Posted: June 23rd, 2015

The culture of the United Arab Emirates is based on Arabian culture



  1. U.A.E Context


The culture of the United Arab Emirates is based on Arabian culture. It started 2500 years back when waves of Arab people started migrating then occupying this area. This culture was shaped by the country’s unique & hard environment. Living in the Sahara is not easy but Bedouin people made the best out of it, furthermore they accommodate their culture & habits with in the limited sources they had. And after the big achievement Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Alnahyan did when he united all the emirates in 1971, the culture started to be richer and stronger. There are several different families who lived in this area before the unite, such as Bu Falasa who where based in Banyas, Bu Falah who are mainly based in Dubai, and Al Qawasim as well in Sharja & Ras Al Khaima. Other families where either those who are depending on the sea coast for their living, or those who are living in the desert oasis, or some of them in the mountains like the Shohuh Family. Additionally the UAE’s culture is influenced by the Parisian, Indian, and east African countries and even by the invasion of the Portuguese and British. Preserving & introducing this deep culture is important for expat with in the country and should be known world wild to. Because The United Arab Emirates has a very diverse society, being a cultural hub will make people with in the society satisfied by respecting the local culture and taking the good of other cultures. The population by the late 2013 was 9million where 1.8million are locals and the rest were expat.


1.1 History

1.2 Geography

1.2.1 geographic areas Sea Pearl diving and trading


For hundreds of years, the finest pearls in the world were found in the waters of the Arabian Gulf

The ancient pearling industry provided the only real income for the people of what is now the UAE. The land was too barren to allow any farming and the people were generally too concerned with finding water, food and other provisions to consider trying to make money. The barter system was their way of trading. A few families would leave the nomadic desert lifestyle and settle on the coast to fish. Some of the fishermen probably found the occasional pearl when wading in the shallows, and kept it until there was an opportunity to barter it. To gather enough oysters to make a living, however, required a huge communal effort, as well as people who were able to dive to depths of around 40 metres without equipment, in order to access the offshore oyster beds.

As India became increasingly prosperous in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, demand for pearls grew. What had been little more than a cottage industry became a major part of local life. Merchants would provide the capital to provide and equip a boat for the diving season, in return for a majority share of the profit accumulated from the sale of the pearls. The rest of the profit was distributed between the captain (nakhutha) and the crew. Pearling offered the possibility of comparative riches if one was lucky enough to be on a boat that discovered a top quality pearl or two. There is evidence of a single pearl being sold for fifteen thousand pounds (sterling) during the 1920s – equivalent to more than three hundred and fifty thousand pounds today1.

In response to the increased demand for pearls, many more families settled permanently in the coastal villages, which began to grow in importance and influence, particularly Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Others would live on the coast during the four months of the main pearling season, from May to September, and return to the desert in the winter.

British government papers from the 1920s describe the pearling industry in Bahrain, which would have been almost identical to Dubai’s.

Until they clear the harbour the boats are propelled by heavy oars, each pulled by two men, who sing the song of the pearlers as they row. Often the fleet returns at night when the moon and the tide are full. The sound of the sailors chanting and the splash of the oars is carried across the still water to the town. The sight of hundreds of white sails, some of them coloured orange by the light of the fires burning on the decks, is one of the most picturesque in the world. A traditional diving boat

Mechanical apparatus of any kind is forbidden, and the methods of diving have not changed since fourteenth-century travellers described them. Each diver wears a clip like a clothes peg to close his nostrils, leather sheaths protect his fingers and enable him to (wrench) the shells from the rocks underneath the sea, and a similar sheath guards each of his big toes. He descends on a rope which has a stone weight attached to it. This is hauled up when he reaches the bottom. Round his neck is slung a string bag, which he fills with shells, attached to a rope with which his comrade, the puller, draws him up again when he gives the signal. Divers remain below the surface for nearly a minute and a half, and they descend about 30 times in one day, often to a depth of 14 fathoms. The shells are heaped on deck during the day and opened in the evening under the vigilant eye of the captain, who puts away the pearls in his sea chest. No diver knows whether it is his shell that contained a pearl. While the men are working they take neither food nor drink, but they eat in the early morning and after sunset they have a meal of rice and dates and fish. The shells are thrown back into the sea, the divers believing that oysters feed upon the empty shells. They believe too, that drops of rain, which are caught by the oysters at night form pearls.

The work is very strenuous and conditions are hard, but the divers on the whole are healthy and many of them show unusually fine muscular development…

…The men are paid no wages, but they receive a share in the profits of the season. Divers are entitled to twice the amount, which is paid to a puller, as their work is more arduous. There are several different diving systems, and all of them are very ancient…

Records of Dubai 1761 – 1960 (Volume 3) pg. 56-57

Although the pearling industry offered potential wealth, it was also very dangerous for the divers, both physically and financially. In order to provide for their families over the months they were at sea, most would take advances from the owner of the boat. If their seasonal catch was not enough to cover their advances, they were in the owner’s debt at the start of the next season, when they would have to get another advance. One bad diving season could lead to a lifetime of debt for the divers. A good season, on the other hand, could provide the means to acquire land in an oasis such as Al Ain and the luxury of a date garden.

In the early 1930s, the worldwide economic depression and the Japanese discovery of the cultured pearl (a pearl created by placing a shell bead inside an oyster manually) spelt disaster for the Gulf’s pearling industry. The vision of the Al Maktoum family meant that Dubai, thanks to its free trade port, was not as badly affected as the rest of the region. Nevertheless, it was a serious blow to the local economy – one from which it would not fully recover until the discovery of oil. Fishing and fish drying

Fishing and fish drying


In the UAE, a land where rain rarely fell and little grew, harvesting fish was the traditional lifeblood of the community, a valuable source of protein since time immemorial. As a result, Emiratis were intimately connected to the sea, only taking from it what they needed. The practice of splitting and drying small fish (small fish such as jashr (anchovies) or uma (sardines) were dried whole) and of salting the largest specimens meant that these resources were available to the population inland. Some fishmeal was used as camel fodder or as fertilizer. Silversides, for example, in vegetable gardens. Traditional fishing methods varied along Arabian Gulf waters and in the Gulf of Oman. In the former extensive tidal shallows, which are characteristic of most of this coast, are ideal for fishing with traps. Hadra are deceptively simple fence traps constructed perpendicularly out from the shore. Fish are shepherd into a baffled heart-shaped maze where they are stranded as the tide recedes. Hadra traps are in use both along the Gulf’s mainland coast and on inshore islands. Gargour (pl. garagir) traps are igloo-shaped domes, weighted to the seabed with rocks or cement and baited with fresh or rotting fish, which entice a variety of fish to enter through a one-way funnel-like opening. Traditionally, return passage was not possible for larger fish, due to the progressive inward narrowing. However, the modern wire traps are now fitted with dissolvable trapdoors that will prevent ‘ghost-fishing’ or the trapping of fish long after steel traps are discarded underwater. This wasn’t an issue with the original palm-frond traps since they soon disintegrated. Desert Nomadic camel herding

Being a member of a tribe gives you a sense of identity, and genuine historic links to a community and a place,” he says. “People tend to lump together all the different tribes as Bedu, but it is usually the nomadic, camel-herding, pastoralist tribes that lived in the desert that are defined as Bedouins. “The camel tribes are known for their amazing survival skills, adaptation traditions and poetic-expressive culture.” Tending date gardens

AI Ain takes its name from the historic oasis at the heart of the city. This is appropriate for a city now considered to be the cultural and educational center for Abu Dhabi Emirate. AI Ain oasis is the largest of the five oases, which form the UAE portion of the complex of oases. Wadi Sarooj and Wadi AI Ain define the oasis, which form a natural boundary to the south and the modern city, which crowds the oasis on the other edges. On the western margin is a palace where Sheikh Zayed resided and which has recently been restored. The suq was the city’s main market and is still active on the northern edge of the oasis. The oasis covers approximately 1,200 hectares and has about 60,000 date palms in cultivation. Mountain


