KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait marks today the 107th anniversary of ‘Senat Al-Tafha,’ or ‘the year of great prosperity.’ In 1912, pearl diving and commerce in Kuwait saw great prosperity because of good business in that specific year. Pearl diving boats reached over 800 vessels, bringing around six million rupees’ worth of wealth. There were also 200 ships used to transport goods. These vessels, which had around 6,000 sailors on board, generated an income exceeding one million rupees. Prior to the year of great prosperity, Kuwait was involved in the Hadiya battle in 1910 during the era of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, thus disrupting the flow of the pearl diving business.
The following year, businesspersons, who took their activities elsewhere in the region, were lured back to Kuwait in reaction to incentives offered by Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah. This brought in a large flow of business to Kuwait with a huge number of workers and artisans, especially in the sailing business as 30,000 Qallalif (boats builders) flocked to Kuwait. Kuwait, which had an estimated population of no more than 110,000 back then, received in that year around 222,000 rupees in tax imposed on ships. The increasing wealth in Kuwait led to the use of the 1,000 rupees banknote. Markets were expended in the era with the number reaching 40 at that time. Exports to Iraq and the Levant region also thrived and the diving season was expended to two because of the unprecedented wealth. – KUNA