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1. Video landing
a. landing
b. sound
c. announce that we arrive


2. Mosque (Abu abu dhabi)

3. Traditional Market: introduce some food
4. Hotel
Next day
5. Ferrari land
6. move to Dubai (12 minutes)
7. burj khalifa
Next Day

8. Mosque
9. Sharjar museum of Islamic civilization
10. Resturant (Al Iwan Burj al Arab*)

*info about this place will be at the bottom na





Traditional Market:

Religion Attraction ****


Mosque: Sheikn zayed mosque

the architectural work of art!

the world s largest mosque


40,000 worshippers ()

82 domes

1000+ column

24 carat gold gilded chandeliers

The worlds largest hand knotted carpet

largest chandelier in the world (10 m. diameter / 15 m. height / 12


First ceremony - funeral of Sheikh Zayed -> (buried at the site)


Sharjar arts museum

Sharjar museum of Islamic civilisation

Dubai museum

Restaurant (+


( )


Dubai ****

Dubai opera

Dubai mall

Burj Khalifa

Abu Dhabi (capital city of U.A.E) ***


Ferrari world

emirate park zoo

emirate paplace

corniche beach


Abu Dhabi : Emirates Palace Hotel (Worlds First 7 Star Hotel)

Dubai : Burj Al Arab Jumeirah (Worlds tallest usable full hotel building)

Burj Al Arab = The Arabian Tower (In English)

Shape : Like a sail

Restaurant(Al Iwan Burj al Arab)

Themed Arabian Buffet restaurant, bringing magnificent authentics from Arabic cuisine
to Far East Asian and Modern European dishes, we've sourced ingredients from around the
globe to create a dining experience fit for the world's most luxurious hotel.

Hummus, moutabel, fatoush, babaganoj, and vine leaves

Spinach fatayer, meat sambousik, cheese rocakat, lamb kebbah
Main Courses:
Shrimp majbous - Traditional Arabian rice dish containing fish and meats, it is known to be a

bahraini dish* that is popular in the gulf countries, which ours contains Shrimp that were caught
an hour ago in Norway and sent straight to the restaurant through a private food freezing jet.
Fish sharmola(Other names: charmoula, sharmola, charmola) - A spicy Moroccan sauce made

with cumin garlic fresh herbs paprika cayenne and olive oil. Chermoula is traditionally served
with meats. The mixture is sometimes thickened with yogurt cheese (well-drained yogurt).

Although our restaurant was inspired by Disneys movie, Ariel!!!, so we chose Fishes from Souks
in our own 1st class market!!! Also might serve Sebastian later at the end of the course...
Arabic mixed grill - a meal consisting of a traditional assortment of grilled meats, contains:

Lamb, Chicken, Beef, capcicum, arbic bread, garlic pastes etc.

Lamb ouzi - Ouzi is a traditional Middle Eastern recipe, widely enjoyed during Ramadan. Were

using Lamb, instead.


Souk is Arabic for 'marketplace.' Historically, dhows from the Far East and India would offload
their cargo and the goods would be haggled over in the nearby souks. Over the years the goods
on sale have diversified dramatically; today alongside the spices, silks and perfumes you'll find
electronic goods, souvenirs, clothing and household items. Abu Dhabi's souks are worth a visit
for their bustling atmosphere, eclectic variety of goods, and to observe the traditional way of
doing business.Every morning, fishermen load their catch on to the quayside and prepare for a
day of haggling. Take a trip to the Fish Souk at Mina Zayed, near Abu Dhabis main port area, and
experience a fascinating insight into the way traditional business is done.Across the road from
the Fish Souk, the Al Mina Fruit & Vegetable Souk market is bursting with colour as each seller
arranges his produce outside the shops. The choice is amazing, and you can buy by the kilo or
the box. Even if you are not buying, this area provides excellent photo opportunities.Yemeni
mattresses and machine made carpets dominate Abu Dhabis Carpet Souk, but bargains can be
found if you know what you are looking for. Some of the sellers will make up Arabic majlis style
cushions for a very reasonable price. The souk is based on Mina Road, near Abu Dhabis main
port area.Also known as the Central or Old Souk, the Al Ain Souk is a great place to explore,
savour the local atmosphere and practise your bargaining skills. The souk itself is a rather
ramshackle affair but it is certainly different from many of the modern, air conditioned markets
found elsewhere.The two outdoor markets - Souk Al Bawadi & Souk Al Qaws are attached to the
huge Bawadi Mall in Al Ain. Souk Al Qaws features shops of a practical nature set among unique
architecture, with over 40 service outlets including banks, money exchanges and travel agents,
while Souk Al Bawadi has more of a heritage feel, with over 50 shops selling traditional items
and souvenirs.Souk Al Zafarana (+971 3 762 1868) is a jewel of a find which reflects true
Emirati culture and tradition while being new. Whether you're looking for traditional garments,
incense or spices, henna or oud, or dallah (Arabian coffee pots) this is the marketplace for you.
This is the new home of Al Ain's old souk and features Mubdia Village, a section exclusively for
women that is staffed by female shopkeepers. Around the corner from Al Jimi Mall in Al Ain, the
souk is open 10am to 1pm and 8pm until midnight.The souk is still the best place for traditional
goods, including various fabrics, spices and perfumes. Since traditional Emirati apparel is often
tailor-made, men and women buy new clothing from the souk, where local tailors can provide
the personalised service not always found in a mall. Many spices and traditional perfumes
(particularly oud) are sold wholesale and retail in the souk, whereas these may not be available

in large quantities, or at all, in malls. The gold souk is perhaps the biggest in Dubai, attracting
customers from South Asia as well as the Middle East. Gold jewellery is traditionally seen as an
investment as much as a decoration in many Asian countries, and the long trading links between
the Gulf and the Indian subcontinent mean that tastes for jewellery are broadly similar. The
Dubai Gold Souk is home to more than 300 shops, including names such as Damas, Joyalukkas
and Al Zain.


The United Arab Emirates has a long history, recent finds on the eastern side of the Hajar
Mountains and in western Abu Dhabi having pushed the earliest evidence of humans in the
Emirates to over 100,000 years. At this time, it is believed, the UAE may have played an
important role in the migration of humans out of Africa into Asia. Prior to this, the earliest
known human occupation for which there is significant evidence dated from the Neolithic
period, 5,500 BC or 7,500 years ago, when the climate was wetter and food resources
abundant. Even at this early stage, there is proof of interaction with the outside world,
especially with civilisations to the north. Commencing around 3000 BC as the climate
became more arid and fortified oases communities focused on agriculture, these contacts
persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar
Foreign trade, the recurring motif in the history of this strategic region, seems to have
flourished also in later periods, facilitated by domestication of the camel at the end of the
second millennium BC. At the same time, the discovery of new irrigation techniques (falaj
irrigation) made possible the extensive watering of agricultural areas that resulted in an
explosion of settlement in the region.
By the first century AD overland caravan traffic between Syria and cities in southern Iraq,
followed by seaborne travel to the important port of Omana (perhaps present-day Umm al-
Qaiwain) and thence to India was an alternative to the Red Sea route used by the Romans.
Pearls had been exploited in the area for millennia but at this time the trade reached new
heights. Seafaring was also a mainstay and major fairs were held at Dibba, bringing
merchants from as far afield as China.
The arrival of envoys from the Prophet Muhammad in 630 AD heralded the conversion of the
region to Islam. By 637 AD Islamic armies were using Julfar (Ras al-Khaimah) as a staging
post for the conquest of Iran. Over many centuries, Julfar became a wealthy port and pearling
centre from which great wooden dhows ranged far and wide across the Indian Ocean.
The Portuguese arrival in the Gulf in the sixteenth century had bloody consequences for the
Arab residents of Julfar and east coast ports like Dibba, Bidiya, Khor Fakkan and Kalba.
However, while European powers competed for regional supremacy, a local power, the

