"United Arab Emirates" Top 5 Page for this destination United Arab Emirates by traveldave
United Arab Emirates Travel Guide: 5,385 reviews and 16,354 photos
The United Arab Emirates is a confederation of seven formerly sovereign emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each of the emirates is ruled by a sheikh, and the head of state is always the sheikh of Abu Dhabi.
The United Arab Emirates became an independent nation in 1971 after the United Kingdom decided to withdraw from its Indian Ocean territories. Prior to independence, the area, then known as the Trucial Coast, was a British protectorate, and had been since the mid-1850s, when the British moved in to "protect" the area from piracy. Its real intention was to keep the French and Germans out of what it considered its sphere of influence.
Because of huge oil reserves, the United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the world. However, with oil projected to run out within the next half century, much of the country is turning to other industries, such as finance and tourism, to ensure its economic and financial future. The sheikh of Dubai has plans to make Dubai the Hong Kong of the Middle East, and the city is undergoing massive development projects on a scale which has never been seen before in the world. He also wants to make Dubai the world's top tourism destination, and is constructing huge hotels and resorts.
Because of British colonialism, a history of maritime trade, and a desire to become an international finance and tourism center, the United Arab Emirates is more open and liberal than many of its Arabic neighbors.
My trip to the United Arab Emirates consisted of a seven-day birdwatching trip that took me to each of the seven emirates. Although I flew into Dubai, our group avoided the city because of its horrendous traffic problems. We stayed in Ras al-Khaimah, Al Ain (in Abu Dhabi emirate), and Dibba (in Fujairah emirate). Because this was a birdwatching trip, I was able to visit places in the mountains and desert that few visitors to the country will ever see. Despite spending so much time in the wilderness, I was able to see and experience something of the country's cultural life as well.
Because the United Arab Emirates has coasts along both the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, commercial fishing has for... more travel advice
Historically, the camel was the most important animal in the lives of the nomadic Bedu (sometimes called Bedouin) of the... more travel advice
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