The culture of the United Arab Emirates is characterized by the rapid modernization that the country is undergoing. Western mass culture exists in parallel with a traditional Arab Bedouin culture.
The traditional Bedouin culture has few public expressions. Most things happen within the four walls of the home. As in the rest of the Arab world, oral poetry is important. Unlike in more puritanical Saudi Arabia, dance and music occur at ceremonies. Dinners are often so carefully arranged that they can be seen as artistic forms of expression.
With the oil industry, Western culture also came to the country in the 1970s. Via radio, CDs, TV and the internet, the modern mass culture has spread to almost the entire population. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi in particular, there is now a modern and international city life.
Dubai has a new opera house and in 2017 an art museum was opened in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the French Louvre. According to a contract, the Emirate Museum may use the Louvre’s name and borrow several hundred works of art from French museums. Sharjah, which is not the richest emirate, has at the same time acquired a focus on contemporary Arab art. An art biennial is also held there (every two years).
In Abu Dhabi, an annual international prize has been awarded to Arab writers since 2007. The prize has been established with the support of the British Booker Prize Foundation to encourage translations into English of Arabic fiction.
For many men in the emirate, camel racing is a passion. Dubai also invests in major sporting events, such as golf and athletics.
Hunting with falcons has a long tradition from times when Bedouins tamed birds of prey to help find food. Since 2010, the UN organization Unesco has regarded falconry as a cultural world heritage site. The tradition has, among other things, led to Abu Dhabi having an animal hospital where the veterinarians are birds of prey. Falconers are allowed to keep birds born in captivity and the falcon gets its own passport if the owner wants to make a hunting trip abroad. On Emirates aircraft, domesticated falcons as well as guide dogs can be found in the passenger cabin.
Indian guest workers are brought home
When India on a large scale begins to evacuate citizens trapped abroad during the corona crisis, the United Arab Emirates is one of the countries that unemployed guest workers are expected to leave. India will both fly home migrants and take home workers with ships, but those who accept yes can expect to pay for the trip. In the United Arab Emirates, there are about 3.3 million Indians, which make up 30 percent of the Emirate’s population. The Emirate state leadership has demanded that guest workers’ home countries act to assist compatriots. Only India’s Dubai consultant has received nearly 200,000 applications.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of United Arab Emirates, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Skyscraper in flames
According to Abbreviationfinder, in the Emirate of Sharja, it starts burning in a nearly 50-storey skyscraper containing housing. After several hours, the Emergency Rescue Service gains control of the fire, but several people are injured. The modern neighborhood of the United Arab Emirates has witnessed several serious fires. In 2015 it burned in a skyscraper in Dubai, which for a period was the world’s tallest residential building. The fire caused the Dubai civil defense to purchase advanced equipment to strengthen its ability to handle fires in skyscrapers. 2016, it burned in a high-rise building under construction in Abu Dhabi.
World exhibition is postponed for one year
The planned World Expo 2020 exhibition, which is to be held in Dubai, is postponed for one year to start in October 2021 and concludes in March 2022, says BIE, the intergovernmental organization based in Paris that coordinates world exhibitions. The United Arab Emirates has asked to postpone the event as a result of the global crisis caused by the corona pandemic. It is the Member States in the organization that make decisions, by vote.
The Emirate-owned shipping company is seeking support for ferries
The DP World Group, which is based in Dubai but accounts for 15 percent of all freight traffic to and from the UK, has requested financial support from the UK Government to cope with ferry traffic from collapse due to the corona crisis. DP World owns the shipping company P&O and is located in London and Southampton. Seven vessels have been taken out of service because passengers are no longer allowed to travel, and freight transport is not enough to keep the shipping company afloat, Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, who is the chairman of the board, tells the BBC. The company has laid off 1,400 employees and the British state pays 80 percent of their salaries. The British government, which has allocated support for certain socially important transports, dislikes that DP World intends to pay a dividend to its owners while demanding state aid.
Cruise ship in port of Dubai
Dubai has received 13 cruise ships under foreign flags that have been denied port in other countries as a result of the corona pandemic, Emirati officials say. 29,000 passengers, of which 80% are Europeans, have flown home as well as 10,000 crew members. No one who has been infected with covid-19 has been found.
