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'Persian Gulf Gazetteer Part II, Geographical and Descriptive Materials, Section II Western Side of the Gulf' [‎127v] (253/286)

The record is made up of 1 volume (140 folios). It was created in 1904. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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80 miles south and slightly east of Basra, almost 180 miles west by north of
Bushahr and nearly 2b0 miles north-north-west of Bahreio. (2) Town stands
on loose sandstone covered with sand on southern shore of Koweit Bay, about
$ of the way from its entrance at Ras-al-Arz to its head at Jabara, and faces
north-west. Greatest length is about 1 mile from north-east to south-west and
breadth is between J and ^ a mile. Inland a desert of white sand stretches
away from the very walls: town and surroundings are almost destitute of
verdure and cultivation, but there are a few date-trees. There are some stone
houses, but most are of sundried brick. They are occasionally faced with
coarse chunam, but exteriors are bare and uniform ; usual design is a central
courtyard surrounded by chambers looking into it, with flat roofs. Streets are
wider than at Maskat or Bushalir and some have a gutter down the middle;
Pelly described the place as clean and active with a broad and open main bazaar,
Cassim Izeddin (1897) considered the streets narrow, but not very dirty; he com
mented, however on, the absence of latrines except in the houses of notables and
on the abuse of the sea-beach and plain behind the town and even of roofs anil
streets. There is a large suburb of mat huts outside town-wall on south side,
near main gate ; this is point of arrival and departure of up-country caravans'
and quarter chiefly frequented by Bedouins who do most of their trade here.
Shoal water extends ahout 8 cables off the town, and the beach dries out to a coti-
aiderable distance, but at high water the sea washes up to the houses ; the native
boats are hauled up on the beach, inside substantial breakwaters of loose stone
which form tidal harbours. Landing at low tide is inconvenient. Town is said
to contain about 3,000 houses, 600 shops, 3 caravanserais, 6 cofTce-bouses, ^
schools and 4 mosques, as well as numerous warehouses and stores. About
30 new houses are built and 40 uew shops opened every year (1902). Climate
distinctly good as compared with many- ports in Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. . In December
and January it is bracing in mornings and evenings and never unpleasantly hoL
In not months north-west wind is tempered by blowing across bav» Fever
practically unknown and dysentery and ophthalmia rare. Nights arc^aid to
be cool in the hot weather. (3) In 1S32 town was defended oil side next
desert by wall not one foot thick, having 3 gates, each protected bv 2 honev-
combed guns. In 1902 town was surrounded by low wall with towers which
however were not m a good condiiion for defence. About 1 mile outside town
is line of sandhills and broken ground which could be made strong enouch to
resist any probable attack. (4) Population appears to be regularl /and rapidly
J c C J<f a5 l 1Dg ^ 839 or earli01, & was estimated at (5,000 ; m 1SV) at 8 000 • in.
1897 at 3a0(J0 (CassfmlzeddinL ^lOO?
10 OoHo 12 000 ( ?M W Tr g ■ • 0m ? r 0 "' ever (,900) mal<es population tmlv
10,000 to 12,000. (5) The town is almost enurely Arab ; most of people (A
belong to Uttoobee tnbe Almost all are Sunnis ; there arc no Wahabisand a fe'v
Persian meichants are the only Sluahs. Religious toleration prevails- and 50
. T- a ^agogae of their own. Inhabitants are chicflv en
gaged in trade or navigation, and Pelly calculated t hat perhaps 1 000 were sailois •
bnt their boat-builrlers then (1863) eamo from Maskat. They •frrwa^ke and
K n t 0Ut 2 , 00 annually proceed hence to Mecea, sometimes by
Hail, sometimes by Aneyza; and about 50 go by sea. (0) Koweit has no m-o
ducts or manufactures and its prosperity proc: eds entirely from trade shipnirir
ship-bmldmg, fishing, pearl-fishing and, to a small extent, cattle breedin- Goods
for shipment to Bombay are collected here from other Gulf ports and sitnilarlv
it is a centre from which foreign mevehandise is distributed, It is favoured bv
comparatively healthy climate, and ;by position, a creek fr Khors \Z
Sabiya and Umm Kasr) leading henco to within ]2 miles of |{- 1M -.,
1 here is considerable trade by land with Syria and Central Arabia '" a ',.'
annual caravan of 3,000 camels and 250 men goes to Damascus n-ul'i ^
brought thence which in turn are shipped to
fiom Central Arabia come in during year, average strength 200 men and 5( 0
camels ; their arrival is irregular, sometimes two a week, sometimes one a month,
ibese bring horses, ghi and wool and take in exchange rice, coffee su^ar cloth'
IZ'JT ^ , L0cal v Bed r ns brin ^ ^rses, cattle, milk, butter; toffies!
camel-dung, etc., and purchase dates, cloth, arms and other goods. There is also
an active coasting trade; much of Gulf carrying trade centres in Koweit and

About this item


The volume is Part II Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. Gazetteer, Geographical and Descriptive Materials, Section II Western Side of the Gulf (Simla: G C Press, 1904).

The volume contains notes, followed by subsections on Trucial Chiefs' Territory, Katar [Qatar], Bahrein [Bahrain], Hasa, and Koweit [Kuwait]. The volume is a geographical and descriptive gazetteer, giving information on alphabetically-listed places in each of the territories in question.

Extent and format
1 volume (140 folios)

There is a table of contents on the title page of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at 1 on the front cover, and terminates at 142 on the back cover. These numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and can be found in the top right hand corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. page of each folio. A printed pagination system also runs intermittently throughout the volume.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Persian Gulf Gazetteer Part II, Geographical and Descriptive Materials, Section II Western Side of the Gulf' [‎127v] (253/286), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/727, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 26 February 2020]

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