UAE (United Arab Emirates)
Going on any trip, we always try as much as possible to study the history and way of life of this country or city, so my desire to tell you not only the rest of “us”, but also what the country, its history, heritage and future, what you need to know and how important it is.
A lot of necessary and useful information we heard from the guide Igor, who was a man with a wealth of knowledge “not from the Internet” about this country, as well as having a subtle sense of humor that really added positive to the trip.
A bit of general information Almost immediately after the statement of Great Britain (I will not complicate my story, you can read it here) about the withdrawal from the Persian Gulf, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan (Emir of Abu Dhabi) and Rashid (Emir of Dubai) met on February 18, 1968 in Argub Al Seder (on the border of the emirates) and agreed to establish the UAE, despite the territorial dispute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Over the next 3 years Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Queun, and Fujairah joined the treaty. All aspects of the future union were discussed at a conference in Dubai on July 18, 1971. The state of the United Arab Emirates was officially established on December 2, 1971. On May 19, 1973, its own currency, the UAE Dirham, was put into circulation. It was Sheikh Zayed who managed to convince everyone that unity is strength! I loved the words he said: “Man is the most precious value. Riches are worthless if they do not serve the people, and the state must give priority to the care of the human being and the upbringing of the citizen among all its affairs.
The city of Abu Dhabi became the capital of the country. The first president was Sheikh Zayd, who was reelected five times. After Sheikh Zayed’s death in 2004, Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan (his son, the new ruler of Abu Dhabi) became president.
I will not list all the sheikhs, it would take most of the report, although each sheikh is worthy of a separate conversation, anyone interested can read the link below, among them is a sheikh. Sheikhs of the UAE
In the 47 years of its existence, the UAE has gone from seven poor emirates with fishing villages to a prosperous modern country. Oil and gas revenues, together with their judicious use, have done wonders! Today, the gas and oil production is only 7 percent, while, for example, revenues from the tourism industry are 20 percent. The leaders are well aware that oil and gas are not eternal, and according to some calculations the oil is left for 60 years, the state is thinking about the next generation, the reserves will always be useful. The development of the country goes like this: – Balanced and correct domestic state policy; – Investment of funds and capital in active infrastructure development in various economic areas; – Tolerance to foreign nationals living and working in the UAE; – Preferential conditions for business development. The absence of customs and taxation fees; – The inflow of more and more capital into the country, the development of companies and, as a consequence, the development of the country as a whole.
The United Arab Emirates, a federal state, consists of seven emirates (from the largest to the smallest): Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Ras Al Khaimah Fujairah Umm Al Quwain Ajman. The biggest emirate is Abu Dhabi with the area of 67 340 sq km or 80.5% of the territory of the UAE. In second place is Dubai, with an area of 3,880 sq km, which is 17 times less than Abu Dhabi. The smallest is Ajman with an area of only 259 sq km. Each emirate is an absolute monarchy with a ruling emir.
How many people live in the UAE? As of 2017, the estimate is 9.2 million. Why approximate? Because the labor force is growing every day. The country is literally growing by the hour. The population is distributed roughly as follows: Dubai – 3,000,000 Abu Dhabi – 2,500,000 Sharjah – 1,300,000 Ajman – 350,000 Ras Al Khaimah – 350,000 Fujairah – 200,000 Umm Al Qaiwain – 75,000
Ethnic Composition Ethnic Arabs and UAE citizens are by no means the largest ethnic group in the country. Indians are the most numerous with 2.5 to 3 million inhabitants, followed by Pakistanis at 1.2 to 1.5 million. Citizens are only in third place with 1,084,764 (2015 information). the number of citizens is calculated to the accuracy of one person, and the data on newcomers is approximate. Indeed, citizens in the UAE are strictly counted, while newcomers are not. The fourth largest group consists of immigrants from Bangladesh – 700 thousand to 1 million, followed by the Filipinos – 500-700 thousand Iranians and Egyptians – 400-500 thousand Nepalis and Sri Lankans – 400-500 thousand. About 250,000 Russians and natives of former Soviet republics live in the UAE. Given that each year about 400,000 Russians come to Arab Emirates to rest, our citizens are in demand in the tourism industry. Do not be surprised when you do not see an Arab at the hotel reception, citizens do not work in such small positions. Citizens work in management – banks, police, customs and other government agencies. The exceptions are guest managers and workers from Europe. Such a diverse ethnic composition makes the demographic statistics in the UAE very interesting. Features of the composition of the population There are 2.15 times more men than women in the UAE. It is for this reason it is not recommended for women to go to the UAE alone. Imagine for a second the gigantic sexual dissatisfaction of guest workers.
The emblem of the United Arab Emirates contains a small number of elements, each playing a specific role and having a symbolic meaning. The main elements of the emblem of this state are: a golden (yellow) falcon; a round-shaped shield; the national flag of the UAE; a ribbon with the name of the country.
The central place on the official symbol of the Arab Emirates is occupied by the image of a falcon. This bird appeared on the emblem in 1973, it carries a deep sacred meaning. Falcon is a symbol of sovereignty in the UAE. It confidently holds in his paws a scarlet ribbon, which is written on the name of the state in Arabic. For many inhabitants of the Emirates, the bird of prey is a status symbol. At one time, falconry was a popular but very expensive occupation for the inhabitants, and competitions, festivals and contests were held. The bird of prey is depicted with its wings wide open, head turned to the left. In the tail plumage one can count seven feathers equal to the number of emirates into which the country is divided. The bird is colored in yellow (gold) and white (silver), which correspond to the precious metals. The yellow color, which corresponds to gold in heraldry, reminds us that most of the country is occupied by the desert.
