Qu'aiti (Arabic: ٱلْقُعَيْطِي al-Quʿayṭī), officially the Qu'aiti State in Hadhramaut (Arabic: ٱلدَّوْلَة ٱلْقُعَيْطِيَّة ٱلْحَضْرَمِيَّة, romanized: Ad-Dawlah Al-Quʿayṭiyyah Al-Ḥaḍramiyyah) or the Qu'aiti Sultanate of Shihr and Mukalla (Arabic: ٱلسَّلْطَنَة ٱلْقُعَيْطِيَّة فِي ٱلشِّحْر وَٱلْمُكَلَّا al-Salṭanah al-Quʿayṭīyah fī ash-Shiḥr wal-Mukallā), was a sultanate in the Hadhramaut region of the southern Arabian Peninsula, in what is now Yemen. Covering approximately 70,000 square miles, roughly the size of England and Wales, Qu'aiti was the third largest kingdom in Arabia after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman. Its capital was Mukalla, and it was divided into six provinces including Al-Mukalla, Ash-Shihr, Shibam, Du'an, the Western Province and Hajr. Apart from Al-Mukalla, Ash-Shihr and Shibam were the Sultanate's major cities.[1]

Qu'aiti State in Hadhramaut
ٱلدَّوْلَة ٱلْقُعَيْطِيَّة ٱلْحَضْرَمِيَّة

ٱلْقُعَيْطِي al-Quʿaytī
Left: 1880-1939; Right: 1939-1967
Map of the Qu'aiti State
Independent state
Part of the Aden Protectorate
Part of the Protectorate of South Arabia
HH Sultan 
Historical era19th and 20th centuries
30 November 1967
190,000 km2 (73,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
South Yemen
Today part of Yemen

The Sultanate spanned the Indian Ocean coast up to the border of Mahra, encompassed Shabwa, the central valleys and oasis settlements of Hadhramaut, and controlled the southern Empty Quarter.


Sons of Umar bin Awadh al Qu'aiti, who became a jemadar in the forces of the Nizam of Hyderabad State (now in India), first took the town of Shibam from the rival Kathiris in 1858 to consolidate their rule over all of Hadhramaut. They later conquered Ash-Shihr in 1866 and Mukalla in 1881, largely replacing the Kathiris to control most of the Hadhramaut coast on the Gulf of Aden. They entered into treaty relations with the British in 1888, and created a unified sultanate in 1902 that would become a part of the Aden Protectorate.

As Great Britain planned for the eventual independence of South Arabia in the 1960s, Qu'aitis declined to join the British-sponsored Federation of South Arabia but remained under British protection as part of the Protectorate of South Arabia. Despite promises of a UN referendum to assist in determining the future of the Qu'aiti State in South Arabia on 17 September 1967, Communist forces overran the kingdom and, in November of that year, the Qu'aiti State was integrated forcibly without a referendum into Communist South Yemen. South Yemen united with North Yemen in 1990, again without a referendum, to become the Republic of Yemen.

Current Qu'aiti Royal Family

His Highness (HH) Sultan Ghalib II bin Awadh bin Saleh Al-Qu'aiti
born 7 January 1948 in London.[2] Ruled from 10 October 1966 – 17 September 1967; HH Sultan Ghalib holds a BA and MA from Magdalen College at the University of Oxford in Oriental Studies (Islamic History) and an MA in Arabian Studies from the University of Cambridge, both with honours. The Sultan graduated from Millfield School. He has been a Saudi resident since 1968, currently residing in Jeddah. He has working knowledge of seven languages including Arabic, English, French, German, Persian, Turkish and Urdu/Hindi, which supports his research of various historical periods and geographic regions. Sultan Ghalib is the author of The Holy Cities, The Pilgrimage and The World of Islam [3] and The Three Saudi States: The Emergence of Modern Saudi Arabia.[4] Married Sultana Rashid (sister of author Ahmed Rashid and aunt of Mishal Husain) born in London and who holds a BA from the University of Oxford, a MA from the University of Cambridge and has issue:
HH Crown Prince Saleh Al-Qu'aiti
born in London, graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Millfield School; married Princess Salwa Al-Huraiby of Yafa'a and has issue:
  • Prince Ghalib III bin Saleh
  • Princess Aliya bint Saleh
HH Princess Fatima Al-Qu'aiti
born in London, holds a BA and a MA from the University of Oxford, graduated from Westonbirt School and attended Harvard University; married Prince Shad Al-Sherif Pasha, who holds a BA from the University of Oxford, Wheaton College (Massachusetts), a MA from the University of Chicago, a MBA from London Business School, graduated from Westminster School and has issue:
  • Prince Suleyman
  • Prince Hashim
HH Princess Muzna Al-Qu'aiti
born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, holds a MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and a BA from the American University in Cairo; married Hisham Hafez of Medina who holds a BA from the University of Richmond. Hisham is the son of media mogul Mohammed Ali Hafez, founder of Asharq Al-Awsat, Arab News and Sayidaty, the Middle East's leading weekly women's magazine and has issue:
  • Prince Ismail
  • Princess Sultana
  • Princess Asma

Qu'aiti sultans

  1. HH Sultan Abdullah bin Omar Al-Quaiti – Ruled 1882–1888
  2. HH Sultan Awadh I bin Omar Al-Qu'aiti – Ruled 1902–1909
  3. HH Sultan Ghalib I bin Awadh Al-Qu'aiti – Ruled 1909–1922
  4. HH Sultan Omar bin Awadh Al-Qu'aiti – Ruled 1922–1936
  5. HH Sultan Sir Saleh bin Ghalib Al-Qu'aiti KCMG - Ruled 1936-1956
  6. HH Sultan Awadh II bin Saleh Al-Qu'aiti – Ruled 1956–1966, married (1st) Salma, married (2nd) Fatima, married (3rd) Sahibzadi Nazirunissa Begum, granddaughter of the 6th Nizam Mahbub Ali Pasha, daughter of Nawab Nazir Nawaz Jung, son of Amir-e-Paigah (Viqar-ul-Umrah) Sultan-ul-Mulk and (4th) Sahibzadi Dawoodunisssa Begum and had issue:
  7. HH Sultan Ghalib II bin Awadh Al-Qu'aiti (see above "Current Qu'aiti Royal Family") - Ruled until 1967
  • Princess Saleha bint Awadh Al-Qu'aiti
  • Prince Omar bin Awadh Al-Qu'aiti married and has issue:
    • Prince Hussain bin Omar
    • Prince Mohammed bin Omar
    • Princess Noor bint Omar
    • Princess Maha bint Omar
    • Princess Sara bint Omar
    • Princess Leila bint Omar
    • Princess Ghada bint Omar

See also


Qu'aiti State postage stamps


  1. McLaughlin, Daniel (2008). "10: Southeast Yemen". Yemen. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 191–198. ISBN 978-1-8416-2212-5.
  2. "The Qu'aiti Sultanate of Hadhramaut". Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
  3. Sultan Ghalib bin Awadh al Quaiti (April 2008). The Holy Cities, The Pilgrimage and The World of Islam. ISBN 978-1887752947.
  4. Sultan Ghalib bin Awadh al Quaiti (2012). The "call" of Shaykh Muhammad Bin 'Abdal-Wahhāb and the three Sa'ūdi states (1157H/1744-1343H/1925) : the emergence of modern Sa'ūdī Arabia. Barzipan Publishing. ISBN 978-0956708168.

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