Qawasim, was gathering strength: at the beginning of the nineteenth century the Qawisim
had built up a fleet of over 60 large vessels and could put nearly 20,000 sailors to sea,
eventually provoking a British offensive to control the maritime trade routes between the
Gulf and India.
Inland, the arc of villages at Liwa was the focus of economic and social activity for the Bani
Yas from before the sixteenth century. But by the early 1790s the town of Abu Dhabi had
become such an important pearling centre that the political leader of all the Bani Yas groups,
the sheikh of the Al Bu Falah (Al Nahyan family) moved there from the Liwa. Early in the
nineteenth century, members of the Al Bu Falasah, a branch of the Bani Yas, settled by the
creek in Dubai and established Maktoum rule in that emirate.
Following the defeat of the Qawasim in 1820, the British signed a series of agreements with
the sheikhs of the individual emirates that, later augmented with treaties on preserving a
maritime truce, resulted in the area becoming known as The Trucial States.
The pearling industry thrived in the relative calm at sea during the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, providing both income and employment to the people of the Arabian
Gulf coast. Many of the inhabitants were semi-nomadic, diving for pearls in the summer
months and tending to their date gardens in the winter. However, their meagre economic
resources were soon to be dealt a heavy blow.
The First World War impacted severely on the pearl fishery, but it was the economic
depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s, coupled with the Japanese invention of the
cultured pearl, that damaged it irreparably. The industry eventually faded away just after the
Second World War, when the newly independent Government of India imposed heavy
taxation on pearls imported from the Gulf. This was catastrophic for the area. Despite their
adaptability and resourcefulness, the population faced considerable hardship with little
opportunity for education and no roads or hospitals.
Fortunately, oil and the visionary leadership of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan were on
the horizon. Born around 1918 in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed was the youngest of the four sons
of Sheikh Sultan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1922 to 1926. As Sheikh Zayed grew to manhood,
he travelled widely throughout the country, gaining a deep understanding of the land and of
its people. In the early 1930s, when oil company teams arrived to undertake preliminary
geological surveys, he obtained his first exposure to the industry that was to make possible
the development of today.
In 1946, Sheikh Zayed was chosen as Rulers Representative in Abu Dhabi's Eastern Region,
centered on Al Ain, 160 kilometres east of the island of Abu Dhabi. He brought to his new
task a firm belief in the values of consultation and consensus and his judgements were
distinguished by their acute insights, wisdom and fairness.
The first cargo of crude oil was exported from Abu Dhabi in 1962. On 6 August 1966, Sheikh
Zayed succeeded his elder brother as Ruler of Abu Dhabi. He promptly increased
contributions to the Trucial States Development Fund and with revenues growing as oil
production increased, Sheikh Zayed undertook a massive construction programme, building
schools, housing, hospitals and roads.

When Dubais oil exports commenced in 1969, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, de facto
Ruler of Dubai since 1939, was also able to use oil revenues to improve the quality of life of
his people.

At the beginning of 1968, when the British announced their intention of withdrawing from
the Arabian Gulf by the end of 1971, Sheikh Zayed acted rapidly to initiate moves towards
establishing closer ties between the emirates. Along with Sheikh Rashid, who was to become
Vice President and later Prime Minister of the newly formed state, Sheikh Zayed took the
lead in calling for a federation that would include not only the seven emirates that together
made up the Trucial States, but also Qatar and Bahrain.
Following a period of negotiation, agreement was reached between the rulers of six of the
emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm al-Qaiwain and Ajman) and the
federation to be known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was formally established on 2
December 1971 with Sheikh Zayed as its President. The seventh emirate, Ras al-Khaimah,
formally acceded to the new federation on 10 February 1972. Sheikh Zayed was re-elected as
President at five-year intervals until his death 33 years later in November 2004.
The new state emerged at a time of political turmoil in the region. A couple of days earlier,
Iran had seized the islands of Greater and Lesser Tunb, part of Ras al-Khaimah, and had
landed troops on Abu Musa, part of Sharjah. Foreign observers predicted that the UAE would
survive only with difficulty, pointing to disputes with its neighbours and to the wide
disparity between the seven emirates. Sheikh Zayed was more optimistic and the predictions
of those early pessimists were shown to be unfounded. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that
the prosperity, harmony and modern development that today characterises the UAE is due to
the long-term vision and formative role played by the UAEs founding fathers.
Sheikh Zayed was succeeded as the UAE's President and as Ruler of Abu Dhabi by his eldest
son, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2004. The principles and philosophy that he
brought to government, however, remain at the core of the state, and of its policies, today.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, was chosen as Vice
President of the Federation following the death of his brother Sheikh Maktoum in 2006
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1820 - Britain and local rulers sign a treaty to combat piracy along the Gulf coast. From this, and

later agreements, the area becomes known as the Trucial Coast.

1892 - Deal between the Trucial States and Britain gives Britain control over foreign affairs and

each emirate control over internal affairs.

1948 - Sheikh Saqr Bin-Muhammad al-Qasimi becomes Ruler of Ras al-Khaymah.
1950s - Oil is discovered.

1952 - The seven emirates form a Trucial Council.

1962 - Oil is exported for the first time from Abu Dhabi.
1966 August - Sheikh Zayed Bin-Sultan Al Nuhayyan takes over as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
1968 - As independence looms, Bahrain and Qatar join the Trucial States. Differences cause the

union to crumble in 1971.

1971 November - Iran occupies the islands of Greater and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.
Federation formed
1971 December - After independence from Britain, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujayrah, Sharjah,

and Umm al-Qaywayn come together as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sheikh Zayed Bin-
Sultan Al Nuhayyan presides over the federation.
1971 - UAE joins the Arab League.
1972 - Ras al-Khaymah joins the federation.
1972 January - Sheikh Sultan Bin-Muhammad al-Qasimi becomes Ruler of Sharjah.
1972 February - Federal National Council (FNC) is created; it is a 40 member consultative body

appointed by the seven rulers.

1974 September - Sheikh Hamad Bin-Muhammad Bin-Hamad al-Sharqi becomes Ruler of

1981 February - Sheikh Rashid Bin-Ahmad al-Mualla becomes Ruler of Umm al-Qaywayn.
1981 May - UAE is a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council; its first summit is held in

Abu Dhabi.
1981 September - Sheikh Humayd Bin-Rashid al-Nuaymi becomes Ruler of Ajman.
1986 October - Sheikh Zayed Bin-Sultan Al Nuhayyan is re-elected as UAE president - his fourth

Coup attempt
1987 June - Attempted coup in Sharjah. Sheikh Sultan Bin-Muhammad al-Qasimi abdicates in

favour of his brother after admitting financial mismanagement but is reinstated by the Supreme
Council of Rulers.