The flag of the UAE Along the staff of the flag there is a vertical band of bright red, which occupies a quarter of the length of the rectangle. The rest of the field is three horizontal stripes of equal width. The lowest one is black, the middle one is white, and the top one is green.
The people of the Emirates are proud of their flag and believe it reflects all the wealth of their homeland, the strength of its inhabitants’ spirit and the beauty of nature. The flag, according to analysts, symbolizes the process of gradualization of the country’s Constitution and the rights of its citizens and speaks of the endurance and pride of the UAE people.
The vertical red stripe is the base of the cloth. Its symbolism is that it seems to encompass the staff and speaks of the extraordinary strength and proud greatness of the spirit of the citizens. The red stripe is the basis on which the political and moral foundations were formed and which is inviolable not only in the government buildings but also in the hearts of ordinary people.
The green stripe on the UAE flag speaks to the great power of Islam and the importance of this religion in the lives of Emirati citizens. The foundations of Islam are the main pillars upon which every true believer relies. This religion replaces many things for them, and that is why its role in the education and formation of the national character is so great. And the color green on the flag symbolizes youth and the power of nature, which in this country is as strong and powerful as it is harsh. The white island on the cloth is a symbol of purity and tolerance. These are the main social values for the UAE citizens, their basic baggage and the priorities they pass on from generation to generation.
The black field is an indication of the main material wealth of the homeland. Black is the color of oil, the “black gold” stock of the United Arab Emirates. Found in the 1920s in this region, oil played such a big role in the development and formation of the country, that it allowed to create the economic miracle, which the whole world knows today under the name of the UAE. Today, under its flag, this state proudly demonstrates to guests the achievements of advanced construction and engineering, making them marvel at human capabilities.
About the laws of the UAE – a country where Sharia law is not just strict, and also strictly enforced, with many of them apply even to tourists who are not Muslims, including foreign nationals can even be applied to the death penalty for especially serious crimes.
The supreme penalty in the country is the death penalty, which is carried out by shooting, beheading or stoning. In general there is order in the country, but there is no need to doubt the execution of the death penalty. What the death penalty can be imposed for: – Premeditated murder. – Rape – Armed robbery – Drug distribution and possession. – Adultery and adultery (this is in theory, but in practice you need four witnesses to confirm this “crime”, which is almost impossible) – Drug counterfeiting – Crimes against the state, treason and apostasy By the way in the early 90s there were racketeers in the country, who were quickly sentenced to death, and the bodies were buried in the desert… It is safe to be in the UAE. There are virtually no pickpocket thieves, as they get their hands chopped off for stealing. You can leave your car unlocked and not worry about theft. Not once have I ever seen or heard of a car alarm. Officially, if a man and woman are not married, they have no right to live together, and if this couple is “snitched on” by their landlord, they get fined and sentenced to a month in jail. But that doesn’t happen very often. The penalties for distribution of erotic and pornographic material are very severe in the UAE. That’s why a lot of sites are blocked here, including Skype.
General rules. – While shaking hands one should not keep the other hand in the pocket. Here it is considered a sign of bad manners – to take objects, food and receive money from the interlocutor should only be the right hand – you should not take food on the go or standing. It is also not recommended to look at the person receiving food – one should take off his shoes when entering an Arabian house. The only exception may be if you came to the house with the owner and he left his shoes on; – Since the UAE is a very religious country, one should not do anything that desecrates their faith and sanctities – One should not go around the person praying in front of him
Clothing – It is not advisable for men to wear shorts, tank tops, and naked torsos in public places – For women the rules are even stricter – one should wear clothes that cover the neck, shoulders, arms and knees. No provocative, transparent clothes and short skirts; – Not allowed in public places in sports or beach wear; – It is not recommended for foreigners to dress in local national clothing – for this can be a severe penalty; – Beaches in the Emirates are also considered public places, so for women sunbathing “topless” is not allowed. P.S. The only people I saw in shorts in the country were “us” citizens of Russia. The UAE are doing a downward spiral for tourists.
Behavior in public places. – It is not accepted to shout, talk and swear in public and show indecent gestures. Even if you accidentally threw something out of the trash, you can be severely punished and fined a pretty decent amount.
Communicating with Arab women. – Foreign tourists are not allowed to talk to Arab women at all. Not only is it not allowed to flirt and flirt with local women, it is not even allowed to ask her – “what time is it?” For this you can be fined a very large amount. By the way Arab women are mostly very beautiful!
Smoking and Alcohol. – The Koran strictly forbids the Muslims to drink alcohol. You can not give alcoholic beverages to local residents or consume them in public places – for being drunk in the street the culprit can be fined, arrested or expelled from the country; – To take alcohol to foreign tourists should only be in the bar at the hotel. It is strictly forbidden to take any alcohol outside the hotel; – Smoking in all public places is strictly forbidden. It is allowed to smoke only at specially equipped and specially allocated places. Only people over the age of twenty may visit these “smoking rooms”; – Tobacco products are not sold to anyone under the age of 18. All advertising of tobacco products is strictly prohibited.
Video and still photography. – Photographing or videotaping private mansions and palaces of sheikhs, military units, state institutions is strictly forbidden, even if you just want to get a picture on their background; – Taking pictures of local women is considered an insult; – Photographing men is allowed, but only with their consent; – You may not film people praying and the interiors of mosques.
P.S. Remember, the main thing! If you feel like it you can drink alcohol, although to buy it is a problem, and the prices will scare away even the bigwigs, in the supermarket I saw not expensive beer, at a price of 35 dirhams (580 rubles) 0.33 ml, you can buy pork, on everything is “Hijab” in Arabic means “curtain, to hide, to prevent, to isolate”. The law is elastic! But, only at home! It is true that there are certain limits on this too, marked by norms of behavior.