1.2.2 Climate

1.2.3 Travelling


1.3 Politics

1.3.1 Government


1.3.2 Royal families in the U.A.E Al Nahyan royal family of Abu Dhabi

Al Nahyan royal family — Abu Dhabi-Bu Falah

AL Nahyan | 2012 – 2013 Al Nahyan History Ruling the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for decades, the deeply rooted Al Nahyan Arab ancestry goes back to the original Al Bu Falah tribe of the region. Al Bu Falah’s renowned wisdom and strength won the tribe the leadership and allegiance of Arab tribes in the regions of Abu Dhabi, including Al Dhafra and Al Ain, since the mid-16th century. Al Nahyan’s prominence in the tribe was rooted in it’s historic and cultural relations with the people of the region. When the United Arab Emirates was established, Al Nahyan played a key role in the unifcation of the seven emirates as well as in laying the foundations of Abu Dhabi region. Al Nahyan had a deep understanding of the diverse attributes of the local society at the time, which included coastal and desert oases communities. There were differences in the nature and life of those communities, but Al Nahyan managed those differences well and clearly established the leadership through an approach of inclusivity and by acknowledging and understanding their ways of life and their social systems. History of Royal Al Nahyan Since 1682 AD, the tribe of Bani Yas led by Al Bu Falah resided in the Western region (Al Dhafra, Liwa, Madinat Zayed, Al Wathba, and Ghayathi). Some attribute the name “Bani Yas” to Yas Bin Aamir and others to Ayas Bin Abd Al Aalam. The Al Nahyans played a historical key role in holding together the alliance of the tribes because of the their knowledge, strength and statesmanship. They upheld the integrity of the tribe, protected its property, settled major disputes and established relationships with neighboring tribes. As the rule moved from a generation to the other and with the discovery of water wells in 1761 on the island of Abu Dhabi, population and life moved to the coast from the resource-poor desert and the Western Region. Pearling, the development of maritime trade and prospecting for Red Oxide by a German company during the era of the Grand Sheikh Zayed, specifcally in 1795 AD, were also major attractions for people to move to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Island became the headquarters and Capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi Government, which included the Western and Eastern Regions, such as Al Ain, Al Jimi, and Al Moatared as well as small islands like Sir Bani Yas, Dalma and Gagh. In 1969, late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan initiated the frst Federal Agreement with the Emirate of Dubai, which was followed by the establishment of the United Arab Emirates and the election of the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the President of the UAE in 1971

Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan — Late First President & Founder of the UAE.Although the exact date of his birth is unknown, officially on documents, Sheikh Zayed was born on 1 December 1918 in Abu Dhabi He was the youngest son of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifah Al Nahyan. His birth date is also reported to be 1916. His father was the ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1922 until his assassination in 1926. Zayed was named after his grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (“Zayed the Great”), who ruled the emirate from 1855 to 1909. At the time of Zayed’s birth, the sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi was one of seven Trucial States along the coast of the lower coast of the Persian Gulf.He was raised and lived for the first fifty years of his life in Al Ain. As Zayed was growing up, there were no modern schools anywhere along the coast. He received only a basic instruction in the principles of Islam, and lived in the desert with Bedouin tribesmen, familiarising himself with the life of the people, their traditional skills and their ability to survive under the harsh climatic conditions.His eldest brother, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, became ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1928 after their uncle, Saqr bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was also assassinated. Their mother was Sheikha Salma bint Butti. She extracted a promise from her sons not to use violence against each other, a promise which they kept.Below are some of The Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi: Al Maktoum royal family of Dubai

Al Maktoum royal family — Dubai- Bu Falasa

The history of Dubai and the other emirates, like in the case of Abu Dhabi, reflects that of their ruling families. These two families’ emirates originated from the Bani Yas tribal confederation of Arabia. The Maktoums of Dubai are part of the Bu Falasa, a branch of the Bani Yas like the Bu Falah, which moved to Abu Dhabi. The Bu Falasa tribe settled in Dubai during the 18th century. In 1833 the tribe turned the emirate into an independent political entity, of Al Bu Falasa, under the leadership of Maktoum Bin Buti Bin Suhail. This became the bone of contention between the rulers of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, but on the whole it preserved its internal independence, especially when the Trucial Coast passed under British protection towards the end of the 19th century. Family violence between the Bu Falasa and resultant intra-clan wars occurred upon the death of Maktoum Bin Buti in 1852. His younger brother, Shaikh Said Bin Buti, took over as the second ruler of Dubai. While Maktoum’s son Hasher was judged to be too young to succeed his father, Shaikh Said claimed that the line of succession should pass among brothers. Shaikh Said was killed and was succeeded by Maktoum’s son Hasher seven years later, in 1859. Violent power struggles persisted during Hasher’s reign. When he died, in 1886, his younger brother Rashid Bin Maktoum took the ruler ship forcibly. Hasher’s sons Maktoum and Majid had to hide for fear of being assassinated by their uncle. Rashid Bin Maktoum is an important name to remember because, in the 1930s, his sons staged a violent revolt and attempted a coup to topple Shaikh Said, a grandson of Hasher and the grandfather of the currently ruling sons of late Shaikh Rashid. Their coup attempt was known as the revolt of the “Municipality Council” or the Deira movement. When Rashid Bin Maktoum died in 1894, his nephew – Maktoum Bin Shaer who was then strong enough to defeat his younger uncle, took the ruler ship


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum — Vice President & Prime Minister of UAE; Ruler of Dubai.Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum;, (born 15 July 1949) is the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and constitutional monarch of Dubai Since his accession in 2006, he has undertaken major reforms in the UAE’s government, starting with the UAE Federal Government Strategy in April 2007. In 2010 he launched UAE Vision 2021 with the aim of making the UAE “One of the best countries in the world” by 2021.He is responsible for Dubai’s growth into a global cityas well as the launch of a number of major enterprises including Emirates Airline, DP World and the Jumeirah Group. Sheikh Mohammed has overseen the development of numerous economically transformational projects in Dubai including the creation of technology park and free economic zone Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, the Dubai International Finance Centre the Palm Islands and the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. He also drove the construction of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.He is a recognised poet in his native ArabicSheikh Mohammed is the third of Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum‘s four sons (members of Dubai’s ruling Al Maktoum family and descendants of the House of Al-Falasi, of which he is the tribal leader).[8] From the age of four, he was privately tutored in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In 1955, he began his formal education at Al Ahmedia School. At the age of 10, he moved to Al Shaab School, and two years later, went to Dubai Secondary School. In 1966, with his cousin Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, he attended the Bell Educational Trust‘s English Language School in the United Kingdom.[9] He subsequently studied at the Mons Officer Cadet Training School in Aldershot, (which later became part of Sandhurst), passing out with the sword of honour as the top commonwealh student.[10] He also travelled to Italy to train as a pilotAs a young man, in January 1968, he was present when Sheikh Rashid and Sheikh Zayed first met in the desert between Dubai and Abu Dhabi at Argoub El Sedira to agree to the formation of a union of emirates following British notification of intent to withdraw from the Trucial States. He went on, when the new nation of the United Arab Emirates was founded on 2 December 1971, to become its first Minister of Defence Al Qasimi royal family of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaima


Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi — Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Sultan III bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi (b. 2 July 1939 in Sharjah) is a member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and current ruler of the Sharjah emirate. He has ruled Sharjah since 1972, apart from a six-day period between 17 and 23 June 1987, during which an attempted coup led by his brother Sheikh `Abd al-`Aziz bin Muhammad al-Qasimi took place.[1] He is also an established historian and has published several theatrical and literary works.

Al Qasimi royal family-Ras al-Khaimah

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi — Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah Early Life and Education Sheikh Saud was born in Dubai on 10 February 1956. Sheikh Saud is the fourth son of Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, his predecessor as UAE Supreme Council Member and previous Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, who died on 27 October 2010. He completed both his primary and secondary education in Ras Al Khaimah and then attended the American University of Beirut (AUB) in July 1973 to pursue studies in economics. When the Lebanese civil war broke out in Beirut in 1975, Sheikh Saud transferred to the University of Michigan, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science. Al Nuaimi royal family of Ajman


Emir Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi — Ruler of Ajman , (born 1931), succeeded his father Shaikh Rashid and became the emir of Ajmān (one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates federation) in 1981 and he is the current emir of Ajmān Under his reign, the state saw rapid changes from a small fishing town at the time of independence to a modern emirate.He received his early education in Dubai in the 1940s and 1950s and later went to Cairo for further studies. In the early 1970s he became active in the affairs of state, as Ajman joined the United Arab Emirates in December 1971 and he was required to act as a deputy ruler. His elder brother Shaikh Ali was sidelined in the process. He belongs to the Al Nuaim tribe.