1990 October - Sheikh Rashid Bin-Said Al Maktum dies and is succeeded by his son Sheikh

Maktum Bin-Rashid Al Maktum as ruler of Dubai and UAE vice-president.

1991 - UAE forces join the allies against Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait.
1991 July - Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) collapses. Abu Dhabi's ruling

family owns a 77.4% share.

1992 Iran angers the UAE by saying visitors to Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb must

have Iranian visas.

1993 December - Abu Dhabi sues BCCI's executives for damages.
1994 June - 11 of the 12 former BCCI executives accused of fraud are given jail sentences and

ordered to pay compensation.

Islands disputed
1996 - Iran fuels the dispute over Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb by building an airport

on Abu Musa and a power station on Greater Tunb.

1996 June - Two BCCI executives are cleared of fraud charges on appeal.
1998 - UAE restores diplomatic relations with Iraq; they were severed at the outbreak of the

1991 Gulf War.

1999 November - Gulf Cooperation Council backs the UAE in its dispute with Iran over Greater

and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa .

2001 June - President Sheikh Zayed pardons 6,000 prisoners.
2001 November - Government orders banks to freeze the assets of 62 organisations and

individuals suspected by the US of funding terrorism.

2004 November - UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan dies and is succeeded by

his son, Sheikh Khalifa.

2005 December - Sheikh Khalifa announces plans for the UAE's first elections. Half of the

members of the consultative Federal National Council will be elected by a limited number of

2006 January - Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE PM and vice-president and ruler

of Dubai, dies during a visit to Australia. He is succeeded by his brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid al-Maktoum.
2006 March - Political storm in the US forces state-owned Dubai Ports World to relinquish

control of terminals at six major American ports. Critics of the ports deal feared an increased
risk of terrorist attack, saying the UAE was home to two of the 9/11 hijackers.
2006 March-June - Economic changes announced. They include bringing the days of the official

weekend into line with Western nations, introducing laws to reduce the dependence on foreign
workers and allowing labourers to form trade unions.
2006 16 December - First-ever national elections. A small number of hand-picked voters choose

half of the members of the Federal National Council - an advisory body.

2007 April - UAE unveils a national development strategy aimed at making it a world leader.
2007 September - Dubai and Qatar become the two biggest shareholders of the London Stock

Exchange, the world's third largest stock exchange.

2008 January - France and the UAE sign a deal allowing France to set up a permanent military

base in the UAE's largest emirate, Abu Dhabi.

2008 July - The UAE cancels the entire debt owed to it by Iraq - a sum of almost $7bn.
Boom grinds to halt
2009 February - Dubai sold $10bn in bonds to the UAE in order to ease liquidity problems.
2009 March - Sulim Yamadayev, a rival of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, dies after an

apparent assassination in Dubai.

2009 May - The UAE withdraws from plans for Gulf monetary union, dealing a blow to further

economic integration in the region.

2009 November/December - Government-owned investment arm Dubai World requests a

moratorium on debt repayments, prompting fears it might default on billions of dollars of debt
held abroad. Abu Dhabi gives Dubai a $10bn handout - $4.1bn to bail out Dubai World.
2010 January - Burj Khalifa tower opens in Dubai as the world's tallest building and man-made

Palestinian militant leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is killed in a Dubai hotel, in a hit widely
blamed on Israel.

2011 March - UAE joins international military operation in Libya.

2011 April - Five activists who signed an online petition calling for reforms are imprisoned.

They are pardoned and released in November.

2012 April - The UAE recalls its ambassador to Iran after the Iranian president visits a Gulf

island, Abu Musa, claimed by both countries.

A member of the ruling family in Ras al-Khaimah is put under house arrest after calling for
political openness.
2012 July - The UAE begins operating a key overland oil pipeline which bypasses the Strait of

Hormuz. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the strait at the mouth of the Gulf, a vital oil-
trade route.
2012 November - Mindful of protests in nearby Bahrain, the UAE outlaws online mockery of its

own government or attempts to organise public protests through social media. Since March it
has detained more that 60 activists without charge - some of them supporters of the Islah
Islamic group, which is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood elsewhere in Arab countries.
2013 July - Sixty eight alleged members of Al-Islah are jailed on charges of planning to

overthrow the government.

2013 November - Trial in UAE of Egyptians and Emiratis accused of starting a branch of the

Muslim Brotherhood, which is outlawed in the Gulf state.

2014 January - Sheikh Kalifa, president of the UAE Federal Council and Abu Dhabi's ruler,

undergoes surgery after suffering a stroke.

2014 March - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdraw their ambassadors

to Qatar in protest at what they say is its interference in their internal affairs.
2014 July - The UAE announces plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to Mars in what would be

the first space probe by an Arab or Islamic country.

2014 August - UAE intervenes in Libya, targetting Islamist militants with air strikes, US officials

2014 September - The UAE and four other Arab states take part in US-led air strikes on Islamic

State militants in Syria.

2014 November - Amnesty International accuses UAE of carrying out an unprecedented

clampdown on dissent since 2011.

UAE publishes its list ''terrorist organisations'', including dozens of Islamist groups and
2014 March - The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain temporarily withdraw their ambassadors

from Qatar after alleging that it has been meddling in their internal affairs.
2015 March - The UAE and four other GCC states take part in Saudi-led air strikes on Houthi

rebels in Yemen.
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It is the tallest structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). Construction of the Burj
Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed 5 years later in 2009. The primary structure

is reinforced concrete. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called
Downtown Dubai.

Let us go back to the beginning. In 2003, building are arising from everywhere in Dubai. The
wildest projects (Palm Jumeirah, Dubai World, Dubai Land) are launched one after the other
(some of these projects will never be finished because of the economic crisis which hit Dubai
hard in 2009).
Emaar, one of the largest real estate companies in Dubai, announced in 2003 that it intended to
break the record for the tallest tower in the world. At that time, the tower was to be called Burj
Dubai, and was supposed to be a monument in celebration of Dubai. The height of the tower,
originally planned to be 560 meters, had increased continuously to ensure the record was held
for as long as possible.

From that moment onwards, as with many projects in the UAE, everything went very quickly. In
late 2004, the construction site began. The first floor came out of the ground in late 2005, and
the tower grew at a staggering speed.
On 4th January 2010, the tower was inaugurated and partially opened to the public, breaking
numerous world records.
Meanwhile, the economic crisis had hit Dubai hard, draining the money out of the emirate,
leaving many developers penniless. The emirate of Abu Dhabi had no interest in seeing the
collapse of its neighbour, so they decided to fund up to $ 10 billion worth of ongoing projects in
Dubai. In return for this generous assistance, the Burj Dubai had its name changed to Burj
Khalifa just before its inauguration, after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, the Emir of Abu
To give you an idea of the scale of the achievement that is the Burj Khalifa, here are some
828 meters high, it is almost three Eiffel Towers stacked on top of each other, and that's

the record for the tallest structure ever built by man

160 habitable floors, the last culminating at 636 meters height

Dhabi hosts the third largest mosque in the world - after the ones in Mecca and Madina in Saudi

It is named after the founder and first President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al
Nahyan. He chose the location and took substantial influence on the architecture and the design
of the mosque. Based on his vision, the mosque was built with the rise of 11 metres above sea
level, and 9.5 metres above the street level so that it is clearly visible from all directions.
It is built as a monument to consolidate Islamic culture and a prominent centre for Islamic
According to his wish, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also the last resting place of its name
giver, who passed away in 2004.


As per the direction of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the mosque is located in the
heart of the new Abu Dhabi between Musaffah Bridge and Maqta Bridge. The construction of
AED 2.5 billion-project began in the late 1996. Approximately 38 contracting companies and
about 3,500 workers helped realising the complex over a period of almost 12 years.
On the 20th of December 2007, the mosque was initially opened to the public and prayers. The
first prayer was held in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
President of the UAE.


Mostly made by marble

Of these, 300 are in the heart of Sharjah and on its immediate outskirts. However, the

most significant are the King Faisal Mosque, the largest among them; Al Noor Mosque and Al
Maghfirah, which sits in the Al Seef area, on the banks of the creek
Facts about the Mosque
The complex covers an area of 22,412 m2
33,000 tons of steel and 250,000 m3 of concrete were used. They lay on 6,500

foundation piles
The courtyard has a total of 1,048 columns
A total of 82 domes belong to the mosque
The main dome is the largest mosque dome in the world: 85 metres high with a

diameter of 32.8 metres.

Some 41,000 worshippers can be accommodated in the mosque, 7,126 in the main

prayer hall.

The Design
After the first phase involving foundations and the concrete structure, the mosque was finished
with a decoration of Greek and Italian white marble, which is considered to be among the purest
of the world.
For the interior design, calligraphers from the United Arab Emirates, Syria and Jordan
supervised the work of artists from all over the world. Verses from the Holy Quran are written
in three types of Arabic calligraphy.
The mosque's spectacularly decorated interior features unique plants designed specifically for
the mosque, as well as verses from the Holly Quran. In addition, the designers have also used
mosaic to cover the entire courtyard (17,000 square metres) and thus it is considered among
the largest open spaces in mosques worldwide.
Major international companies specialised in the manufacturing of crystal chandeliers
garnished the mosque with seven gold-plated chandeliers in different sizes, made of Swarovski
crystals. The largest of the lustres is the largest in the world.
The Carpet
Another astonishing feature of the mosque is the over 5,625 m2 large carpet in the main prayer
hall. It has been hand-knotted by about 1,300 Iranian craftsmen out of 35 tons of wool and 12
tons of cotton. With a total of 2,268,00 knots, the carpet is the largest in the world. Its estimated
value is about 30 million.

Coloured with 25 natural colours, the green colour is predominant as it was the favourite colour
of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Included into the carpet are horizontal lines
which are slightly raised over the primary carpet-height. These are for the worshipper's
alignment. The effect of the special knotting-technique is that the lines are not visible from a
distance, but only for the worshippers.
In August 2007 the Iranian masterpiece was dissected and brought to Abu Dhabi, where it was
fixed together again in the mosque.
Public Visits
The mosque is open for prayers all day long. For the non-muslim visitors, the visiting time is
from 9 AM - 10 PM every day except for Friday mornings. Visit timing changes during the holy
month of Ramadan.
Guided tours are organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA). For more
information about the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, please visit the website of Sheikh Zayed
Grand Mosque Centre under "External links"
Theory and implementation

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was a dream in the heart of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-
Nahyan "May God rest his Soul", where he established its general vision, set its foundation
stone, and crowned thereby a journey full of fulfilled dreams and great achievements. The
Mosque is an expression of a visionary leader who believed that nothing is impossible and
conceived that the most gracious achievements start from the heart.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was opened for worship in 2007, after work commenced
during the nineties of last century. The Late Sheikh Zayed "May God rest his Soul" set the
foundation stone of the Grand Mosque, and was completed under the guidance of His Highness
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, UAE President "May God protect him", and his brother His
Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Armed
Forces Deputy Commander, and under the supervision of his Highness Sheikh Mansour bin
Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan "May God rest his Soul" founded this great
landmark, featuring four minarets and eighty-two domes, representing different Islamic styles,
in support of noble Islamic cultural values, and to express its genuine religious concepts and
values. The mosque accommodates more than 40,000 worshippers; 10,000 in the internal areas
and 30,000 in the external areas.
There were more than 38 contractors and thousands of workers involved with completing
various elements of the structure and decoration. Materials were also sourced from many
countries including Greece, Italy, Germany, China, Austria, India and New Zealand to name a

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is well known for its diverse Islamic architecture and pure white
colour. White marble clads the external walls and columns and features relief carving of verses
from Holy Quran and Islamic ornamentation.
In accordance with the founding decree, this will include:

1. Establishing exhibitions to commemorate the social and cultural contributions of the late
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and highlight his historical and civic achievements.
2. Organizing professional forums and initiating cultural partnerships with religious institutions
which share the SZGMCs objectives both inside the UAE and abroad.
3. Cooperating with international academic religious centers to create an Islamic institute.
4. Supporting the printing and translation of the Holy Quran in addition to the printing of books,
research works, magazines, manuals and providing the library with audio-visual publications in
addition to the translation of books in alignment to the SZGMCs objectives.
5. Supporting social, religious and cultural initiatives aiming to promote mutual respect and
understanding between different religions. Organizing lectures, seminars and forums for the
memorization and recitation of the Holy Quran. Organizing seminars on Islamic architecture,
Arabic calligraphy and Arabic syntax as well as a competition on Quran recitation and Adhan
(Call to prayer).
6. Cooperating with associations (government and NGOs) to achieve the mission of the SZGMC.
7. Introduce the mosque as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and encourage international
visitors and residents to visit the mosque for educational and tourism purposes.


Abu Dhabis people today enjoy living in modern, technologically advanced surroundings, a
huge historic leap from living in simple mud-brick huts like some of its previous settlers.
The emirate is rich in archeological finds. There has been evidence that the very first
settlements were from the 3rd millennium BC in some regions of Abu Dhabi. Its early history
resembles that of the nomadic period with typical herding and fishing lifestyles.
Settlements can be traced back as far as over 5000 years ago, and have been found around parts
of Abu Dhabi, such as Jebel Hafeet near Al Ain and on the island of Umm al Nar.
Abu Dhabis most significant settlement was those of the Bani Yas Bedoiun tribe which were
located by the coast around the 16th Century. Afterwards, the discovery of fresh water led the
tribe to relocate to the island which was more fertile with large quantities of wildlife. Soon after,
the ruling Al Nahyan family decided to flee to the island also.

