General issues: Value Only 1948-1966
Country name on general issues: None
Special issues: Bahrain 1948-1966, , Qatar 1957-1963, Trucial States 1961-1964
Currency: 1 Rupee = 16 Anna, 1 Anna = 12 Pie 1944-1957, 1 Rupee = 100 Naye Paise 1957-1966
Political history British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia
The British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia provided postal services for a number of states in the Persian Gulf region in Western Asia. All these states were, at the time the Agencies were active, de facto or de jure British protectorates.
Postal history British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia
From the mid 19th century, the British had established an extensive network of offices abroad, run by the British Indian postal administration. These offices were to be found in a wide range of countries, including several countries in the Persian Gulf region. Many offices existed in Iran and Iraq. More offices existed in other countries within the British sphere of influence: Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait and Oman. While the offices in Iraq and Iran were closed in 1914 and 1923 respectively, the offices in these other countries remained open. Please refer to the profile of India for a more detailed discussion on the British Indian offices abroad.
When, in 1947, British India became independent as the dominions of India and Pakistan, the remaining offices in the Persian Gulf region were transferred to the Pakistani postal administration. Shortly after, in 1948, the offices were transferred to the British postal administration – Kuwait – and a newly set up postal administration: the British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia – Bahrain, Dubai and Oman.
In the following years the Agencies extended their services to Qatar in 1950 and Abu Dhabi in 1960. Furthermore, branches were established in 1963 in Ajman, Fujairah and Umm al-Qaiwain although mail from these emirates continued to be processed through the Agencies office in Dubai.
In the 1960’s, the emirates in the region started setting up their own postal administrations. Thus, between 1963 and 1966, the services provided by the Agencies all were transferred to local postal administrations.
The Agencies issued stamps for use in all the emirates they serviced. These were British stamps overprinted only with the common currency in the region – the so called ‘Value Only’ issues. These were issued between 1948 and 1966 and are listed in most catalogs under Oman. They were – due to a shortage of stamps – also used in Kuwait in 1952 and 1953.
For Bahrain – which had had its own stamps from 1933 – the Agencies issued stamps that, in addition to the value in the local currency, carried the name of the country. The Agencies did the same for Qatar from 1957. For use in the office in Dubai – and later the emirates that processed their mail through Dubai – a definitive set was issued inscribed ‘Trucial States‘ in 1961. The Value Only issues also remained valid in these countries.
Between 1963 and 1966, the issues from the Agencies were superseded by the issues of the countries serviced as they set up their own postal administrations and subsequently started issuing stamps.
For an overview of the political and postal developments in the form of a diagram, please refer tot the country diagram of the British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia.