaitis knew about the sailing travel and owned the sailing vessels, they arrived with them to the West India and East Africa coasts. The Kuwait port located in the north of the Gulf, became an important trading center, a link between India, Aleppo, Turkey and Europe, and the privileged geographical location of Kuwait helped it gain commercial importance from a long time ago and became a natural outlet for the northeastern Arabian Peninsula and its privileged location also helped it be a station for commercial convoys between Najd and Aleppo.

Kuwait's foreign relations with the European countries started since the Dutch colony was established in Kharg Island in the middle of the 18th century under the first ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al- Awal. After the transfer of the English East India Company to Kuwait from Basra in 1775, the Kuwaiti-British-Indian commercial relations started and the Kuwaitis arrived to India with their sailing vessels. After that the old port of Kuwait became one of the most important ports in the region under the second ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Abdullah Al Sabah.

As the business activity in Kuwait developed, the presence of Karani (the accountant) was necessary to organize the audits and record- keeping because Kuwait traders used records to register their business operations in diving, sailing travel, etc. this helped them to regulate their finances, record- keeping and register audits.

One of the records used by traders to record their business transactions was the Kharthush record (A record to register the financial and non- financial transactions), to register all cash or long-term business operations, there is also receivables record, is the record to which all commercial operations are transferred on the account from the Kharthush record. The commercial records and the ways to register accounts developed after establish of Government Departments at the beginning of the 20th century by establishing the Customs service in the era of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, the seventh ruler of Kuwait. This department financed the state treasury mainly and also financed the different Government Departments, most of which were established in the era of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the tenth ruler of Kuwait in the early twenties, thirties and forties centuries.

During this period, these departments played a major role in managing the affairs of the country, as the Municipal Department was established in 1930 and was headed by Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God have mercy on him. The fees and commissions that were imposed by the Municipal Department had a role in financing the state budget before oil. In 1936 the first Knowledge Council in Kuwait was established, and the purpose of its establishment was to organize and develop the education in Kuwait. The Knowledge Council was initially responsible for financing the education after it relied on donations and gifts. After that Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber ordered to withhold a percentage of customs to finance the education in Kuwait, for your information, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah headed the Knowledge Council upon its establishment.

Department of Health was established in 1936, and started to submit its medical services in Kuwait such as establishing a government clinic in 1939 including several rooms to treat men and women in addition to a pharmacy, and in 1949. The first A prominent government medical facility” the Amiri Hospital” was established one year before the death of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God have mercy on him.

In 1938, the Department of Finance was established, as it was initially supervised by the Legislative Council, which was responsible for organizing the public budget and public spending in accordance with the powers law issued in 1938. The Legislative Council appointed Mishaan al-Khudair as the first head of this department for a period of one year, after him Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem presided for a period of one year as well. In 1940, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah headed the Finance Department until his death in 1950. The Divers Accounting Department was established in 1939, and the late Abdel Moneim Essa Al-Salem was responsible for it, and the mission of this department is to regulate the relationship between ‎Ship-owner and sailors and divers. In 1949, the General Endowments Department was established in Kuwait to supervise proper supervision and maintenance of Kuwaiti mosques and charitable endowments. This department was headed by Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God have mercy on him, and he formed a council for public endowments of prominent Kuwaiti personalities during that period. The Department of Social Affairs and Labor was established in 1954, and this department provided social services to citizens, as well as trained girls in special centers and set up a home for the elderly in 1957, and conducted the first official census of the population of Kuwait in 1957, and they numbered at that time 206 thousand people.

It is clear to us that most of the Departments were established during the era of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, except that the era of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem, meaning during the fifties and sixties of the last century, witnessed the establishment of many important Departments.

Pearl Diving:

The pearl diving profession is one of the old professions that Kuwaitis practiced since the creation of Kuwait until the emergence of oil. This craft was a source of livelihood for the Kuwaiti residents due to the lack of available economic resources. The result of pearl diving sealing was the economic source for those residents which enabled them to earn a living. Kuwaitis became the first pioneers of this craft, they were very good in it, and they gained many experiences. Kuwait owned a large fleet of diving vessels, including Al Bateel, Al Baqara, Al Sanbouk, Jalboot, Al-Shouei and Boom Diving. In an early period in the Kuwait history, the volume of the fleet of diving vessels in Kuwait, during the era of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, reached more than 800 vessels and the volume of commercial transport vessels reached more than 400 vessels.