  • 3.2.4 Al Mualla royal family of Um Al Quwain


H.H Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla was born on October 1st 1952. He became ruler of the Emirate Umm Al Quwain after the demise of his father Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mualla on 2nd of January 2009, and became member of the Supreme Council of the Union. He received his early education in Umm Al Quwain and his high school education in Lebanon; then finished his higher education in Economics from the University of Cairo in 1974. He was appointed third secretary in the UAE Foreign Ministry in 1973, and was Commander of Umm Al Quwain National Guard with the rank of Colonel . In 1979 he headed Umm Al Quwain Royal Court (Al Diwan Al Amiri) . Then on the 22nd of June 1982 his father Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla assigned him as Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain. He assisted his father in managing the Emirate’s affairs , oversaw many investment projects and established numerous government entities and local enterprises Al Sharqi royal family of Fujairah


Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi — Ruler of Fujairah. Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi (born 25 Sept 1948) is the current ruler of the Emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) He took over after the death of his father Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi in 1974. The Sharqi family has a warm relationship with the Abu Dhabi ruling Nahyan family, allowing the former access to federal funds and ministerial posts, exceeding allocations of similar small emiratesHamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi studied English at Eastbourne School of English in East Sussex from 1969 to 1970.He attended the Mons Military Academy in 1970 and from 1971 to 1974 served as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of the UAE.

Hereditary Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi — Crown prince of Fujairah

1.3.3 Names of tribes in the U.A.E


The Community in The UAE is Kin and Family Oriented. Through the generations Some people considered a tribes kin to be an important factor for social identification in our society. As a result , some families preffered to live in the same district or area as their kin.

Most of the tribes originated from different parts of the UAE. For ionstance , some are from the western region ( like liwa and Bdaa zayed ) Al Ain or the seven emirates. Since people started moving around the country more , you will find more variety of last names in the area than the past.

Many tribes were in the UAE region before the country even formed.Al Nahyan ,the ruling family of the UAE comes from the bani yas tribe, as does the Al Maktoum family the ruling family of Dubai. The Bani Yas is one of the most prestigious and highly regarded tribes of Southern Arabia. Its origin can be traced back to Yas Bin Amer, whose tribe came from the tribe of Nizar Bin Maid bin Adnan. Partly because of its numerical superiority, but mainly because of its military prowess and proven loyalty to allies, many other tribes sought to join the Bani Yas for protection and security.

The most numerous and significant tribe of the UAE, the Bani Yas is made up of approximately 20 subsections. Originally centred in the Liwa oasis, the Al Bu Falah subsection resettled in 1793 in Abu Dhabi; from this subsection come the Al Nahyan family, who are the present-day rulers of Abu Dhabi. Traditionally the members of the Al Bu Falah tribe “spent the winter with their camels in the desert, and many of them went pearling during the summer in the boats of other Bani Yas. The Al Bu Falah were the first to acquire property in the Buraimi oasis, and the members of the ruling family have systematically continued this policy until now.

In 1833, a large, influential group of the Bani Yas moved to Dubai under the leadership of Maktoum bin Buti Al Maktoum. The Al Maktoum family, a part of the highly regarded Al Bu Falasah section of the Bani Yas, continues to rule Dubai to this day.

Some examples of other tribes in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi ( which also could be found in other parts of the UAE Are :

Al Qubaisi , Al Rumaity , Al Shamsi , Al Mansouri , Al hameli , Al Dhaheri, Al Amri , Al Mazrouei , Al mehairbi , Al Darmaki, Al Nuaimi , Al Mehairi , Al shamsi , Al zaabi , Al Dhaheri, Al Khateri, Al Tunaiji , AlShehi , Al Mansouri , Al Dhahmani, Al Ghafli , Al Mrar ,Al Suwaidi , Al Rumaithi . Al qamzi , Al sabousi , Al Mashgouni , Al Hmeiri Al Aryani , Al Dhahouri , Al Neyadi etc etc ..

Other sections of the Bani Yas tribe include the Rumaithat, which depended largely on fishing and pearling, as did the Al Bu Mahair. The Qubaisat section was one of the largest tribes settled in the communities of the Liwa oasis. Members of the Mazrui, the main Bedouin section of the Bani Yas, also lived in the settlements of the Liwa. Their livelihood depended on camels, pearling boats, and in the first half of the twentieth century, when the value of camels declined, date plantations. Making up much of the permanent or semi-settled population of the villages of the Liwa oasis was the Hawamil section. Many of its members owned goats or sheep, which kept them close to home. They also owned boats and had a share in the pearling industry.

The Maharibah section, like the Hawamil, comprised both nomadic and settled members and many of its families were involved in the pearling industry. They owned a small fleet of 40 pearling boats. The Al Mishaghin, a sub-section of the Al Bu Muhair section, was prevalent in Dubai. It was a small group of predominately Bedouin families. The Sudan, on the other hand, was a large section spread out along the entire coast. Dependent on the sea for their livelihood, the members of the Sudan took an active role in pearling, fishing and trading.

“This tribal confederation was the basis for the creation of a nation-state within a large and geographically very varied territory. The coherence of the confederation was due to certain characteristics of the Bani Yas. First of all, the subsections and allied groups did not live separate existences; they shared, mingled and intermarried in the villages of the Liwa, they had arrangements by which the nomads of one section cared for the camels of another section, and those who had no pearling boats of their own went on the boats of others. Secondly, most families of the Bani Yas had some members living permanently in Abu Dhabi town, so that all the sections mixed there easily at all times.”[2]

As befits a tribe from which so many noble families have come, the members of the Bani Yas tribe are well known for their patronage of, and involvement in, the literary arts. They are also renowned for their generosity, hospitality and chivalry, as were their Bedouin forefathers.

[1] HEARD-BEY, FRAUKE, From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates, Longman, London & New York, 1996, p. 28.
[2] Ibid., p. 34.

  • Al Shehhi
  • Al-Shehhi (Arabic: الشحي‎, ash-Sheḥḥī, also transliterated as Alshehhi, Shehhi) is an Arabic family name denoting a member of the Shihhuh tribe of the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The mysterious mountain tribe of the Shihuh. Intriguing details such as “archaic language, very secluded tribe with own traditions, courageous and strong mountain people.


Early Fishers and Herders: The Neolithic period in the UAE

Neolithic time in the UAE lasted from about 8000 to 3000 BC. It was a formative period for many aspects of human livelihood, which still influence present day life. Most important was the introduction of the first domestic animals: sheep, goats and cattle. There is evidence for their presence in the UAE from about 5000 BC, but it is likely that the first Neolithic people introduced them to the area from the Levant. The use of these animals – which included milking of goats and sheep – was one focus of their economy. The other one already was exploitation of the sea for fish and shellfish


1.4 Economics


  • 4.1 Before 60s
  • 4.2 Until 2000
  • 4.3 Since 2000
  • 5 U.A.E’s Population


The UAE’s demographics are one of the most diverse in the world. Expatriates make up a majority of the population in the UAE while natives are just 13% (Emirates 24/7 Staff, 2011). The UAE recorded the biggest net rate of migration of 21.71 across the globe. This is because the law allows expats to apply for full citizenship after residing in the UAE for a mere two decades without a criminal record. South Asians make up 58% of expatriates in the UAE, which is the largest percentage in contrast to Asians’ 17% and Westerners’ 8.5%. In total, expatriates make up 87% of the whole UAE population (Emirates 24/7 Staff, 2011). The UAE’s formal language is Arabic while English is widely used for communication between natives and expatriates. Islam is the formal religion as all natives are Muslims and expatriates have diverse faiths (Arabian Nights,



The population of the UAE as of 2009 stands at six million, of which 16.5% are Emiratis.

The rest of UAE’s population (83.5%) is composed of expatriates, with the largest groups hailing from South Asian countries such as India (1.75 million), Pakistan (1.25 million) and Bangladesh (500,000), and Iran (500,000). There are also nationals of other GCC and Arab countries who live in the UAE. Members of other Asian communities, including China, the Philippines, Thailand, Korea, and Afghanistan make up approximately one million of the total population. Western expatriates, from Europe, Australia, and Latin America make up 500,000 of the overall population.




Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1963 95,000
1968 180,226 +89.7%
1975 557,887 +209.5%
1980 1,042,099 +86.8%
1985 1,379,303 +32.4%
1995 2,411,041 +74.8%
1999 2,938,000 +21.9%
2005 4,106,427 +39.8%
2010 8,264,070 +101.2%
2011 8,925,096 +8.0%
2012 9,205,651 +3.1%
2013 9,346,129[3]





1.5.1 population diversity in U.A.E

United Arab Emirates: Total population from 2003 to 2014 (in million inhabitants).


