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The Dutch former Colonies



Yemen, Al Mukha, Mocca, Aden


* Al Mukha (Mocca), (1620-16.. / 1697-1757)

The VOC base in Mocha, today known as Al-Mukha, was opened in 1621. Trade there was severely curtailed by the volatile political situation. At first the VOC was subject to the Turkish overlords, later to the Arabic Yemenites, now freed from Turkish rule. The VOC attempted to force trade by violent means, to no avail. This foreign outpost only began to flourish in the early 18th century, boosted by the demand in Europe for Mocha's coffee. Until 1707 Mocha fell under the jurisdiction of the head office in Surat, but thereafter it came under Batavia as an independent base. In 1739 it was closed, although the VOC continued to sail to Mocha. Because the VOC ships coming to Mocha for coffee were dependent on the monsoon to sail, trade was slow to flourish. Arab traders drove the price up, knowing the ships needed to leave as soon as the wind turned favourable. However once the Company had established a permanent base, it was able to negotiate more attractive prices. Among the goods the VOC exchanged for Mocha coffee were spices, a narcotic called 'quat', and porcelain coffee cups.
Al Mukha(1621-1623, 1639-1739)*Van Gil arrived in Mocha on 28 January 1621 and there he founded the Dutch trading office. Harman van Gil died in July 1621, Willem Jacobsz. de Milde was appointed "chief" of the trading office. It seems that the trading office was closed in April 1623 due to problems with the Yemenite governors. It was reopened in 1639-1739.

* Aden, (1614-1620)

On 22 August 1620, the Dutch ship "'T Wapen van Zeelandt" reached Aden, here the Dutch immediately rent a house. When the ship left Aden, five servants and a supply of goods (worth about 42.000 guilders) were left in the trading post under the charge of the "chief" Harman van Gil. Van Gil went to Sana'a where Muhammad Basha granted to the Dutch the permission to build a trading office in Mocha. In November/December 1620 Van Gil transferred the Company's goods to Mocha and closed the trading office in Aden.
Between 1614 and 1620 the Company had a trade office in Aden. The VOC in Yemen spices hoping to sell for cash. This money is needed for the purchase of goods in the city of Surat. The trade was hampered by the liberation of the Arab Jemenieten against Turkish domination. The sale of VOC products was unsuccessful. However, the company even after 1620 ships sent to Aden.