Diving is divided into several types, including:

  1.  Khanji Diving

It is in April, when a number of small diving vessels go to the pearl diving places near Kuwait.

  1. Great Diving Season

Large and small diving vessels go in this season and in large numbers for distant pearl diving places; and the Great Diving begins in the beginning of June and ends in the beginning of October, where Al-Qafal is after it.

  1. Al-Redaa Diving

It means returning again to the diving places after the end of the diving season in Kuwait.

  1. Al-Radaida Diving

It is in November; and water is very cold and Al-Ridaydah Diving is near the coast, and its duration is short. Al-Noukhada Al-Ghais does not share the diving result in Al-Redaa, and there is no predecessor to the seafarers.


It is the name given to the end of the diving season in October, the date of the Great Diving period termination, where the diving prince orders by AL-Qafal when the day equals the night. AL-Qafal starts when the diving prince launching three shots from his ship, after which the flag of Kuwait is raised, and then the vessels sails are raised. Subsequently, Annah Amon starts singing with joy.


Trade relations between Kuwait and India started since the move of the English East India Company from Basra to Kuwait in 1775 AD after the siege of the Persians to Basra, the agency’s move to Kuwait is due to several reasons, including: The appropriate geographical location at the northern side of the Arabian Gulf, located between a number of important ports and commercial countries such as, Qatif, Basra, and East Coast ports such as Bushehr and Lengeh. Likewise, Kuwait owns a port suitable for docking and sailing ships, this port is considered one of the most important sea ports for the Indian Ocean. One of the factors that helped Kuwait to rank a great economic position is its possession of a huge fleet of embassy sailing ships, in addition to, the prominent position of Kuwaiti merchants among the merchants of the region, thus laying a solid foundation for the old economic system in Kuwait. The movement of the English East India Company had a significant positive and clear impact on the Kuwaiti economy because Kuwaiti sailing ships arrived in the West Indian ports through the Arabian Sea, transporting dates, pure Arabian horses and natural pearls, and bringing various Indian goods, such as, tea, coffee, sugar, tamarind (cactus), rice, spices, wood, fabrics and other essential goods and needs. The business and goods in which Kuwaiti merchants trade with India are varied, foremost among them are dates that are owned by Kuwaitis for Bombay and other Indian ports to be sold there. Kuwaiti merchants have played a major role in marketing natural pearls in India, importing Indian goods and goods and distributing them on the Kuwait market and the Arab Gulf markets, thus contributing to providing the requirements of the Kuwaiti economy during that period, Because of the flourishing trade movement between Kuwait and India, and the cultural and social exchange between the two countries, made Kuwaiti traders open commercial offices in the ports of the Indian subcontinent such as Karachi, Bombay, Calicut, Goa, Port Bandar, Brawl and other Indian ports. Over time, a large Kuwaiti colony was formed, known as the Kuwaiti colony in India; Kuwaiti merchants were not limited to India only, but also extended to East Africa and Aden, as well as Basra and southern Arabia to be the most important commercial port in the region.


Caravan Trade:

Kuwaitis used to practice Caravan Trade in the past, according to what Dr. Edward Eves mentioned, since the fifties of the eighteenth century AD when Kuwait became a station for land commercial caravans, or as German traveler Nippor mentioned that Kuwait has become a station for commercial caravans between the Levant and Iraq and eastern Arabia. Caravan trade is considered the main supplement for the trade of ships, where the caravan consists of a group of merchants who use a number of camels and mules and other animals rented from some tribes that have professionally prepared caravans so that they accompany the convoy in its march and guard it for a fee get from Merchants. In his book, a journey from England to India, Dr. Edward Ives indicated that a large caravan consisting of five thousand camels and a thousand men was on its way from Kuwait to Aleppo. Dr. Ives negotiated Sheikh of Kuwait at that time to transport some goods in this convoy.

There were many commercial lines that the Kuwaitis crossed, including the desert of the Arabian Desert and Fertile Crescent, until reach Egypt and Sudan via Iraq and Syria. Many caravans passed through Kuwait on their way from the Levant to Europe and vice versa, which means that Kuwait was one of the most important transit centers since the eighteenth century.

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