The Story of Stamp Collection


The Story of Stamp Collection


The origin of the hobby of collecting postal stamps is the stamp itself, as if it were not invented and used as a tool to cover the cost of posted items there would not have been people taking up the hobby of “Philately” (or stamp collection).


The importance of Postal Services was recognized by the British administration. The first Post Office affiliated to the Indian Postal Services was opened in Dubai in 1909 as part of a group of postal agencies in the Arab Gulf region. At first, United Kingdom stamps were used to cover postage fees. Then, in January 1961, Dubai issued the first set of stamps announcing the beginning of the region's independence from the United Kingdom, under the name Trucial States.

Each of the Trucial States then began issuing their own stamps. The Emirate of Dubai issued its first set of stamps in 1963, followed by the Emirate of Sharjah in the same year; and in 1964 the emirates of Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah issued their own stamps. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi continued using British stamps, until 1964, when it released its first set of stamps but continued to use the Rupee currency until January 1967 when it issued its first set reflecting full independence. So began the Emirate’s aggressive journey of independence, and it issued a set of stamps on the occasion of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assuming the reins of power. On 2nd December 1971, came the most important event in the Arabian Gulf -- the formation of the United Arab Emirates, which led to development in various fields, such as the establishment of Federal Ministries, and other various bodies and institutions.


In 1972, a Federal Decree established the General Postal Authority under the Ministry of Communications, which issued the first set of stamps bearing the name of the United Arab Emirates in 1973. These stamps won the admiration of stamp enthusiasts throughout the young country, chiefly expressed the common idea  of unity of the seven Emirates under one flag and one logo, and a strong leadership with deep commitment to achieve progress.


The set was made up of 12 stamps representing various characteristics of

the country. The stamp representing the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain was withdrawn from circulation because of a technical error on the stamp, and it is now being sold at high prices. The landmarks used in the referred set of stamps included:


1. The flag and Map of the UAE

2. the UAE Emblem

3. Sheikh Zayed’s Picture

4. Al Maqta Bridge in Abu Dhabi

5. Clock Tower in Dubai

6. Khor Fakkan

7. ِAl Zaher Palace in Ajman

8. Khor Khuwair in Ras Al Khaimah

9. Fort Bithna in Fujairah


Philately in the UAE has been popular among school students and some intellectuals, especially among those with links to culture, education and trade with other countries of the world. Their attention was drawn to the stamps affixed to letters and other postal items. Thus, they began collecting stamps, and their numbers grew steadily as the number of intellectuals, educated people, and businessmen grew. On 24/6/1996, a group of philatelists, with the assistance of Emirates Post, established the Emirates Philatelic Association, in collaboration with the General Postal Authority, giving it an independent legal entity.


Since then, Emirates Philatelic Association has been managed from the main office in Bur Dubai – next to Dubai Museum - which was donated by the Dubai government and became fully independent from Emirates Post in administrative aspects. The association is making tremendous efforts to spread Philately by organizing stamp exhibitions in commercial centers and participating in fairs outside the UAE. The Society is a member of the Asian Philately Union and the International Philately Federation.


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