Oil countries are reducing production
Opec member countries and several non-member oil producing states (Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan) agree to reduce their production by a total of 9.7 million barrels per day to raise crude oil prices. The decrease corresponds to almost a tenth of world production, but it is still uncertain if they succeed in their ambitions to get more paid for the oil. The severe restrictions imposed by the world’s countries to counter the corona pandemic have caused global demand to collapse, for example on aviation fuel.
Crisis packages are doubled in corona times
The Emirates central bank doubles a stimulus package announced in March to protect the country’s economy during the corona crisis. The support measures decided to date are now valued at $ 70 billion. Among other things, they include strengthening the banks’ liquidity, so that borrowers should not suffer from credit tightening. The day before, Dubai, one of the seven emirates, has announced that many businesses must close and people stay home for two weeks. During the period, tests will be carried out in densely populated areas to clarify the spread of the virus.
Flight stop during corona pandemic
Coronavirus causes the United Arab Emirates, where two deaths from covid-19 disease have been confirmed, to stop all air traffic. The decision is noticeable not least as the country houses two international major airports (Dubai and Abu Dhabi). Two weeks later, it is decided to resume certain traffic, for foreign nationals who want to leave the Emirates, while entry remains prohibited. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the disease as a pandemic, spreading worldwide.
Sanctions for trade with Iran
The US faces sanctions against five Emirati companies that are believed to have violated US sanctions against Iran. Companies must have purchased oil from Iran but have not provided accurate information on the origin of the oil. The fact that the United States is punishing companies in the UAE is astonishing, since the United Arab Emirates is counted as Washington’s ally, but there is also a fairly large group of Iranians living in the emirate’s trading metropolises.
Court goes against Dubai’s emir
A series of verdicts in the British court opposes the Emir of Dubai and supports allegations made against him of cruelty to relatives. Princess Haya of Jordan, who married the emir in 2004 but left Dubai in 2019 with the two common children, has among other things received support for allegations against the allegations of threats and harassment (see July 2, 2019). Dubai’s regent is one of the highest powers in the emirate and responsible for the transformation Dubai has undergone into the regional center for tourism and business. In the custody dispute, he has demanded that the children be returned to Dubai. Human rights organizations have previously emphasized that two adult daughters of the emir are detained in their home country against their will.
Ready for email to Qatar
The Emirate is re-establishing email relations with Qatar via Oman, according to the UN organization UPU. The relations were cut in 2017, when Qatar became the subject of boycotts from several neighboring countries, which criticized the Qatari regime for cooperation with Iran and support for the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. The basic insanity has not been resolved, but Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, which participated in the boycott, will open for e-mail, according to news later in February. Oman and Kuwait are both trying to mediate in the tree that led to the boycott.
Reduction at the largest airport
For the first time in 20 years, the number of passengers at Dubai International Airport has dropped by 3.1 percent in one year. In 2019, the airport (which despite being described as the busiest in the world) had 86.4 million passengers.
Emirate support for Mauritania
The UAE announces that an investment fund will be set up for Mauritania, which will also receive assistance and credit under “soft” terms. Mauritania fights jihadists in the Sahel region along with several neighboring countries, but the country’s defense ministry denies reports that the emirate (which applies zero tolerance to jihadists) should also establish a military base.
EU countries are to patrol the Hormuz Strait
Eight EU countries have supported the decision to provide military protection to ships in the Hormuz Strait, France’s Foreign Ministry said. The force to patrol the waters is based in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (see November 24, 2019). The states that have promised to participate with units patrolling are France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Greece. The force is set up as a way of marking the EU’s own stance, while at the same time the conflict around the strait, which is the entrance to the Persian Gulf, is very much about conflicts between the US and Iran.
Five-year visa for all nationalities
The visa rules are changed so that citizens of all countries can now get a five-year tourist visa and enter the emirate as many times as they want during the five-year period. The aim is to make the United Arab Emirates a more attractive tourist destination, not least before the world exhibition to be held in Dubai in October 2020.