A federation of seven states with its own ruler, United Arab Emirates has more to offer – from the iconic skyscrapers in Dubai, to the abundant oil deposits in Abu Dhabi to the vast Al Gharbia desert. UAE is known for the palm-shaped islands, beautiful beaches, shopping malls, and cultural and sports hub. Aside from the rich natural deposits, UAE all features well-developed architecture and infrastructure. Also, the federation offers a promising economy. Because of the Islamic Ideals general observed UAE follows a conservative customs and practices. Combined with strong beliefs and improved economy, there is no doubt why UAE is considered a promising country.
Important and Interesting Facts about United Arab Emirates
- UAE is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran.
- The UAE’s oil reserves are ranked as the seventh-largest in the world,along with the world’s seventeenth largest natural gas reserves.
- South and west of Abu Dhabi, vast, rolling sand dunes merge into the Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter) of Saudi Arabia. The desert area of Abu Dhabi includes two important oases with adequate underground water for permanent settlements and cultivation.
- In 2011, UAE is ranked as the 14th best nation in the world for doing business based on its economy and regulatory environment, ranked by the Doing Business 2011 Report published by the World Bank Group.
- Dubai International Airport was the Busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic from January to May 2013, overtaking London Heathrow.
- UAE launched a successful bid for Expo 2020 with Dubai The win is unprecedented in to the region.World Expos are a meeting point for the global community to share innovations and make progress on issues such as the global economy, sustainable development and improved quality of life. World Expos can be a catalyst for economic, cultural and social transformation and generates legacies for the host city and nation.
- Burj Dubai renamed Burj Khalifa in honour of the Emir of Abu Dhabi when it was inaugurated in 2010, 818m-high Burj Dubai has held the record for the highest building on the planet since 27 March 2008.
- Burj Al Arab is not a religious or historical monument that symbolises Dubai’s excesses, but a hotel shaped like a sail. Shooting up 321m into the air from the man-made island on which it is built, Burj Al Arab, designed by British architect Tom Wright, is the tallest hotel in the world, and the first to have seven stars!
- Dubai Creek or Khor Dubai in Arabic, this saltwater creek reaches 15km inland. It led to the creation of a city of two parts: Bur Dubai to the west and Deira to the east. To get across, you can take an abra, a picturesque little boat, or use the pedestrian tunnel.
- The two triumphant Emirates Towers (1999-2000) are a showpiece of modern architecture that marked a bold entrance into the 21C. The pair dominate the start of bustling Sheikh Zayed Road and, depending on where you are standing, they seem to change shape, lean towards each other or pierce the sky.
- Dubai’s top attraction Wild Wadi Waterpark is incontestably one of the most impressive of its kind in the world. A multitude of gardens, wave pools, a network of waterslides including the 33m-long Jumeirah Scierah for an exhilarating 80kmph ride.
- A temple of consumerism with a maze of shops, the three-storey Mall of Emirates is the most astounding shopping centre in Dubai, until, that is, the Mall of Arabia in Dubailand is completed. You can even ski all year round in the indoor resort, never mind the desert all around.
Cool and Funny Facts about United Arab Emirates
- The Dubai police fleet includes a Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bentley. This is to allow them to catch speeders who can outrun other cars
- When the Founding Father of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid, was asked about the future of Dubai, he said: “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel”
- A British man was sentenced to four years in jail in Dubai after cannabis weighing less than a grain of sugar was found embedded in the tread of his shoe. He was later pardoned.
- There are ATMs in Dubai that dispense gold bars
- Dubai has no address system, no zip codes, no area codes and no postal system. For a package to be sent properly, the sender would have to leave proper directions to the destination of said package.
- Dubai has no sewer system, instead they use poop trucks to haul the entire cities’ excrement away.
- After the global financial crisis in 2008, many exotic cars were abandoned all over Dubai and its airport. Most of these cars were bought with easy credit during the boom and the owners were unable to meet car payments after job cutbacks due to financial recession.
- In Dubai, you must obtain a “liquor license” to drink from the privacy of your own home.
- Despite being a major oil exporter, the UAE asks for a renewal of the Kyoto protocol and is a major investor in solar power.
- People living over the 80th floor of Dubai’s tallest building in the world have to wait 2 extra minutes before breaking their fast during the holy month of Ramadan because they will be able to see the sun longer than those on the ground.
- The United Arab Emirates donated a laptop to every high school student in Joplin, Missouri, after the city had been devastated by a tornado.
- In 1956, Frank Lloyd Wright wanted to build a mile-high building (528 stories) in Chicago. The World’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa is only 1/2 a mile high and was inspired by Wright’s design.
Historical and Cultural Facts about United Arab Emirates
- Originally the area was inhabited by a seafaring people who were converted to Islam in the 7th century. Later, a dissident sect, the Carmathians, established a powerful sheikdom, and its army conquered Mecca. After the sheikdom disintegrated, its people became pirates.
- Threatening the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman early in the 19th century, the pirates provoked the intervention of the British, who in 1820 enforced a partial truce and in 1853 a permanent truce. Thus what had been called the Pirate Coast was renamed the Trucial Coast. The British provided the nine Trucial states with protection but did not formally administer them as a colony.
- The British withdrew from the Persian Gulf in 1971, and the Trucial states became a federation called the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Two of the Trucial states, Bahrain and Oman , chose not to join the federation, reducing the number of states to seven.
- After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., the UAE was identified as a major financial center used by al-Qaeda in transferring money to the hijackers (two of the 9/11 hijackers were UAE citizens). The nation immediately cooperated with the U.S., freezing accounts tied to suspected terrorists and strongly clamping down on money laundering.
- Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE and ruler of the federation since 1971, died in Nov. 2004. His son succeeded him. In Jan. 2006, Sheik Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister of the UAE and the emir of Dubai, died. Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktoum assumed both roles.
- The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, was completed in January 2010 and became the world’s tallest building at 2,716 feet (828 meters) and 160 stories. It contains the world’s fastest elevators, 20.7 acres of glass, and is expected to use about 250,000 gallons of water per day.
- Before the 1960s, food consisted mainly of fish, rice, bread, dates, yogurt, homegrown vegetables, and meat from sheep, goats, and camels. The diet has improved in quality and variety, with modern supermarkets offering imported foods.
- Social customs are shared throughout the Gulf Arab countries. An Islamic greeting ( al-salam alaykom )is the most appropriate, and men follow this with a quick nose-to-nose touch while shaking hands. Women greet each other by kissing several times on both cheeks. Men normally do not shake hands with women in public. It is customary to ask about the health of a person and his or her family several times before beginning light conversation. Refreshments usually are served before serious matters are discussed.
- Islam dominates all aspects of life. Most Emiratis are members of the Sunni sect. Matters relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance, economics, politics, and personal conduct are affected by Sharia (Islamic) law.
- The UAE national day, 2 December, is the most important secular celebration. Cities are decorated with colored lights, and folklore troops perform in heritage villages. 1 January is a holiday but is not celebrated by nationals. Expatriate communities celebrate their own religious and secular holidays.
- The state generously supports writers, painters, actors, and folk dancers. Sharjah is particularly active in promoting culture and was chosen by UNESCO as the Arab Cultural Capital in 1998.
- Conservative elements of the society still impede women’s participation in performance arts. In 1999, the first college for theater arts opened in Sharjah. Emiratis rely on theater and television programs produced in other Arab countries.