A Journey Through Time
On December 2nd 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was promulgated as an independent, sovereign and federal state. The UAE comprises 7 emirates; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman Umm al Qaiwain and Fujairah. The UAE federal authorities consist of the UAE Supreme Council, the UAE President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, the National Federal Council and the Federal Judiciary
Capital of UAE : Abu Dhabi
National Day : December 2nd
National Currency : AED / DHS
National Language : Arabic
Religion : Islam
Official Working Days/Hours: :
Time Zone : (UTC+04:00) Abu Dhabi, Muscat
National Flag: Three equal horizontal lines with green at the top, white in the middle and black at the base. There is also a wider vertical red ribbon in the direction of the flagpole.
Location: The UAE is located in the South East of the Arab Peninsula and covers an area that looks like a triangle. Its shores are considered as the Southern and South Eastern edges of the Arabian Gulf and part of the Western shore of the Gulf of Oman. The UAE occupies a strategic location through the Western entrances of the Strait of Hormuz.
Area: Nearly 82,880 km2, with Abu Dhabi accounting for 87 per cent of the UAE total area.
UAE Shores: The UAE shores stretch for 1,318 km before the launch of new urban projects such as Nakheel’s artificial islands – The Palms and The World. The man-made islands have undoubtedly contributed to lengthening the coastal line whose current length has not been defined yet.
Climate: The UAE is located in the tropical dry area that extends across Asia and North Africa. However, it is affected by the Ocean as it overlooks both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, which is connected to the Red Sea via the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab. The climate has some characteristics that render the UAE different from neighbouring countries in the same region.
During summer, it is hot and humid as the temperature ranges between 35°C and 41°C, and humidity between 60 and 100 per cent. The very high temperature in summer is related to a high degree of humidity. There are great climatic differences between the coastal areas and inner desert areas and highlands that form the UAE relief. The winter, however, is a very mild and cool as the temperature ranges between 18°C and 25°C and the humidity is extremely low. The annual average rainfall is less than 100 mm and it increases in the Eastern range of mountains which is generally a cooler region.
Population: The UAE boasts of a local population that is tolerant and endearing, who are strongly committed to their age-old customs and traditions, deeply rooted in their minds. Its people enjoy a decent living provided by an advanced educational system and the state-of-the-art health services. The UAE exerts diligent efforts to develop its human resources, enhance the status of women enabling them to occupy a pioneering position in the society, and provide social care for all those who need support. According to 2013 statistics, the UAE population has reached 9.4 million people.
Historical Events: The UAE has been called “Al Ghabraa” and then the Coast of Oman as it is connected to Oman. It has been inhabited by several tribes such as Bani Yas, a tribe that is said to belong to Al Yas Bin Amir and to be composed of a tribal alliance; a policy which was adopted by Arabs to face hazards. Descendants of Bani Yas include the families of Al Nahyan, Al Maktoum – Rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and Al Qawassim, Rulers of Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah.
- February 18th 1968: Al Samha meeting.
- July 18, 1971: The interim constitution of the UAE was issued.
- December 2, 1971: The UAE was promulgated and the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, then ruler of Abu Dhabi, was elected as the President. The late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, then ruler of Dubai, was elected as the Vice-President. The late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum was appointed as the Prime Minister.
- December 6, 1971: The UAE joined the League of Arab States.
- December 23, 1971: Ras Al Khaimah sent a message to the Supreme Council to join the federation.
- February 12, 1975: The National Federal Council was established.
- December 13, 1972: The first session of the National Federal Council was held.
- May 1981: The UAE hosted the first Gulf summit.
- New Hijri Year (one day)
- The Prophet’s Birthday (one day)
- Ramadan 29th (one day)
- Eid Al-Fitr (three days)
- Arafa Day (one day)
- Eid Al-Adha (three days)
- Commemoration Day (one day)
- The National Day (two days)
- New Year (one day)
Beginning of the oil era:
Oil was discovered in the 1950s and was exported for the first time
from Abu Dhabi in 1962. Then, as cash flow increased due to oil
exports, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan began a huge construction
program and built schools, houses, roads, and hospitals all over the
city. As Dubai started exporting oil in 1969, Sheikh Rashed bin Saeed
Al Maktoum used the oil revenues to improve the standard of living of
The rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai decided to unite, prepare a
constitution to be written on December 2, 1971, and then invite the
rulers of the other 5 emirates to a meeting, giving them the
opportunity to join. On December 2 1971, the emirates of Qatar and
Bahrain were invited to join the union, but both turned down the
invitation. Ras al Khaimah joined in early 1972.
After Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s death on November 2 2004, the
UAE’s Supreme Council of rulers elected his eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa
bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as president.
The UAE’s major holidays are on National Day (December 2) which is
when the UAE was formed, Eid Al Fitr, which comes after Ramadan, and
Eid Al Adha, which is after Al Hajj season.
The Emirati culture reflects Islam and the Bedouin, Arab culture, and
so, their architecture, music, cuisines, and lifestyle, and influenced
by those factors.
Local people are supposed to pray 5 times a day, where the minarets of
mosques call them for prayer. Mosques, churches, Hindu temples, and
Sikh gurdwara are scattered all over the country, and Jewish.
Due to the UAE’s high standard of living and growth in trade, many
people from all around the world come to the UAE striving for a better life and jobs that pay well.
There are around 4.4 million people in the country, with only 15-20% of them being citizens and 96% being Muslims. It is estimated that an average person living in the UAE is expected to live 77 years.
-Museums and art galleries:
Abu Dhabi is expected to become an art center of international caliber
by creating a culture district on Saadiyat Island, with 6 major
projects planned, such as the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim
Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Tadao Ando, a Performing Arts center, and
a Biennale Park. Dubai also plans to build many galleries, and a
Kunst Hal Museum.
Men in the UAE prefer wearing a kandura, which is like a long,
white, ankle-length shirt made from cotton or wool. Western style
clothing is also popular, mostly among the younger generation.
Women also have something similar to the men’s kandura, but with
different colors and styles. They also wear some western-styled
clothing, but keep them covered with a long, black over-garment that covers most parts of their bodies, called an ‘abaya’. Although they are covered with an ‘abaya’, they avoid wearing short, fitted
Literature and poetry:
Poetry is very popular among the local people, ranging from
self-praise, love, patriotism, chivalry, satire, religion, and family.
It is a great way to spend time and express their feelings and
emotions. There are many poets in the country famous for their
literary works. an iconic poet was Ibn Majid who came from Ras al
Khaimah. He had a total of 40 compositions.
The greatest notable poets for classical Arabic poetry were Mubarak AlOqaili, Salem bin Ali Al Qwaism and Ahmed Bin Sulayem. Other poets include Sheikh Saqr Al Qassimi and Khalfan Musabah.
The UAE extends along part of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.
The size of the country is not measured because it contains many
islands other than the country itself, which are also unknown. Abu
Dhabi is the largest emirate (67,340 square kilometers), taking up
around 87 percent of the country’s total area. The smallest emirate is
Ajman (259 square kilometers).
The UAE’s governments works all year round to keep the country green.