Under the rule of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa, Abu Dhabi thoroughly developed through the
trading of pearls, and in 1892 came the very first exclusive treaty linking Abu Dhabi with Great
Britain. The emirates location was seen as a great strategic convenience connecting it with India
and the east, and it was established as the Trucial coast.
Whilst Abu Dhabis wealth was looking on the upside, it was badly hit by the intervention of
Japans pearl industry and also by the 1930s global recession. Furthermore, Sheik Zayed bin
Khalifa passed away which added more uncertainty to Abu Dhabis prosperity.
However, this was not the end of Abu Dhabis fortunes. In 1939 Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al
Nahyan granted petroleum concession to the Trucial Coast Development Oil Company,
(renamed the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company, ADPC, in 1962) in a bid to search for large oil
reserves. In 1958, huge offshore oil reserves were discovered and a year later onshore reserves
were also found. It was not until 1962 that the oil exports began, leading Abu Dhabi on to the
road of unbelievable wealth.
In 1966 Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the new ruler of Abu Dhabi and two years
later he formed the federation of the United Arab Emirates, which was in response to the British
threatening to withdraw from the region by the end of 1971. The ruler of Abu Dhabi realised
that his connection with Britain was vital in order to maintain a strong position in the oil
industry. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan was elected as the first president and with the
assistance of the British started to carry out his vision of developing the country with the
advantage of increased oil revenues.
Sheikh Zayed was known as the Father of the Nation due to his great developments of the city
of Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately he passed away in 2004 and his son Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al
Nahyan was elected as president and made sure he would continue his fathers legacy.
Sheik Khalifa has invested oil reserves sensibly in order to boost tourism figures. With the
outstanding determination of the Al Nahyan family reign, anything is possible.
Key fascinating and impressive developments have been implemented, such as the Saadiyat
Island and Al Grum Resort in order to attract visitors from all over the globe.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has come a long way; rapidly re-constructing itself into a
flawless city, with extraordinary sky scrapers, shopping malls, top quality hotels and
picturesque gardens. It is certainly very different from what it was 50 years ago, but its history
still remains a prominent factor in its path to success.

Abu Dhabi has been converted into a tourist attraction, an up-to-date city with its sophisticated
high rise buildings, extensive entertainmentfacilities and beautiful large gardens and parks.
However, beneath this modern portrayal lies a rich cultural background.
The emirates culture is strongly embedded within the Islamic traditions of Arabia, with many
mosques scattered around the city amongst the modern architecture. Abu Dhabi consists of
many nationalities and cultures, which are all welcomed as long as they do not jeopardise the
Islamic religion. Although the city has changed dramatically in the last 40 years by foreign
influences, the people of Abu Dhabi still uphold old traditions and continue to promote their
cultures to those unaware of their prosperous heritage.
Abu Dhabi is known as the cultural heart of the UAE, enthusiastically marketing cultural and
sporting events that represent its past. Sports include, camel racing and dhow sailing, and
cultural events include Arabic poetry, dances and music.
Many locals dress traditionally, men in their full length shirt-dress (dishdasha) with a white or
red checked head dress (gutra), whilst women wear a black abaya a long black robe and a
headscarf (sheyla).
The official national language of Abu Dhabi is Arabic, although, English, Hindi and Urdu are also
widely spoken in and around the city.

Information about Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates and was
also the largest of the former Trucial States. Abu Dhabi is also a city of the same name within the
Emirate that is the capital of the country, in north central UAE. The city lies on a T-shaped island
jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. An estimated 1,000,000 people lived
there in 2000, with about an 80% expatriate population.
Abu Dhabi city is located at 24.4667 N 54.3667 E. The Emirate has approximately 70% of the
country's entire wealth. Al Ain is Abu Dhabi's second largest urban area with a population of
348,000 (2003 census estimate) and is located 150 kilometres inland.
History of the Abu Dhabi

Parts of Abu Dhabi were settled as far back as the 3rd millennium BC and its early history fits
the nomadic, herding and fishing pattern typical of the broader region. Modern Abu Dhabi
traces its origins to the rise of an important tribal confederation the Bani Yas in the late 18th
century, who also assumed control of Dubai. In the 19th century the Dubai and Abu Dhabi
branches parted ways.
Into the mid-20th century, the economy of Abu Dhabi continued to be sustained mainly by
camel herding, production of dates and vegetables at the inland oases of Al Ain and Liwa, and
fishing and pearl diving off the coast of Abu Dhabi city, which was occupied mainly during the
summer months. Most dwellings in Abu Dhabi city were, at this time constructed of palm fronds

(barasti), with the better-off families occupying mud huts. The growth of the cultured pearl
industry in the first half of the 20th century created hardship for residents of Abu Dhabi as
pearls represented the largest export and main source of cash earnings.
In 1939, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan granted Petroleum concessions, and oil was first
found in 1958. At first, oil money had a marginal impact. A few lowrise concete buildings were
erected, and the first paved road was completed in 1961, but Sheikh Shakbut, uncertain whether
the new oil royalties would last, took a cautious approach, preferring to save the revenue rather
than investing it in development. His brother, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, saw that oil wealth
had the potential to transform Abu Dhabi. The ruling Al Nahayan family decided that Sheikh
Zayed should replace his brother as Ruler and carry out his vision of developing the country. On
August 6, 1966, with the assistance of the British, Sheikh Zayed became the new ruler. See
generally, Al-Fahim, M, From Rags to Riches: A Story of Abu Dhabi, Chapter Six (London Centre
of Arab Studies, 1995).
With the announcement by Britain in 1968 that it would withdraw from the Gulf area by 1971,
Sheikh Zayed became the main driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates.
After the Emirates gained independence in 1971, oil wealth continued to flow to the area and
traditional mud-brick huts were rapidly replaced with banks, boutiques and modern highrises.
Current ruler of the Abu Dhabi

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan is the hereditary emir and ruler of Abu Dhabi,
as well as the current president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Postal History of the Abu Dhabi

Now part of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi was formerly the largest of the seven
sheikdoms which made up the Trucial States on the so-called Pirate Coast of eastern Arabia
between Oman and Qatar. The Trucial States as a whole had an area of some 32,000 square
miles of which Abu Dhabi alone had 26,000. The capital was the town of Abu Dhabi which is on
an offshore island and was first settled in 1761.
The name Trucial States arose from treaties made with Great Britain in 1820 which ensured a
condition of truce in the area and the suppression of piracy and slavery. The treaty expired on
31 December 1966. The decision to form the UAE was made on 18 July 1971 and the federation
was founded on 1 August 1972, although the inaugural UAE stamps were not issued until 1
January 1973.
Oil production began on Das Island after prospecting during 1956-1960. Das Island is part of
Abu Dhabi but lies well offshore, about 100 miles north of the mainland. Oil production on the
mainland began in 1962. As a major oil producer, Abu Dhabi soon acquired massive financial
wealth. Investment in long-term construction projects and the establishment of a finance sector
has led to the area becoming a centre of commerce which may well secure its lasting importance
when the oil resources are exhausted.
In December 1960, postage stamps of British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia were supplied to
the construction workers on Das Island but the postal service was administered via the agency
office in Bahrain. The mail was also postmarked Bahrain so there was no clear indication that a
letter had come from Das Island.

