Al Ali (tribe)

The Al Ali is a tribe of the Arabian Peninsula, notably in the United Arab Emirates. The tribe originally settled the island of Siniyah off Umm Al Quwain, later moving to the mainland and building a fort and defensive wall there in the late 1700s, founding the emirate (later the Trucial State and then one of the United Arab Emirates) of Umm Al Quwain. The emirate consists in the main of the coastal city of Umm Al Quwain and the inland oasis town of Falaj Al Mualla, some 30 km (19 mi) from the coast. [1]

The tribe was recorded by historian JG Lorimer as comprising 1,000 settled families in Umm Al Quwain, 200 in Sharjah and 150 in Ras Al Khaimah as well as some 140 nomadic families.[2] The inland settlement of Falaj Al Ali was also fortified, including a trio of watchtowers (Murabbaa) which dominate the wide and fertile wadi there. This settlement later became known, after the ruling family, as Falaj Al Mualla.

The Al Ali also settled the Iranian side of the Persian Gulf, in the Shibkuh district, a coastal region stretching from Lengeh to Mogham, which encompassed Charak as well as the offshore islands, including Kish, where some 3,500 members of the tribe maintained contact with – and intermarried with - the Al Ali of Umm Al Quwain, who they called collectively the Al Mualla.[3]


  1. Heard-Bey, Frauke (2005). From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates : a society in transition (1941-). London: Motivate. ISBN 978-1860631672. OCLC 64689681.
  2. Lorimer, John (1908). Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia. Calcutta: Government of India. p. 62.
  3. Lorimer, John (1915). Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf Vol II. British Government, Bombay. p. 1782.
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