1902 Encyclopedia > Arabia > Arabia - Revenues

(Part 34)


(34) Arabia - Revenues

Of the revenues of Arabia it would be difficult to form anything like a correct estimate. Palgrave has stated the yearly receipts of the Nejdean treasury, inclusive of the tribute then (1862) paid into it by Bahreyn and the west of Oman, to be nearly 106,000 pounds sterling -- no very large sum.

The revenues of Oman itself, then in a comparatively prosperous condition, are estimated by the same author at nearly ten times the amount, but may possibly have been overrated by him, as those of Yemen were perhaps by Niebuhr. Certainly the general condition of these provinces -- the restricted character of the cultivation and the evident poverty (not absolute want, indeed, for that is rare) of the greater number of the inhabitants-do not convey to the visitor the idea of large national wealth or extensive resources. There can, however, be no doubt that both the coast districts of Arabia, in their varied and valuable products, and the central plateau, with its palm-groves, well irrigation, and wide pasture-lands, might, under a judicious administration, become the sources of much greater revenues, both public and private, than is now the case. The mines, too, in the metamorphic districts of Yemen and Oman, remain yet to be properly worked. As for the desert proper, which, as we have seen, occupies about one-third of the peninsula, it must, like the ocean of childe Harold, remain what it is to the end of time.

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Arabia - Table of Contents

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