UAE Caravan

UAE Caravan

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Al Fujairah...the seventh emirate

The only emirate without a coastline on the Arabian Gulf is Fujairah, which is ruled by the Al Sharqi family. Situated along the coast of the Gulf of Oman, Fujairah covers about 1,300 square kilometres.

Unlike other emirates, where the desert forms a large part of the terrain, mountains and plains are its predominant features. Fujairah's economy is based on fishing and agriculture. Like Ras Al Khaimah, the land in Fujairah is irrigated by rainwater from the Hajar Mountains, making it ideal for farming. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi is the present ruler.

Ras Al Khaimah...the sixth emirate

Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly emirate, is ruled by another branch of the Al Qasimi family. It covers an area of 1,700 square kilometres. Thanks to the run-off water from the Hajar Mountains, Ras Al Khaimah has a unique abundance of flora, so it is no surprise that agriculture is important to the local economy.

The emirate also benefits from its stone quarries, and fishing, which is plentiful in the rich waters of the Gulf. The city of Ras Al Khaimah, situated on an inlet, has a rich history. It was renowned for its prosperous port and for its exquisite pearls, which were famous as being the whitest and roundest available anywhere. Ras Al Khaimah's current ruler is Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

P.S: Ras Al Khaimah is the only emirate that witnesses snow fall during winter. Can you imagine ice in a desert? ^_^

Umm Al Qaiwain...the fifth emirate

Umm Al Qaiwain is ruled by the Al Mualla family. It is the second smallest emirate, with a total area of around 770 square kilometres. Positioned between the emirates of Sharjah and Ajman to the south and Ras Al Khaimah to the north, Umm Al Qaiwain has the smallest population.

Fishing is the local population's primary means of income. Date farming also plays a significant role in the economy. After the union of the emirates in 1971 Umm Al Qaiwain developed into a modern state, and continues to progress under its present ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla.

Ajman...the fourth emirate.

Ajman is the smallest emirate, comprising only 260 square kilometres. It is ruled by the Al Nuami family. Surrounded mostly by the emirate of Sharjah, Ajman also possesses the small enclaves of Manama and Musfut in the Hajar Mountains.

Along the creek dhow building was the specialised trade. Fishing and date-trees provided the local population with their primary means of sustenance. Ajman benefited greatly from the union of the emirates, a fact that is reflected today in their stately buildings and infrastructure. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuami has been the ruler since 1981.

Sharjah...Center of Education

Sharjah, the third of the seven emirates, shares its southern border with Dubai and is ruled by the Al Qasimi family. It is approximately 2,600 square kilometres and is the only emirate to have coastlines on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

In the nineteenth century the town of Sharjah was the leading port in the lower Gulf. Produce from the interior of Oman, India and Persia arrived there. Sharjah's salt mines meant that salt constituted an important part of its export business, along with pearls. In the 1930s when the pearling industry declined and trade decreased due to the creek silting up, Imperial Airways' flying boats set up a staging post for flights en route to India, which benefited the residents of Sharjah.

Today, Sharjah is the cultural and educational centre of the UAE and takes pride in preserving the country's cultural heritage as well as promoting Arab culture and traditions, under the leadership of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

Dubai, Dar Al Hay (Home of Lively People)

Good morning again :)
How are you all? I am sure that everyone in this world knows Dubai, the home of lively people as we say. But I thought of adding little bits of information to your knowledge :)

Dubai, the second largest of the seven emirates, is ruled by the Al Maktoum family. It occupies an area of approximately 3,900 kilometres, which includes a small enclave called Hatta, situated close to Oman, amongst the Hajar Mountains.

Dubai, the capital city, is located along the creek, a natural harbour, which traditionally provided the basis of the trading industry. Pearling and fishing were the main sources of income for the people of Dubai. Under the wise leadership of its rulers, Dubai's focus on trade and industry transformed it into the leading trading port along the southern Gulf. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the current ruler of Dubai.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Abu Dhabi...The Adorable Capital of the UAE

Gooood Morning World,

I woke up this morning, drank my cup of coffee, came to work and I feel like telling you a bit about UAE's lovely Capital, Abu Dhabi. You should know that Dhabi means Gazelle or Deer in English.

Abu Dhabi, by far the largest emirate, is ruled by the Al Nahyan family. It occupies 67,340 square kilometres or 86.7% of the total area of the country.