The capital of the UAE is Abu Dhabi, which is one of the cultural and commercial centers along with Dubai. The United Arab Emirates have a very diverse population, of which only 13% are UAE nationals with the majority of the population expatriates. The UAE has the highest net migration rate in the world at 21.71, as any expatriate is allowed under aw to apply for UAE citizenship after living in the country for twenty years, assuming they have not been convicted of a crime and speak Arabic. The UAE also has the second highest gender imbalance in the world behind Qatar with a male/female ratio of 2.2, or 2.75 for the 15-65 age group.

The largest groups of non-UAE nationals are South Asian (58%), followed by other Asians (17%) and Western expatriates (8.5%). There is an increasing presence of Europeans, particularly in cities like Dubai. Dubai is the largest city with a population of 1.78 million. Interestingly, Dubai is often misperceived as a country or a city-state. Sometimes, all of the UAE is described simply as “Dubai,” which shows just how influential and well known the city has become.

The UAE’s population has experienced sharp decline over the last decade, but this has reversed. Its urban population is predicted to grow to 7.9 million by 2020, at which point city dwellers will account for 85% of the region’s population.

Flag Emirate Capital Population[170] % of total population Area (km²)[170] Area (mi²) % of total area Density
Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi 1,548,655 31.2% 67,340 26,000 86.7% 25
Ajman Ajman 372,923 7.5% 259 100 0.3% 996
Dubai Dubai 1,770,533 35.6% 3,885 1,500 5.0% 336
Fujairah Fujairah 137,940 2.9% 1,165 450 1.5% 109
Ras al-Khaimah Ras al-Khaimah 171,903 3.4% 1,684 650 2.2% 122
Sharjah Sharjah 895,252 18.0% 2,590 1,000 3.3% 262
Umm al-Quwain Umm al-Qaiwain 69,936 1.4% 777 300 0.9% 88
UAE Abu Dhabi 4,967,142 100% 77,700 30,000 100% 56



  • 5.2 Expatriates matter
  • 6 religion


Religions in UAE (Pew Research)[219][220]
Religion Percent
Muslim 77%
Catholic 10%
Hindu 7%
Buddhist 2%
Protestant 1%
Orthodox 1%
Other 1%
None 1%


    1. Culture in UAE


What influences the UAE’s Culture?

United Arab Emirates has undergone a number of transformations ever since it was colonized. The Portugal colonized the country in the 16th century. They occupied UAE as they were exploring Vasco da Gama’s route. Iran, through the Ottoman Empire, had come to occupy part of UAE as they were controlling the sea (Zahlan, 2000). Britain came to occupy UAE in the 18th Century as it following the ambition of ruling other countries to gain control. Each of these countries had an impact in UAE traditions and lifestyle.

The occupying of UAE with the Ottoman Empire helped in spreading Islam among the people. Majority of people living in UAE adopted the practice of Islam as evinced by the many mosques existent in the country. In addition, they also adopted the Islam way of code of dressing and ethics (Romano, 2010).

In addition, the occupancy of Portuguese into UAE helped them in adopting some of their culture and lifestyles into their system. Take for instance the practice of farming. The Portuguese were always looking for good places to grow some of the crops, which they had.

Britain on the other hand influenced UAE in a number of ways. The British system brought law and order into the land and revolutionized the education system. More UAE citizens are able to appreciate the value of education up to date (Morsy, 2012).




  • 1 Heritage

2.1.1 culture and heritage

  • 1.1.1 hospitality

Local emirates are well known with their open hands, generosity, and love when it comes to greeting their guests. They are proud of the heritage and still maintain the same way even now a days; their houses are open for guest every day at any time, and the Majlis is the reception area of the house. Before receiving the visitors, the Majlis should be perfumed with incense of Oud which is a precious wood piece that has a very beautiful smell when burnt on charcoal. Welcoming them starts by offering The Medkhan with a metal designed container, and using charcoal to burn Oad, or mixed perfumes with Dokhon that gives a very nice smell. Afterward they serve them some dates or sweets to start with. Then comes one of the significant elements of the social visit, which is the Arabic Traditional Coffee and its called Gahwa, it has its special ingredients, made of cardamom, saffron, and sometimes-even rosewater. Gahwa should be served using a Dalla (which is a traditional thermos used specially for coffee) and Fingan (which is a small special cup meant for drinking Gahwa only). Serving The Arabic traditional coffee has its own special way, servant has to hold the Dalla in her/his left hand, and the Fingan in her/his right hand relying on the Islamic way, which encourages us to use the right hand to eat or handle things to others. The servant has to pour a small amount of coffee then bow which is a sign of respect and handle the Fingan to the guest. After drinking couple of times, if the guest shakes the Fingan it means the visitor is done drinking. Additionally, for male guests male servant should serve them. Likewise for female visitors a female servant should serve them. However in most of the families in past and now days they ask member of the family which is either the son or the daughter to serve.

Wither the guest is visiting for lunch or dinner; the household will honor him with slaughtering a goat, dairy animal, or small camel, they serve it as a main dish, and it’s called Thabeha. Neighbors are invited to enjoy and share the feast. In the past neighbors saw themselves as one family, where characteristic such as brotherhood, friendship, compassion, and cooperation were seen and felt in the community. People living in the same “freej” or neighborhood, knew everything about each other. 

For instance if a family was celebrating a happy occasion, such as a wedding; the whole neighborhood would celebrate this family’s happiness and give them their blessings. Likewise, if one of the families were distressed the whole neighborhood came together to alleviate their pain. This shows how the UAE culture and traditions gives a good lesson of unity and support in happy and unhappy moments. At the end of the visit, the members of the household will share incense with their guests.

Welcoming and greeting each other is different from males to females. Greeting for female is by kissing the cheeks more than one time and from side to side. But for men they greet each other using there nose, which is, know as (Khashmik) and by shaking hands. Besides if a man entered a place he should start by saying Hod, to take the permission and keep them aware that he is coming in. An answer of Heda means he is welcomed and he can inter.

  • 1.1.2 food in the past

The UAE kitchen is known for its delicious dishes and recipes passed from one generation to another. Most of the main dishes are rich with spices and herbs that are imported from India. Therefor most of the UAE foods are similar to the Indian food. The UAE’s main dishes are Al Harees, which is made of wheat and meat, and it’s one of the most popular dishes and its assorted with special occasions such as wedding parties and the holy month of Ramadan. Fareed, which is a mixture of bread with a sauce and vegetables called Salona, then they have The Margoog, Machboos Rice, Baryani Rice, Aish & Simach, etc. These dishes are either served for lunch, dinner, and for special occasions. For breakfast they used to have Rgag Bread, either with milk or with Samn, which is like butter and sugar. Rgag dish is similar to porridge. Boiled Chickpeas with salt and pepper which is called Dangaw. Sometimes they have Chabab, Khameer, Chami with Dates, & Balalet with Egg. For desert, local foods are rich with saffron and dates, such as Aseeda, Gers, and Khabeesa etc.


Eating habits in the desert country different. They used to sit on the floor folding their legs and using their right hands following the Islamic rules. They can’ start eating unless the head of the family is seated. They always have dates as a side dish and Laban for drink. About agriculture in the past it was spread all around the 7 different emirates. Beginning from Liwa in Abu Dhabi, Diqdaqah in Ras al-Khaimah, Falaj al Mualla in Umm al Qaywayn, Wadi Al Dhayd in Sharjah, Al Awir in Dubai, Alain and the coastal area of Al Fujairah. The most cultivated land is all filled with date palms and the only irrigation system used was the Falaj, however they used to grow limited kinds of vegetables & fruits as tomatoes, cabbage, eggplants, squash, cauliflower, citrus, lemon, and mangoes. Providing fresh water was either from oasis, or they use to dig a well, which is called Towi to provide water from the underground

  • 1.1.3 The beauty of dressing in the past

National dress in the UAE still maintains the same for all age groups, Females

rom men following the Islamic way. The Burga’a, that’s a traditional garment to be worn on the face in order to cover parts of it juts to show the eyes and cheeks. It’s made of a golden shiny fabric. It was said that Burga’a was used to cover the beauty of the ladies in the past. Hair braiding style was called Ajfa. For occasions they wore Thoob, it’s a two layers of fabric, the first one is chiffon with a lot of beads on it, attached to it another silk fabric underneath. For jewelry most of the pieces are gold plated, they had the Mertasha which is a necklace, earings that are called Shigab, ring, Tasa which is a head piece, Hegab which is the belt, and

2.1.2 Men s hobbies and animals Animals and races Camels and camels races

Camels are the key part of the UAE’s rich heritage. They used them for many purposes. They were also known as the ship of the desert. During that time Bedouins used camels to transport families from the humid coast to the cooler oasis in summer, and the other way around in winter. Camels were not only used as a mean of transportation, but also for food and milk. Their skins were used to make shoes and bags; moreover their wool was used to make tents and rugs. Because Bedouin used to appreciate these animals, they used them as a dowry for the bride, and charity for people in need.