On 30 March 1963, a British agency was opened in Abu Dhabi and issued the agency stamps
after the sheik objected to the use of the Trucial States definitives. Mail from Das Island
continued to be administered by Bahrain but was now cancelled by an Abu Dhabi Trucial States
The first Abu Dhabi stamps were a definitive series of 30 March 1964 depicting Shaikh
Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan. There were eleven values under the Indian currency that was
used of 100 naye paise = 1 rupee. The range of values was 5 np to 10 rupees. Despite the
introduction of these definitives, the British agency stamps remained valid in both Abu Dhabi
and Das Island until the end of 1966 when they were withdrawn.
A post office was opened on Das Island on 6 January 1966 and this ended the Bahrain service.
Mail from Das Island was now handled within Abu Dhabi.
When the treaty with Great Britain expired at the end of 1966, Abu Dhabi introduced a new
currency of 1000 fils = 1 dinar and took over its own postal administration, including the Das
Island office. The earlier issues were subject to surcharges in this currency and replacement
definitives were released depicting the new ruler Shaikh Zayed. Issues continued until
introduction of UAE stamps in 1973.
In all, Abu Dhabi issued 95 stamps from 1964 to 1972, the final set being three views of the
Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Climate of the Abu Dhabi

Sunny/blue skies can be expected through-out the year. The months June through September
are generally hot and humid with temperatures averaging above 40C(110F). The weather is
usually pleasant from October to May. January to February is cooler and may require the use of
a light jacket. The oasis city of Al Ain regularly records the highest summer temperatures in the
country, however the dry desert air and cooler evenings make it a traditional retreat from the
intense summer heat and year round humidity of the capital city.
Transport of the Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi International Airport serves this city. The local time is GMT + 4 hours.
Development of the Abu Dhabi

New developments on islands surrounding the city plan to increase the population of the city by
up to 800,000.
Trivia of the Abu Dhabi

The city of Abu Dhabi, and the majority of UAE, has a large amount of stray cats. The cartoon cat
Garfield would often put the kitten Nermal in a box and ship him to Abu Dhabi. The phrase "Abu
Dhabi is where all the cute kittens go" is sometimes used in the comic.

Although little is known about the ancient history of this area, archaeological finds suggest that
humans have been living here since at least 3000 BC. Other evidence links the peoples of what
are now the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman to the mysterious Bronze Age Magan
civilization. Magan ships sailed to Babylonia, Mesopotamia and beyond, trading copper from
Oman and pearls from the mouth of Dubai Creek with the heavyweights of the Bronze Age

economy. The Magan civilization waned around 2000 BC, but Dubai's instinct for trade
Excavations at Jumeira, about 10km south of Dubai, unearthed a 6th-century AD caravan
station, proving that the area's population was still keeping the trade routes well oiled. Around
this same time, the Sassanids, a Persian dynasty who had inhabited the mouth of Dubai Creek
since 224 AD, were driven out by the Umayyads, who came to stay and brought Islam with them
Exploiting their prime location between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, the new
inhabitants, working with the old, began re-establishing old trade routes and spreading the
word of Allah, all the while making folks fantastic deals for the lowest everyday prices in the
Gulf. As trade began to match pearl diving's importance to the local economy, merchant dhows
(ships) sailed as far as China, returning with silk and porcelain for Middle Eastern and European
markets. This maritime madness reached its peak between 750 and 1258 AD.
Soon everyone wanted a piece of the Gulf's action. By the late 16th century the Portuguese were
attempting to control local trade. Their success was limited, and they retreated when faced with
French, Dutch and British attempts to take over the ancient trade routes. The British finally
gained control of the region's waterways in 1766. Dubai was caught between local power
struggles and the Europe's imperial dreams, but somehow turned this bad situation to its
advantage, expanding its pearl trade through every channel.
In 1833 a neighboring tribal power, the Bani Yas of what's now Saudi Arabia, decided that Dubai
would be its new turf. Eight hundred Bani Yas moved into the Bur Dubai area under the
leadership of Maktoum bin Butti, founder of the Al-Maktoum dynasty that still rules the emirate
The region's two economic epicenters, neighboring Sharjah and Lingah in modern-day Iran,
were already losing business to bustling Dubai. Shaikh Maktoum decided to capitalize on the
opportunity. In 1892 he signed an exclusive business deal with the British and in 1894
permitted a full tax exemption for foreign traders. Persian merchants were the first group of
expats to take advantage of the deal, but traders the world over were on the way. In 1903, when
the Shaikh convinced a major British steamship line to make Dubai a port of call, a 25-year
boom began.
The Great Depression, compounded by the emergence of artificial pearls in 1929, cast a dark
cloud over Dubai's newfound prosperity. Young Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed al-Maktoum,
convinced that the pearl trade was dead, decided that this cloud had a 24-karat gold lining.
Dubai wasn't duty-free for nothing. Soon, the barely legal re-export business (other nations
might have referred to it 'smuggling'), whereby goods were cheaply imported into a duty-free
port and immediately exported to another market, exploded. After Dubai Creek was dredged in
1963, allowing almost any boat safe harbor, the gold smuggling re-exporting business took off
like a rocket.

Dubai's lucky streak had only just begun. In 1966, oil was discovered and the economy kicked
into overdrive. The British had already decided to pack up the empire and head home, and in
1971, Dubai became the seventh emirate of the newly formed UAE. Shaikh Rashid agreed to a
formula that gave the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai the most weight in the federation, and
made sure that Dubai would continue living life in the fast lane. Border disputes and friction
about the integration of the Emirates led to some tension, but in 1979, Shaikh Rahid and Shaikh
Zayed of Abu Dhabi sealed a compromise; in effect, Dubai would remain a bastion of free trade
while Abu Dhabi imposed a tighter federal structure on the rest of the Emirates.
When Shaikh Rashid, the architect of Dubai's success and unrivaled financial freedom, passed
away in 1990, his son Shaikh Maktoum took the reins of power( but let Adam Smith's invisible
hand continue to do most of the steering). The core of Maktoum's policies is economic freedom
and the no-holds-barred promotion of Dubai, which makes the city a very fun place. By the mid-
1990s, the Dubai Desert Classic had become a well-established stop on the Professional Golfers
Association (PGA) tour. World-class tennis tournaments, boat and horse races, desert rallies
and one of the largest air shows in the world attract millions of visitors to the city. Other high
profile events, such as the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises, bring hordes
of tourists into town. Tourism matches trade and oil in importance to the emirate's economy.
The story of Dubai reads like a rags to riches tale, and indeed, it is hard to imagine anywhere
else in the world that has developed at such a pace, in such a short time, for so many different


Sharjah Museums
About The Museum

The first Sharjah Islamic Museum opened its doors in the Heritage Area in 1996. Its extensive
collections were moved to the impressive building of the traditional Souq Al Majarrah to be
reinterpreted and redisplayed. The new Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization was opened on
June 6, 2008.
Why you should visit Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization holds thousands of rare and important Islamic
artifacts, Here; you can admire the timeless achievements of Islamic civilization and its

universality, learn about aspects of Islamic faith, science, discoveries and culture, and cherish
the beauty of Islamic art.
Admire the beauty of more than five thousand historical artifacts representative of Islamic

The museum comprises seven spacious galleries and display areas for its permanent collection
organized as follows:
The Abu Bakr Gallery of Islamic Faith