The emirate is primarily a vast desert area with about two dozen islands in the coastal waters, including the island where the city of Abu Dhabi is located, plus six sizeable islands further out in the Arabian Gulf. The population of the emirate is concentrated in three areas: the capital city, Abu Dhabi; Al Ain, an oasis city located near the Hajar Mountains; and the villages of the Liwa oases.

Traditionally, the population along the coast relied on fishing and pearling for their livelihood, whilst those in the hinterland relied on date plantations and camel herding. Through remarkable leadership and personal commitment, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan developed Abu Dhabi into an influential, fully modernised state. Upon Sheikh Zayed's death in November 2004, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan became UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder Father of the UAE

Good morning ^_^

Before telling you more about the seven Emirates, I wanted to first tell you a little bit about their Founder, our Father Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul in peace.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918 – 2 November 2004), the principal architect of United Arab Emirates (UAE), was the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE for over 30 years (1971-2004).

Zayed was the youngest son of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the traditional ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1922 to 1926. He was named after his famous grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, who ruled the emirate from 1855 to 1909. On August 6, 1966 he succeeded his brother, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan, as emir of Abu Dhabi. Zayed was first appointed (by the other six Sheikhs on the Supreme Council) to the presidency of the UAE in 1971 and was reappointed on four further occasions: 1976, 1981, 1986, and 1991.

His religious tolerance of Christians and the freedom given Western workers sojourning in the UAE was in marked contrast to most neighbors in the region and exposed him to criticism from other more conservative nations. Sheikh Zayed was respected around the world for his unifying influence and his drive to make the Emirates one nation. His calls for cooperation extended across Persian Gulf to Iran.

Sheikh Zayed advocated dialogue as the means to settle the row with Tehran over three strategic Persian Gulf islands which Iran seized from the UAE Emirate of Sharjah in 1971, though the islands remain in Iranian hands, despite over three decades of UAE diplomatic initiatives.

Zayed did not shy away from controversy when it came to expressing his opinion on current events in the Arab world. Troubled by the suffering of Iraqi civilians, or perhaps for other reasons, he took the lead in calling for lifting sanctions on Iraq imposed by the United Nations in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, despite Kuwaiti displeasure and opposition.

Zayed was considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. A Forbes magazine estimate put his fortune at around USD $24 billion. The source of this wealth could be almost exclusively attributed to the immense oil wealth of Abu Dhabi and the Emirates, which sit on a pool of a tenth of the world's proven oil reserves. Nevertheless he chose to live a relatively modest and traditional lifestyle, riding and hunting with falcons, though he gave up hunting with firearms, a sport at which he excelled, to set an example for wildlife conservation in his fragile desert homeland. He was personally popular, and was regarded to be considerably pious in his religious observances.

In 1999, while he was in a hospital for some tests, the people of the UAE wrote him a personal thank-you letter with 1.5 million signatures. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2000 at the Cleveland Clinic in the U.S.

On 2 November 2004, Zayed died, as announced by Abu Dhabi TV. He was believed to be 86 years old. No official cause of death was given; however he had recently been in London undergoing hospital treatment. He is buried in the courtyard of the new Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

His eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, born in 1948, took an increasing role in the government from the 1990s; he was ratified as President of the United Arab Emirates by his fellow rulers on the Supreme Council directly after his father's death.

Shaikh Zayed International Airport located at Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab, Pakistan is named in his honor.

Late Sheikh Zayed was extremely popular in his home country. He was admired as a relatively simple man who guarded his people's culture and traditions and presented a civilized image of the UAE to the rest of the world; he was the undisputed father of his nation. He was especially respected in the US and Europe due to his pro-western stance, and his reputation as a moderate and gentle ruler.

For more information about Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan please visit:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Intro to the UAE

Good morning ladies and gentlemen ^_^

I have prepared information about the UAE and will add it step by step. Let's start with general information, then we will discuss each emirate individually.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia. The UAE consists of seven states, termed emirates, which are:

1-Abu Dhabi (The Capital)
5-Umm al-Quwain
6-Ras al-Khaimah
7-Al Fujairah

The capital and second largest city of the United Arab Emirates is Abu Dhabi. It is also the country's center of political, industrial, and cultural activities.
The political system of the United Arab Emirates, based on the 1971 Constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language.

The Constitution of the United Arab Emirates provides a legal and political framework for the operation of the UAE as a federation of seven emirates. The Constitution came into effect on December 2, 1971 and was permanently accepted in May 1996. Authored by Adi Bitar, a former judge and legal advisor, the Constitution is written in 10 parts and has 151 Articles. The United Arab Emirates celebrates the formation of the Union (and acceptance of the federal constitution) as National Day.