In earlier times camels were named differently according to their age and gender. When they are born they are called Howar for male and females. Probably after a year the small males are called Ga’ood, while the small females are called Bakara. For Adult female camels are called Nagah, while the male adult ones are called Baeer. Smalla Gaood and Bakara are the ones used for camel races, because they are young, light, & fast. Horses

Horses were used as means of transportation, racing, and for hunting. Furthermore they were used for wedding celebrations.


  • 1.2.2 Animals and hunt Falcon and falconry

Falcons and Falconry were a part of the desert life. In summer they keep the falcons in cool places to be for feeding, taking care, and for training. Hunting seasons were only in autumn and winter. The main prey of the falcons is either the Houbara bird or Hare rabbits. The first few weeks of training the falcon should stay with the trainer all time to create a strong bund between them. For hunting they cover the falcons head by a hood, which is called Burga’a until they aim for a prey. Then the falconer removes the hood and allows him to fly and look for the hunt, after catching the prey the falcon will be rewarded by eating some of the hunts meat. Incase the falcon didn’t catch or got lost, to call him back they used to swing the lure and when he catch’s the lure he has to be rewarded by raw meat aswell.


  • Saluki dogs

Saluki dogs were also used for hunting. Wild animals

  • Spiny tailed lizard

Other Animals around the UAE desert is the Spiny Tailed Lizard, which is called Al Dhub, they ear shrubs and don’t drink water.

  • Arabian oryx

These wild species where found in the early 1960 around Liwa and the mountains. They are know to survive in places that has limited plants and water, moreover their white skin help deflect the sunlight. These animals were hunted for food in the past. Arabian Oryx. The Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) once roamed the entire Arabian Peninsula and as mentioned earlier, it became extinct as a wild species in the early 1960’s. However, the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan had a few captive animals that bred well, and today there are several herds at various locations in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its precise natural range within the United Arab Emirates is not clear but they were probably found in and around the Liwa, as well as on the plains adjacent to the mountains that stretch to the northern Emirates. They are the largest of the Arabian antelopes and are creatures of the open desert being able to live in areas without trees or standing water. Instead they rely on the moisture obtained from their food and can conserve water by a special adaptation of their kidneys. Their bodies are distinctly white, whilst their legs are clearly marked dark brown as far as the last joint above their hoofs, with the last part to the hoofs being white. The tail is black-tipped and they have distinct dark facial markings that extend down to the lower part of the neck. The white body color helps to deflect the sunlight. The skin below the hair however is dark and acts as a barrier against ultra-violet rays. Both male and female carry a pair of symmetrical horns, very slightly curved to the back. As the horns of a healthy animal are so symmetrical that they appear as one if seen in profile, it is assumed that the Oryx was the origin of the legendary unicorn. The horns can grow to a length of 90 cm, and their sharp points are deadly weapons amongst bulls that are fighting for superiority in a herd. They can have calves all year round, with peaks in spring and autumn. The cow has only one young at a time. When born, it is sandy-brown in color, which blends in superbly with its natural habitat. During the first days of its life, the Oryx calf lies in a shallow scrape for most of the day, relying on its camouflage to avoid predators, and only when it is able to keep up with the herd will it follow the mother throughout the day. Sand gazelles and Arabian mountain gazelle

The sand gazelle, which is the second large antelopes in the UAE, spread in a wide range around the country dunes. They are light and fast to escape from predators. The ones living in the mountains are called the Arabian mountain gazelles.


    Arabian tahr

These are mountain gazelles that are found in Fujairah and Alain Mountains. And they are different from the sand gazelles were they can’t survive with out water. They have long brown hair Arabian leopards

These animals cant live in desert and open areas, they accrue in mountains were water sources are available. They depend on goats and tahr for food.


  • Hare rabbits

It’s widely spread in the UAE deserts not in the mountains. They can live and survive with in the harsh environment of the desert. Bedouins used saluki dogs and falcons to hunt these hare rabbits for food where they used to share what ever they hunt between them and their hunter.


  • 1.3 women s hobbies in the past

Women had different hobbies than men, such as spinning sheep and goat’s hair for weaving, and they worked Talli for their clothes, stich Sirwal for their selves. They used to mix perfumes and do for Dokhon our Oud and cut the Burga’a as well.


2.1.4 traditional games and toys


In the past toys and games were limited, however children in the past were creative enough to invent their own toys and games from materials around them. Usually boys were separated from girls, they were not allowed to play together moreover when it is sunset time, which is called Almaghrib, children are obliged to go back home.


Alsaqlah Which is played by marbles, girls mostly play it. The number of players is four players; they make a shallow hole in the ground and put a number of shells or pebbles in the hole. One of them throws the keystone upwards, extracts as many stones as she can from the hole and then catches the keystone before it hits the ground. She repeats this action for as long as she can catch the keystone.  When she fails to catch the keystone, she must return the last lot of stones to the hole and the turn moves to the next player. This continues until there are no more stones in the hole. The winner is the player who collects the highest number of stones.


The Meryeihana A strong rope is tied to a tree branch. Two girls sit on two facing ropes and two other girls push them to make them swing. One girl on her own can play it too.


Al Qaraheif Then there is Al Qaraheif Game, which is made from an empty circular tin. Two tins are pierced in the middle and a string is passed through the holes and fixed inside each tin. The player puts one of his feet into each of the tins and then tries to move forward without falling over.


Al Ghomaid Game, which is played by boys and girls. One of the players is blindfolded to block his or her vision, then her or she must try to catch the rest of her friends.


Sack Race: were they race in rice sacks to the finish line. The last one in is a looser.


Al Boom, Home Made Dolls, & Al Nashaba Al Boom toys are built wooden boats, which were obviously played by boys, and they compete against each other in the sea. Then there is the traditional emirate homemade dolls game in which each child makes her own doll from scraps of wood and clothing materials.  Usually the girls meet in one of their houses and play with all their toys. Al Nashaba: The infamous sling shot game, which is made of wooden sticks, elastic rope and a stone to shoot


Kharareef is a story telling time. Where the presenter tells stories from his imagination that are not true but each story has to convey a massage to the listeners. Children gather together at the presenters place and listen to his stories.



  • 1.5 traditional architecture

The architecture in the UAE was deeply influenced by the harsh environment, lifestyle, and sources available. Building materials were simple but were superbly adapted to the climate. Easily portable camel or goat-hair tents provided shelter during tribal wanderings in the winter season. During the summer months spent in date palm plantations, home was an airy ‘arish woven from palm fronds. ‘Arish were also common in the coastal fishing, pearling and trading settlements. Inland more permanent houses were built of stone guss (mud mixture made into blocks) and were roofed with palm fronds. Fossilized coral, cut in blocks, bonded with sarooj (a blend of red clay and manure), or a lime mixture derived from seashells, and plastered with chalk and water paste, was used extensively in coastal regions. These materials have very low thermal conductivity and were therefore ideally suited for the hot and arid climate.

Privacy and ventilation were important influenced in the layout of domestic dwellings. A central interior courtyard onto which all the rooms opened was restricted to family use. Cooking facilities were located at one end of the courtyard, which also functioned as an eating and sleeping area in the hot summer months. The majilis or meeting rooms where the male members of the family entertained male guests were separate from the family quarters.

Although layout and natural materials helped in providing cool interiors, in many cases additional features such as wind towers were also used to improve ventilation. Decorative detail was confined to colorful floor rugs, intricate wooden latticework on windows and ornate wooden outer doors. Decorative patterns were modeled on traditional Islamic designs. 

Public buildings were largely confined to forts, which were seats of local government, and mosques where the public congregated for prayer.

economics prosperity and the significant increase in population that followed the discovery and export of oil had a huge social and cultural impact, not least of which was an immediate and urgent demand for public buildings and private housing.

  • 2 Vision, ambitions for the country (Cultural Policy)


The concept of cultural policy in United Arab Emirates refers to any initiative undertaken by the Emirate‘s government aimed at achieving goals of certain cultural content and ascribable within a coherent strategic framework. Today, U.A.E’s foremost ambition is to develop a cultural infrastructure that will allow it to establish itself as a reference point for culture on three levels:

  • Locally, it would preserve and sustain local traditions and heritage, promoting itself as the guardian of true Emirati and Arab identity, counterweighting cultural homogenization due to increasing shares of expatriates in the population;


  • Regionally, the focus on culture is meant to help the city and the Emirate compete against traditional centers of power in the Arab world (e.g. Egypt, Lebanon, pre-conflict Syria, etc.) for a leading role in middle east politics;


  • Globally, as a world cultural hub and center for education able to attract foreign creative talents and diversify its economy, with a particular focus on the service sector and innovation.


