United Arab Emirates
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Culture United Arab Emirates

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor Profile

United Arab Emirates : Discover the country's culture

Read

Time Out Dubai, Where Dubai, Artmap Dubai

Guides

Lonely Planet Dubai (City Guide) 2010.
Frommer's Dubai and Abu Dhabi Day by Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Pocket) 2010.

United Arab Emirates : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

632: After the victory of Dibba in the Sharjah Emirate, Islam becomes the regional religion.
1761: The city of Abu Dhabi is founded by the al-Bou Falasahs Bedouins, of the al-Nahyan tribe.
1835: A truce is signed between the sheikhs of the ?Pirate Coast' and the United Kingdom.
1930: Pearl fishing, the main source of income of the UAE collapses in the face of Japanese pearl cultures.
1957: The first oil fields are discovered at sea, close to Abu Dhabi, and a year later on land.
1971: The British leave the Persian Gulf, enabling, on the 2nd December of the same year, the official creation of the United Arab Emirates as one country.
1981: The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG) comprises Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, that is to say 44% of the world oil reserves. A common defence and an economic integration of those countries in a free-trade zone is advocated.
2001: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan is re-elected for the seventh time.
2003: Dubai finishes the construction of an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree that adds 74 miles to the Emirate beaches.
2004: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan dies, and his son, sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, takes his place as president of the Emirates.

United Arab Emirates : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events

Events

January: Dubai Marathon.
January-February: Dubai Shopping Festival.
February: Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament.
March: Abu Dhabi Shopping Festival.
20 March 2008: Anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad
6th August: National holiday in Abu Dhabi in celebration of sheikh Zayed accession to the thrown.
November-March: Camel racing season (Thursdays and Fridays, from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm).
December: Dubai International Film Festival.
2nd December: Independence Day (National Holiday).
9th December 2008: Eid al-Adha (commemoration of Ibrahim's/Abraham's sacrifice).