The United Arab Emirates has the world's sixth largest oil reserves and possesses one of the most developed economies in the Middle East. It is currently the thirty-sixth largest economy at market exchange rates, and has a high per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $46,584 as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is an international organization that oversees the global financial system by following the macroeconomic policies of its member countries, in particular those with an impact on exchange rates and the balance of payments. It is an organization formed with a stated objective of stabilizing international exchange rates and facilitating development. It also offers highly leveraged loans, mainly to poorer countries. Its headquarters are in Washington, DC, United States.

The UAE is fourteenth largest in purchasing power per capita and has a relatively high Human Development Index for the Asian continent, ranking 35th globally. The United Arab Emirates is classified as a high income developing economy by the IMF.

The United Arab Emirates is a founding member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and a member state of the Arab League. It is also a member of the United Nations, Organization of the Islamic Conference, the OPEC, and the World Trade Organization.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Some German thoughts before and after visiting the UAE

Good morning people ^_^

Today I have gathered some information from my German friends that I met through the workshop. Follows are some thoughts they had about us in the United Arab Emirates before they arrived:

- Much oil
- Little BRAIN!!
- Little diversification of economy
- Strict towards women
- Copied culture as in movies, theatre, arts
- Giant building projects, which is against the environment
- Almost nothing about the UAE
- Missing hestorical buildings
- Skyscrapers in the desert
- Unbearable heat in the summer and living in air-conditioned hotels and malls.

After the workshop and after their short visit to the UAE, some of their thoughts have changed, such as:

- The most important thing was to get to know individual people rather than knowing these prejudices about "an average of one million"
- Surprised to see local talent, arts, interest in fashion
- Realized that a black traditional "Abaya" can exist in hundreds of trendy fashions- so SORT OF NOTICING LITTLE THINGS THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE FROM FAR AWAY! (Which is why we will exchange visits Insha-Allah).
- It became evident that in my areas there's much to criticize but not always a real alternative- so it's easy to be an arrogant westerner and criticise but much more difficult to try to see where there's still room to facilitate a better transition.
- Bearing with traditions and keeping them up
- Taking pride in customs, clothes and behaviour is much more chosen than prescribed
- UAE in front as the "New Arabia"
- Each emirate has its special development
- UAE as a politically stable country in a very unstable and possibly dangerous region (Iran, Iraq, etc).

And here are some points that they still want to learn more about:

- How is the situation for women in the UAE?
- What about gender equality?
- What is the difference between each emirate?
- How is it possible that the UAE seem so modern and open in comparison to other Arab countries? and do they see themselves as role models?
- Where are the difficulties? too much melting pot versus own identity?
- What is the UAE doing to preserve its culture?
- How is life in people's homes at times when there are no guests?
- What about science and education in the UAE?
- What do people here like to learn more about?
- What would they want us to learn from them?
- More about Islam
- More about relations between men and women
- How it is not to have a time of foolish youth
- How eager the Emiratis to gain more political participation
- How big is the influence of Islam on political decisions?
- What do women and also men think about the "Abaya"? would they sometimes want to change the obligation? or do they like it?
- What is the percentage of arranged marriages?
- Do expats feel discriminated without the chance to get an Emirati passport?

Of course all of the above are just a little bit of what Westerners may want to know about us or already know about us and about our beloved country. That is why I have started this blog to answer your questions and tell you more about us, my country and my religion hoping that I change many things and strengthen relations between all of us all over the world.

The first thing I am going to do is introduce you to my country and its seven emirates.

Dont go so far ;) I will be back with more information.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome everyone :-)

Salam Alaikom everybody,

Last December, I participated in a workshop titled "The Gulf States-A Blueprint for a Globalized World", which took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and was organized by the UAE Journalists Association and the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Association (KAS).

The workshop's aim was to create incorporation between young Arab and German journalists, and to strengthen relations between Germany and the Middle East, besides developing Arab- European dialogue.

Unfortunately, most (if not all) of the German participants knew very few information about my beautiful country, and some of the information were incorrect. Also, many of us (Arabs) knew much more about Germans and Germany than we already knew by talking to each other and spending time exchanging information and having honest fun.

Therefore, I have decided to work on a project that will "Insha-Allah" reduce prejudices between Western and Arab/Islamic World in general, and the United Arab Emirates in specific.

Best regards,