The Abu Bakr Gallery of Islamic Faith presents an introduction to Islam and the Holy Quran. It
presents the five pillars of Islam, important principles of Islamic doctrine and a fascinating
account of the Hajj or Islamic pilgrimage. Outstanding artifacts include monumental sections
from the Kiswah, which covers the Kaaba in Makkah, rare historical Quran manuscripts as well
as models, photographs, presentations and important facts about mosque architecture from
around the world.
The Ibn Al-Haytham Gallery of Science and Technology

This Gallery showcases the achievements of Islamic science and the contributions of great
Islamic scholars to world civilization. Sophisticated three-dimensional models, audiovisuals and
extensive information panels chart some of the most outstanding discoveries, inventions and
theories developed by Islamic scholars in such fields as astronomy, medicine, geography,
architecture, mathematics, chemistry, military technology, marine navigation and engineering.
Islamic Art Gallery 1

This gallery shows a wide range of artefacts such as pottery, metalwork, woodcarving,
manuscripts and textiles, made in the Islamic world between the 1st century AH (7th century
AD) and the 7th century AH (13th century AD).This early period marked the expansion of
Islamic civilization and culture from the Arabian peninsula to the Atlantic in the West and the
borders of China in the East. In the process, the material cultures of the ancient Hellenistic and
Persian worlds were absorbed and transformed in line with the aesthetic, cultural and religious
tastes of the new Islamic powers. Gradually, a new style emerged, characterized by an emphasis
on Arab-Islamic scripts as well as geometric and floral decoration.
Islamic Art Gallery 2

This gallery displays important Islamic artworks dating from the 7th century AH / 13th century
AD to the 13th century AH / 19th century AD.
Among the objects displayed are those that date back to the days following the Mongol invasion
of the eastern Islamic world in the 13th century. The gallery also presents a wide selection of
fascinating objects coming from Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal lands, representing an era in

which the Islamic world was characterized by three powerful and competing Empires, based on
and around the Mediterranean, Iran and South Asia. It was also a period of increasing global
trade, economic growth and fruitful, creative interaction between artistic, cultural and indeed
religious communities.
Islamic Art Galleries 3-4

These galleries are devoted to showcasing Islamic arts, crafts and weapons used between the
13th century AH / 19th century AD and 14th century AH / 20th century AD.
This period is characterized by the increasing influx of European ideas and products. Traditional
markets, artisans and craftsmen now had serious competition from cheap, mass-produced
goods brought in from the West. Local arts and crafts were increasingly produced for tourists,
which led to changes in their style and quality. Traditional weapons continued to be popular
among local populations and tourists alike. Now, they were used less in battle, but in ceremonial
parades, as part of a mans formal costume, as honorable gifts to dignitaries or indeed as
collectible artefacts in their own right.
The Al Majarrah Temporary Exhibition Gallery

In this gallery, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions of international standing twice a year.
Highlights from the collection
1. Islamic Coins: The museum displays a large important collection of early Islamic coins,

including a large number of Umayyad and Abbasid dinars and dirhams.

2. The Lion or Lynx Censer: Incense has always had a significant meaning in Islamic

cultures, both in religious and secular contexts. The burning of incense is a traditional
gesture of hospitality in both private houses and public buildings. At the same time it
suggests wealth and opulence. A bronze censer in the form of a feline animal, the 5th
6th centuries AH / 11th 12th centuries AD, Khorasan - Eastern Iran. . You can find this
wonderful artefact in Islamic Art Gallery 1.

Due to harsh desert conditions, the traditional food of the United Arab Emirates uses a lot of
meat, grain, and dairy. Vegetables are easy to grow in some areas, and are strongly featured in
the diet. Traditional dishes include Maq'louba, Margooga, Harees, Machbous, Frsee'ah, Fireed,
Jisheid, and Mishwy. Meats traditionally used were chicken or small fowl, such as Houbara
bustards, and goats. As camels are highly prized for their milk and transporting ability, the
eating of camel meat is normally reserved for special occasions.
Seafood has been the mainstay of the Emirati diet for centuries. The United Arab Emirates
cuisine is a reflection of a great Arabian heritage and vast exposure to civilizations over time.

Muslims are prohibited from eating pork, so it is not included in Arab menus. Meat, fish, and rice
are the staple foods of the Emirati cuisine. Lamb and mutton are the more favored meats, then
goatand beef.
Popular beverages are coffee and tea, which can be supplemented with cardamom, saffron, or
mint to give it a distinct flavor.[1]
Hotels frequently have pork substitutes such as beef sausages and veal rashers on their
breakfast menus. If pork is available, it is clearly labelled as such.
Alcohol is generally only served in hotel restaurants and bars (but not in Sharjah). All nightclubs
and golf clubs are permitted to sell alcohol. Specific supermarkets may sell pork, but are sold in
separate sections.[2]
Dishes forming part of the Emirati cuisine include:[3]
Al Jabab bread
Camel meat

Camel milk
soft drinks

The mosque's date of construction is uncertain[3]and because the mud and stone built structure
uses no wood, radiocarbon dating is not possible. It is estimated to date to the 15th
century,[5]however some much earlier estimates have been proposed.[2] The site was
investigated by the archaeological center of Fujairah in co-operation with the University of
Sydney from 1997-98.[2] and Fujairah Archaeology and Heritage Department came up with the
conclusion that the mosque was believed to be built in 1446 AD, along with the two watch
towers overlooking the mosque and the village.[3]
The small, square structure has an area of 53 square metres (570 sq ft) and was built from
materials available in the area, primarily stones of various sizes and mud bricks coated in many
layers of whitewashed plaster. The roof has four squat, helical domes that are supported by only
one centrally placed pillar that also forms the ceiling. Entrance to the mosque is through double-
winged wooden doors.[2]
The prayer hall has a small mihrab (the niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca), a
simple pulpit, arches and openings. A central pillar divides the internal space into four squares
of similar dimensions. The pillar supports all four domes that can be seen from the exterior.[4]
Inside the prayer hall, a number of small decorative windows allow light and air to enter the
mosque. There are also cube-shaped spaces carved into the thick walls where copies of the
Quran and other books are stored.[6]
The mosque continues to host daily prayers and is a tourist attraction.[2]

To ensure effective governance of the United Arab Emirates after its establishment in 1971, the
rulers of the seven emirates that comprise the Federation agreed to draw up a provisional
Constitution specifying the powers allocated to the new federal institutions. As in many federal
structures around the world, certain powers remained the prerogative of each of the individual
emirates, which already had their own governing institutions prior to the establishment of the
Under Articles 120 and 121 of the UAE Constitution (which was made permanent in 1996), the
main areas under the purview of the federal authorities are foreign affairs, security and defence,
nationality and immigration issues, education, public health, currency, postal, telephone and
other communications services, air traffic control and licensing of aircraft. In addition a number

of other sectors specifically prescribed include labour relations, banking, delimitation of

territorial waters and extradition of criminals. All other matters were left to the jurisdiction of
the individual emirates and their local governments.
A closer look at the working of the federal and local governments, both separately and
combined, underlines the UAEs unique amalgamation of the traditional and modern political
systems that have guaranteed national stability and laid the foundation for development.
At present, the federal system of government includes the Supreme Council, the Council of
Ministers (Cabinet), a parliamentary body in the form of the Federal National Council (FNC) and
the Federal Supreme Court, which is representative of an independent judiciary.
The Supreme Council, comprising the rulers of the seven emirates, elects a president and vice-
president from amongst its members to serve for a renewable five-year term in office.
Accordingly, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, was elected to the
office of president following the death of his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2004.
The Supreme Council has both legislative and executive powers. It ratifies federal laws and
decrees, plans general policy, approves the nomination of the prime minister and accepts his
resignation. It also relieves him from his post upon the recommendation of the president.
The Council of Ministers, described in the Constitution as the executive authority for the