  • à Dubai
  • Everyone knows the architectural landmarks of Dubai, but this new global city’s true achievement and future promise soars well beyond its dynamic growth and spectacular buildings. Dubai is first and foremost about its people – a vibrant, multicultural and cosmopolitan community made up of over 200 different nationalities. These people are the driving forces behind the widely published new forms of design, culture, communication and lifestyle that shape Dubai today. Nowhere else in the world is the radical transformation of what people think of nationalities, heritage and culture more evident than in Dubai.
  • The goal of developing Dubai into an international and regional culture center over the next eight years. To articulate the openness of this approach right from the start, the new cultural authority has commissioned artists from different countries, including Dubai.
  • The Middle East is an area that’s burgeoning in many ways—politically, economically, and demographically. Bordered by Asia, Africa, and Europe, the region is an assortment of cultures and religions. Ethnic groups that live in the U.A.E. include Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, European, African, and Emirati.
  • Although the region itself is ancient, dating back 3,500 years, the demographics of its people currently skew young. Sixty-five percent of the population in the Middle East is under the age of 25, and creating jobs for this generation of young people is an overriding concern in these countries.
  • Much of the region’s wealth is attributable to having the world’s largest deposits
of easily extractable oil, but the petrochemicals, aluminum, banking, and tourism sectors have also been important to the economic health of the region. Countries in the Middle East are expected to see a three to five percent increase in GDP.
  • United Arab Emirates Sex Ratio 2014


  • 2.1 Cultural budget


Budget given to the culture in general and more precisely to the cultural diversity.

Cultural Investment in Abu Dhabi. (Source: SCAD)


Name of Institution Building Cost Extended Investments
Guggenheim 400 mill USD 3 bill USD
Louvre 110 mill USD 562 mill USD
Zayed National Museum / /
Maritime Museum / /
NYU Abu Dhabi / /
Sorbonne Abu Dhabi / 435.7 mill USD
Zayed University / 1.116 bill USD
Ferrari Theme Park / 2.97 bill USD



With these goals in mind, the government has invested a consistent amount of resources in developing local cultural districts since 2004, promoting education, and engaging in grand scale plans of urban transformation within the conceptual framework of “cultural infrastructure”. Indeed, urban and cultural planning are strictly intertwined in the case of the Emirate. Under the role model of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 plan, the main government body responsible for cultural development in the Emirate today is the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority

  • 2.2 The Abu Dhabi vision 2030 plan


Cultural policy in Abu Dhabi is mostly subsumed to the so-called Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 Master Plan 2030. The plan, a comprehensive set of strategic policies for the development of the Emirate in the next 20 years, has been sponsored since 2006 by Their Highnesses Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Plan aims at coordinating the political efforts of all agencies and authorities of the Emirate’s government. It relies on two main pillars: the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Vision 2030. Culture constitutes an important premise (place) for both plans.

In particular, the conceptual guidelines underlying the Vision 2030 Master Plan are outlined in Estidama. Originally designed in 2008 by the UPC as a policy program, Estidama, which means “sustainability” in Arabic, has since then rather become an inspirational vision for political governance. Aiming at achieving a more balanced society and enhancing well-being of future generations, it is grounded on four main pillars: economic, environmental, social, and cultural sustainability.

  • 2.3 Economics sustainability

Economic Sustainability: Diversification through Tourism

Indeed cultural policy in Abu Dhabi is functional to various goals. Economic diversification is probably paramount amongst them all. In the wording of the Economic Vision 2030 Policy Plan: “to diversify the Emirate’s economy away from oil while developing ambitious plans to become a genuinely sustainable world-class capital city ”. Accounting for about 87% of the UAE’s territory and for an estimated 90% of its total oil exports (10% of world’s known oilfield deposits), Abu Dhabi is not only the largest, but also the wealthiest of the UAE. Indeed its natural resources have granted it with consistent returns over the years. Today, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), boasts the highest capitalization in the world and is estimated at about 300 to 875 billion dollars. Despite its prosperity, the Emirate is increasingly faced with issues of sustainability of its national economy. Oil is a perishable resource: the neighboring Dubai already ended its reserves and was forced into high risk, fast-tracked strategies of diversification as oil-related industries have gradually winded down. Furthermore, oil dependent economies are heavily exposed to fluctuations in global oil prices. Hedging against the risk of unexpected downward pressure has been another important driving force behind diversification to non-oil industrial and service sectors. Under this respect, cultural policy aims at sustaining Abu Dhabi’s growing tourism industry both by capitalizing on existing cultural and natural heritage as well as by developing new offers and attractions for global touring.

  • 2.4 Cultural sustainability

Cultural Sustainability: Abu Dhabi as an Authentic Arab Capital

Developing and sustaining local culture is not only functional to the preservation of local political power and guaranteeing a stable social fabric, it is of paramount importance for the Emirate to fully express its role of capital of the UAE, seat of the national Government: Abu Dhabi as an authentic Arab Capital in the next future. This ambition is most explicitly addressed in the Abu Dhabi Capital 2030 Plan. By investing in the preservation of its unique heritage and customs, as well as by questioning the role of its tradition in a global context, rulers in Abu Dhabi reveal determination in pursuing a more demanding role for the Emirate in the regional and world politics. This exercise of long term vision and lateral thinking is embedded in the attempt to develop the required cultural flexibility to integrate tradition with new emerging ways of living, as well as to promote the values of diversity and international openness in society. The aim is to promote U.A.E as a truly global capital, world cultural hub and reference point for middle east-politics. Furthermore, increasing investments in education and the creative sector are part of a larger attempt to sustain the development of human and cultural capital (that is, knowledge, skills, local relations and customs) for the creation of a sustainable knowledge-based economy capable of facing the challenges posed by today’s global environment. Some commentators have dubbed this approach “cultural enlightenment“.

  • 2.5 Long term objectives for cultural policy
  • 3 cultural authorities (Who is in charge?)


2.3.1 Abu Dhabi (The Abu Dhabi Tourism and culture authority : TCA)

  • 3.1.1 Initiatives


Established in February 2012 by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of Abu Dhabi, this ‘super-agency’ combines the existing authorities for tourism, culture and heritage and retains all assets, mandates and staff of the previous organizations.

Mission: Its declared mission is “to promote the heritage, culture and traditions of Abu Dhabi emirate worldwide, […] to support the emirate’s evolution into a world-class, sustainable destination which makes a unique contribution to the global cultural landscape while conserving its singular character and ecosystem”.

Cultural Mandate: Its mandate is directly related to the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 Master Plan, which dictates guidelines for policy-making and offers a coherent strategic framework within which cultural policy in Abu Dhabi must be interpreted.

Operations and Responsibilities: Activities of the TCA are carried out in accordance to its given mandat and include:

The management of Abu Dhabi’s growing tourism sector and its international promotion by marketing it to culturally aware visitors and by facilitating international investments. The preservation and protection of Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage, with particular attention to its historic and archaeological sites, among which UNESCO World Heritage sites. The management of both existing and new museums, including the overseeing of operations in developing the Saadiyat Island Cultural District

Reaching new local and international audiences by consolidating a lively cultural environment and by sustaining and promoting cultural events, artistic programs, and other intellectual activities

Sponsoring education programs and broaden appreciation of Abu Dhabi’s traditions and legacy, as well as preserving collective memory and intangible heritage of the Emirate

  • Fostering a future class of leaders and professionals in the field of culture and education

Promoting the development of human and cultural capital in light with the challenges posed by the knowledge economy.

  • 3.1.2 Offers


2.3.2 Dubai (Dubai culture and arts authority)

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA) is a government agency in the United Arab Emirates, which handles both the preservation of the cultural heritage as well as the establishment of an active and modern art and cultural scene in Dubai.


The DCAA was founded in 2008 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum founded with the aim to stimulate the artistic and cultural scene in Dubai and to make it a center in the region. The Department of Culture, founded in 2004 (Dubai Cultural Council) was thereby incorporated into the DCAA. After the financial crash of 2008, the dimensions of some projects had indeed been reduced, but the DCAA is involved in a variety of projects and of immense importance to the culture and arts in Dubai.

