Imperial Rivalry in South West Arabia before the First World War

Abdol Rauh Yaccob


Since the reappearance of the Ottomans in Sana’a in 1872, rivalry against the British in and around Aden began. This ongoing rivalry ended after the boundary settlement of 1902-1904 which freed the British from further Ottoman intervention in the Aden Protectorate. This event contributed to the change of British policy of intervention in the internal affairs of the Arab to the non-intervention policy of 1906. The Ottomans too benefited from the boundary settlement. This settlement encouraged the Ottomans to settle their dispute with the Zaydis and in 1911 they concluded the Treaty of Da‘an recognizing the authority of the Zaydis in the north of Yemen. This article, firstly, will trace the imperial rivalries which took place between the British and the Ottomans in South West Arabia since the opening of the Suez Canal which increased the significance of the Red Sea and its surroundings. Secondly, to examine how the imperial settlement came into being and to evaluate the similarities faced by both imperial powers in dealing with the internal affairs of the Yemenis.




Ottomans, British, rivalry, settlement, Yemen

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