Federation, is headed by a prime minister, chosen by the president in consultation with the
Supreme Council. The prime minister then proposes the Cabinet, which requires the
presidents ratification. H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai,
currently serves as vice-president and prime minister.
Supreme Council Members

H.H. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi
H.H. Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of
H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah
H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah
H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah
H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm al-Qaiwain
H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman

Members of the Cabinet

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence: Vice President H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior: H.H. Lt Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs : H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al

Federal National Council

The FNC is the UAE's parliamentary body, comprising 40 members eight from Abu Dhabi and
Dubai; six from Sharjah and Ra's al-Khaimah; and four from Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain and
The FNCs functions include:
Discussing constitutional amendments and draft laws, which may be approved, amended or
Reviewing the annual draft budget of the Federation
Debating international treaties and conventions
Influencing the Governments work through the channels of discussion, question and answer
sessions, recommendations and following up on complaints.
Federal Judiciary

The Federal judiciary, which is accorded independence under the Constitution, includes the
Federal Supreme Court and Courts of First Instance. The Federal Supreme Court comprises five
judges appointed by the Supreme Council. The judges decide on the constitutionality of federal
laws and arbitrate on inter-emirate disputes and disputes between the Federal Government and
the emirates.
Political Developments

In line with the UAEs rapid socio-economic progress, major steps have been taken, both at the
federal and local levels, to reform the political system in the UAE in order to make it more
responsive to the needs of the country's population and to ensure that it is better equipped to
cope with the challenges of development.
This process has been directed, at a federal level, by President Sheikh Khalifa and devised and
guided at an executive level by UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed. Similar
programmes have been launched at the local level in the individual emirates of the Federation.
The seven principles that steer government work are:

Enhance the role of federal entities in devising effective regulations and integrated policies by
successful planning and enforcement
Enhance effective coordination and cooperation among federal entities and with local
Focus on delivering high-quality, customer-centric and integrated government services
Invest in human resource capabilities and develop leaders
Promote efficient resource management within federal entities and leverage dynamic
Pursue a culture of excellence through strategic thinking, continuous performance
improvement and superior results

Enhance transparency and accountable governance mechanisms throughout the federal

Local Government

Corresponding to the federal institutions are the local governments of the seven emirates.
Varying in size, they have evolved along with the countrys growth. However, their mechanisms
differ from emirate to emirate, depending on factors such as population, area, and degree of
The largest and most populous emirate, Abu Dhabi, has its own central governing organ, the
Executive Council, chaired by Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, under
which there are a number of separate departments, equivalent to ministries. A number of
autonomous agencies also exist with clearly specified powers. These include the Environmental
Agency Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture
and Heritage and Health Authority Abu Dhabi.
The emirate is divided into two regions Al Gharbia (previously known as the Western Region)
and the Eastern Region, headed by Rulers Representatives. The main cities, Abu Dhabi and Al
Ain, are administered by municipalities, each of which has a nominated Municipal Council. A
municipal authority has also been created for Al Gharbia. Abu Dhabi also has a National
Consultative Council, chaired by a Speaker, with 60 members selected from among the emirates
main tribes and families.
The Dubai Executive Council, established in 2003, has similar functions for the UAEs second-
largest emirate and is headed by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum. Sharjah and Ajman also have Executive Councils. In addition to an Executive Council,
Sharjah has developed its own Consultative Council. Further, Sharjah, with three enclaves on the
countrys east coast, has adopted the practice of devolving some authority on a local basis, with
branches of the Sharjah Emiri Diwan (Court), headed by deputy chairmen, in both Kalba and
Khor Fakkan. A similar pattern of municipalities, departments and autonomous agencies can be
found in each of the other emirates.
Federal and Local Government

The powers of the various federal institutions and their relationship with the separate local
institutions have changed since the establishment of the state. Under the terms of the
Constitution, rulers may relinquish certain areas of authority to the Federal Government one
such significant move was the decision to unify the armed forces in the mid-1970s. The 1971
Constitution also permitted each emirate to retain, or to take up, membership in the
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the Organisation of Arab Petroleum
Exporting Countries, although none have done so (Abu Dhabi relinquished its membership in
favour of the federation in 1971).
The relationship between the federal and local systems of government continues to evolve. As
the smaller emirates have benefitted from education, for example, they have also been able to
recruit personnel to local government services that were once handled on their behalf by

federal institutions. These new systems of government have not, however, replaced the
traditional forms that coexist alongside. The key driver behind such developments remains
performance and efficiency in the delivery of services to citizens and the expatriate population
residing in the UAE.
Traditional Government

Traditionally, governments were always small, both in size and scope. This was natural, given
the size of the communities and the difficult economic environment in which they existed.
However, this environment valued consensus as well as participation, and the traditional form
of such participation would exist within the context of a majlis or council. In this framework,
issues relevant to the community were discussed and debated. Opinions were expressed and the
sheikh would take these opinions into consideration prior to taking a decision.
Traditionally, the ruler of an emirate the sheikh was the leader of the most powerful tribe,
while each tribe, and often its sub-sections, also had a chief or sheikh. These maintained their
authority only as long as they were able to retain the support of their people. This, in essence,
was a form of direct democracy. Part of that process was the unwritten, but strong, principle
that the people should have open access to their ruler, and that he should hold a frequent and
open majlis, in which his fellow citizens could voice their opinions.
Such a direct democracy, which may be ideally suited to small societies, becomes more difficult
to maintain as the population grows. Simultaneously, the increasing sophistication of
government administration means that many people now find it more appropriate to deal
directly with these institutions on most matters, rather than seek personal meetings with their
Despite the change in times, a fascinating aspect of life in the UAE even today and one that is
essential to better understand its political system is the way in which the institution of the
majlis maintains its relevance. In many emirates, the ruler and a number of other senior family
members continue to hold an open majlis, in which participants may raise a wide range of
topics, both of personal interest and of broader concern. This remains an important parallel of
political participation and enriches political participation in the cultural context. It is now
evident that it is these elements of governance that have served as a solid foundation in
maintaining the unique identity of the country against a backdrop of rapid economic and social
A Balanced Approach

The changes envisioned and undertaken by the UAE leadership represent an indigenous
initiative reflecting the need to transform the countrys traditional political heritage based on
consensus, the primacy of the consultative process and gradual social change into a more
modern system that takes into account the rapid socio-economic advances made since the
establishment of the federation.