To achieve their goal of establishing Dubai as a hotspot of art and culture, the DCAA artists offers a variety of events, projects and opportunities for continuing education that will help them to attain a higher level of awareness, but improve the cultural image of the city. The emphasis will be on a certain sense of tradition value, but also attempts to link these Arabic influences with modern art. In addition, we will give the public easier access to art and culture. Thus, more attention should be paid to the cultural life and consciousness’s are sure enshrined in the crowd.


Initiatives and offers:


à Projects organized by the DCAA:

Outdoors Art Project (Project Art in the open)

Sikka Art Fair

Khor Dubai

Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre

Gulf Film Festival

Patrons of the Arts Awards (patron of art Awards)


Soul of Dubai (Dubai soul)

Dubai Next

Holal – An Arabic Language Initiative

ArtBus (art bus)

Dubai Heritage and Touristic Season

Dubai Aet Season

Soul of Dubai 2014

Advertising Services for Artists

Workshops and Seminars


à Projects supported by the DCAA:

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Design Days Dubai

Art Dubai

Dubai International Film Festival

Art Bus (Bus Art)

Dubai Expo 2020 (Dubai World’s Fair 2020)


Notice: it can be interesting to compare TCA and DCCA to have an idea about the difference between the cultural policy in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi.


  • 3.3 others emirates





  1. Performing Arts


3.1 History

The art of dancing in the past UAE was different than any country, it was even different from the gulf countries around it. For Females they dance mostly using there hair by sway their hairs from side to side according to the sound beats, dancers are known with there long dark hair and they call this type of dance Naasha. Swing their body side to side by pointing one foot and moving around. The emirate dance focuses on the hand and nick as well. Some times they grab onto their clothes and swing them to show the flawless of there dress which is mainly called Thoob.


For men they have different dances. The first one is called Yola. Yola” is a dance where the riffle or gun that are called Misachba is thrown high in the sky. They dance in two rows, carrying sticks that traditionally are used to control their camels, with men beating drums between them. Then there is the traditional Razfa which they used swords and move from one place to another. Moreover they have the Ayala Is a dance performed by two rows facing one another. And hold together members of each row. This shows the cohesion and cooperation of tribal and mediates grade band holds the music where carrying their musical instruments are many, mostly copper Ktabol and tambourines, etc., and heads of those band man carrying a drum cylindrical shape with The two sides called breakers which is working to give music a the pep distinctive character of the dance and appropriate for hair which is said during the dance. Harbiya, which is another type of dance with swords, represents the courage and the willingness to continue. Finally For people who live in the mountain they are called Shohoh family they have their own dance too.


The United Arab Emirates enjoys a strong tradition of music. Songs were composed to accompany different tasks. Such as wedding and special occasional. Besides Professional song leader was kept on the pearling dhows whose job was to rally the men to work through music and song. The naha’an, as this person was known, would launch into song and all the sailors would join in as they worked. Each song had a rhythm for a particular task and the music became an inspiration for good team work.

In the evenings, around a fire in the desert, men would meet to talk and exchange news. It was also an occasion for story telling and for reciting poetry.


  • 1.1 Dance
  • 1.2 Music
  • 1.3 Poetry
  • 2 Ambitions (Cultural Policy)
    • 2.1cultural policy in Performing Arts


The performing arts scene in Abu Dhabi has seen a transformation over the last few years and there is a continual program of music, dance and theatre available in the city.

There is an emphasis in particular on live music. Traditionally the music you would hear in the UAE would be from the oud (a stringed instrument) which is sometimes combined with drum. You can still hear this type of music at Ramadan and also at some specialist Arabic music concerts. Other music events that take place in the city include classical, rock, jazz and pop music concerts. It is not unusual for hotel lobbies to feature a musician playing piano, harp or flute.  Many pubs and bars also have live music usually jazz or pop. Dance events include traditional cultural displays as well as classical ballet.

Theatrical shows can be for traditional works in Arabic and English performed by visiting professionals. The Club (aka The British Club) is often the location for modern plays.

For those wish to participate in musical events there are a number of groups in Abu Dhabi and these all put on concerts as well. These include choirs and barber-shop groups.

It is important to note that most performing arts events in the city are for one-night-only, so careful planning is required so as not to miss a concert.

  • There is an established annual jazz festival held mainly in Abu Dhabi hotels November.  Around the time of the Formula One there are many different musica
  • Those on the beach are free for all while those on Yas Island are free for those with F1 tickets.
  • There is a regular classical music festival which takes place over the winter season. The Abu Dhabi Classics season can include performances from big international names such as the Berlin Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
  • WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) established an annual free beach festival in Abu Dhabi in 2009. This usually takes place in April.

Festivals in U.A.E

The festivals seek to contribute to U.A.E s becoming a global destination of cultural enlightenment, respect and tolerance. Through new commissions as well as international and regional premieres, it pushes the boundaries of artistic excellence and creative innovation.

Festivals reinforce the country’s profile as an international arts metropolis; embedding art, education, culture and creativity into the heart of the Emirate. The festival is a strong advocate of cross-cultural understanding and plays a major role in cultivating the new artistic renaissance across the Middle East.

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is an annual film festival held in Dubai. Each year DIFF presents new and exciting cinema from the Arab world, Asia, Africa and beyond. The 11th edition will be held from December 10 to 17, 2014

Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Emirates airlines Dubai Jazz Festival

  • (February)

Started in 2003 as a 3-day mainstream jazz festival selling 1,200 tickets for the 1st edition and since the 2nd edition, the numbers have doubled and tripled. In 2014, the festival attracted more than 60,000 attendees for the whole 9 days.

  • * Dubai International Dance Festival
  • (September) à New festival will begin in September 2015.
  • * Abu Dhabi Classic

Annual cultural festival in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; established in 2004. The festival is presented by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. The event has been held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, since 2007. It was originally under the patronage of HE Sheikh

Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, then Minister of Information and Culture. Abu Dhabi Festival is the largest classical arts event in the UAE.

  • * Festival of Colors
  • (March)
  • * Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre
    • 2.1.1 cultural hub in general

The biggest weakness of the Pearl Area as a cultural hub is the absence of a deep pool of resident local artists. New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong benefit from thousands of local artists practicing in or around town, providing local galleries with a steady supply of works that are further supported by an extensive infrastructure of museums and cultural institutions.

The cultural and education arts programs of the Pearl Area (at Art Dubai, at Abu Dhabi Art, at the Saadiyat cultural district, and at the Sharjah Biennale) become critical to attract more and more artists to live and work there; streamlined work and residency permits for artists would also help. These cultural and education programs, in turn, can capitalize on the vastly increased amount of contemporary art from the Middle East in recent years. The Iranian Revolution sparked decades of upheaval in the region, and the rise of the contemporary Middle Eastern art scene can be closely associated with this upheaval and its migration from nation to nation. The first recognizable wave of contemporary art occurred in Iran after 1979, and the wave that followed it occurred in Iraq after the Iran-Iraq war. This was followed by other waves of creativity closely tied to the timing of transformational events in the region—so much so that today, for example, new artists seem to emerge most frequently from Syria and from Egypt.

  • 2.1.2 cultural diversity

The Middle East is often perceived by Westerners to be synonymous with conflict, but there are many areas in the Middle East where people of many different nationalities meet, live, and work side by side. The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is one of those areas, and the largest emirate, Dubai, with its high influx of international workers (expatriates make up 80 percent of the workforce there), is an excellent example. As a microcosm of the region and as the most desirable location in the Middle East for a head office, according to one study, it’s a good example of the issues that can come up when East meets West in the workplace.

Politically stable, Dubai has developed a reputation for being a safe place for people of all nationalities to work and for companies from all over the world to do business. It is a constitutional monarchy that’s been ruled since 1995 by Sheikh Mohammed, who had a vision of Dubai as an international hub for business and leisure.

His vision was quickly realized. In 1990, the number of tall buildings in Dubai
could be counted on one hand. Just 20 years later, the skyline is crowded with skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Dubai is small (about twice the size of Rhode Island) but has more cultural diversity per square foot than perhaps anyplace in the world. Of its two million inhabitants, only 100,000 are citizens. The rest are there on work visas. Women make up 14 percent of the workforce. Arabic is the official language of Dubai, but most people use English to conduct business.

Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Al Rashid Al Maktoum:

“ The UAE has become a cultural hub for over two billion people. Dubai will become an open air museum through a collaborative project between real estate developers and UAE-based artists & innovators. We launched #‎DubaiSpeakstoYou, the inaugural project of the @DXBMediaOffice’s initiative, Brand Dubai. I want artists from the region to work with us to turn Dubai into an open-air museum. Our real estate projects will become cultural sites. ” UAE’s consumer market is about diversity

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has one of the most diversified consumer markets. Retailers need to overcome the difficulty of serving customers with different needs, such as Emiratis, expatriates, tourists and overseas buyers. Yet, diversity creates niche opportunities for smaller overseas companies to tap the UAE market.


Expatriates matter


The UAE’s fast-growing population, high purchasing power and booming tourism have been driving the country’s consumer market. Of the population of 4.7 million people, only 20% of them are Emirati and citizens of the country. Meanwhile, 80% of them are expatriates. Most of them are South Asians, which account for 50% of the expatriate population, followed by other Arabs and Iranians (see Figure 1):



An influx of foreign workers, which has driven up the UAE’s population over the past 10 years, will remain the key population driver of the country in the next decade. While Euro monitor expects a 20% increase in population to 5.7 million in 2020 (see Figure 2), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) sees the UAE population expanding at a faster pace to 6.1 million in 2020.


In recent years, the UAE government has been offering various incentives to UAE nationals to raise bigger families. The government hopes that this will help achieve a better balance between Emirati and expatriate populations. However, the gap is unlikely to narrow any time soon, as the country’s rapid economic growth and huge increase in labor demand keeps expanding the size of expatriate population.




Owing to its multicultural population, the UAE has seen a mixed picture of consumer behavior. Take nightlife for example, Westerners tend to grab a drink in bars and clubs, where there are many after-work pub hangouts in Dubai, while Muslims, who account for most of the country’s population, prefer watching movies in cinemas with no alcoholic drinks. Therefore, goods and services providers, such as supermarkets, restaurants and even schools, offer customized goods and services to satisfy specific needs of customers with different cultural backgrounds.


Income inequality is another major reason for consumer diversity. There are huge income disparities between highly skilled workers and low-skilled workers. According to Dubai’s government statistics, the 2008 average annual salary of Western nationals, mostly in white-collar managerial positions, was US$49,046. UAE nationals and residents from other Arab countries earned US$30,790 and US$18,529 respectively. Meanwhile, Asians, who often fill lower-skilled service and laborer jobs, earned only US$16,349 on average.


Spending money on non-essential goods and services


With a high proportion of mid-to-high income earning households, a bigger slice of UAE consumer spending is tagged to non-essential goods and services (see Figure 3).


In 2010, the largest proportion of consumer spending was used on housing, accounting for 40% of the total expenditure. Despite the downward adjustment of Dubai’s real estate market over the past three years, housing will remain a major tranche of UAE consumer expenditure over the next five to 10 years.


Reflecting the continued quest for improved living standards, UAE consumers’ share of spending on non-essential goods and services has been growing, such as communications (up 59.3%), health goods and medical services (36.9% increase), hotels and catering (up 35.1%) and education (up 34.3%), over the past five years.


In the case of health goods and medical services, consumer expenditure has been boosted by UAE consumers’ increasing health consciousness and improvements in medical and healthcare services. According to a survey conducted by Synovate, the UAE led the pack among the 15 surveyed countries, with 84% of respondents considering themselves in good or excellent health. The strong emphasis on preventive measures also increased the spending on medical services. For example, UAE residents are the top purchasers of pain-relief medication, which is often carried outside home and taken amid the slightest sign of headache, cold or flu.





Tourists boost the luxury market


Tourists, instead of local residents, are the key growth driver of the country’s luxury market. In 2010, Dubai and Abu Dhabi received 8.7 million and 1.8 million of tourists respectively, increasing by 11% and 18%.

With numerous skyscrapers (for example, Burj Khalifa), mega-sized shopping malls (for example, Dubai Mall) and luxurious hotels (for example, Armani Hotel and Palazzo Versace), Dubai has successfully built a strong “luxury” image in the eyes of tourists.

Every year, Dubai attracts a lot of affluent tourists from neighboring countries (Figure 4). In the Gulf region, brands are regarded as a symbol of social status and success. Many wealthy Middle Easterners travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to shop for luxury goods. Wealthy tourists from other emerging markets, such as Russia, India and China, are growing important as well. In the first half of 2010, Dubai attracted 80,000 Chinese tourists, increasing by 57% year-on-year.






The attractiveness of Dubai as a luxury shopping capital in the region can be deduced from the high penetration of overseas luxury brands. According to CB Richard Ellis’s How Global is the Business of Retail 2010, more than 85% of luxury retailers have presence in Dubai, ranking it third in the world after Hong Kong (91%) and London (87%).


As mentioned, Abu Dhabi, another UAE emirate that is oil-rich and the capital of the country, is growing popular among wealthy shoppers as a shopping paradise. Aiming to diversify its economy, Abu Dhabi has been keen to develop its tourism sector. Ferrari World, for example, is one of its major initiatives in drawing overseas tourists. Meanwhile, guests from within the UAE continue to be the major tourist source for Abu Dhabi, which is gaining popularity as a tourist destination within the region. For example, hotel guests from Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait increased, respectively, by 26%, 35% and 28% in 2010, higher than the overall growth (18%).





  • 2.1.3 The U.A.E’s plan to build a cultural bridge with the world


The UAE contains 200 nationalities that live in harmony and that have together contributed to the development of the UAE and the community.  The UAE owes part of its success to cultural diplomacy.  it is now a leading Middle Eastern country with moderate policies.  His Highness Sheikh Zayed, the late President of the UAE, had a clear vision to build a modern state in a turbulent environment. He wanted to educate and train the people to face challenges, and he wanted to open a bridge to the rest of the world by creating partnerships. Cultural diplomacy was a central part of his strategic plan. Therefore, culture was from the very outset a strategic part of the UAE’s vision for its future. Their vision 2021 is to ensure a strong union with a common destiny that protects Emiratis and advocates balanced development to make the UAE an effective power. (United in Destiny) It’s very important to take the UAE abroad as well as in bringing institutions from abroad to the UAE. Abu Dhabi was one of the instigators of the Arab League. Thus, the cultural diplomacy of the UAE goes in both directions.

  • The Sheikh Zayed Prize and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, for example, have travelled the globe to increase appreciation for international and Arab authors.
  • The UAE is also heavily involved in translating books to multiple languages in order to make them more widely available.
  • It’s location between Europe and the Far East attracted Merchants from India, China and was prized by Europeans in particular the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British.

Study question

Is UAE promoting/supporting Cultural Performing art in cities that has :

  1. Direct destination flights from UAE?
  2. For its tourism rates and popularity?
  3. For a culture exchange?


United in Destiny& Enhanced international standing


The UAE’s international standing will continue to grow as its successes highlight its prestige as a regional and international role model, developing sectors of excellence and national champions.


Vision Statement:         

We want the nation to draw strength from its traditions of openness, peaceful coexistence and understanding.

In this way Emiratis will always resist the value-flattening effects of globalization, and will always be enriched rather than threatened by their nation’s openness to the world.

The UAE will enhance its pivotal role as a regional business hub whose essential infrastructure and institutions provide a gateway linking our neighborhood to the world, serving as a role model for the region.

Internationally, the nation will build on global successes in areas such diplomacy, developmental and humanitarian aid, as well as hosting international institutions and events. The UAE is also emerging as a point of reference in the cultural sphere. Sustained interaction between Emirati and other cultures has fostered mutual understanding and enrichment. Local traditions of literature, art and poetry will be promoted as international ambassadors for UAE culture.

However great its achievements, the UAE will not slow the pace of its drive for improvement. In the economic and government sphere, our nation will build on sectors of excellence to export its model abroad, while constantly evolving to create new competitive advantages. As an individual level, we will promote national champions in every domain, from sports to science and culture: every Emirati should aspire to become a champion in his field.

Source: UAE_Vision_2021_English.pdf Download Full Charter in PDF format


  • 2.2 Education or educate people ( who ? )


As part of its cultural policy planning, the government of U.A.E has recently signed agreements with top universities and business schools around the world with the aim of attracting and fostering students, researchers and future professionals in the field of culture. The Emirate is host, among others, to following higher education institutions: New York University Abu Dhabi, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, INSEAD, New York Film Academy.


  • 2.3 Export local culture in performing art


How to make expat and locals know more about the Culture


Expatriates and natives of the UAE can learn more about local culture through museums. Museums build local heritage as products that Emiratis can cultivate sentimentally. Museums give UAE an identity that expatriates can learn about and relate to (The national UAE news desk, 2012). Secondly, cultural foundations can show natives and expatriates the UAE’s history by conserving and recording national events. Cultural foundations are the best ways to introduce foreigners to UAE’s diverse cultures. Thirdly, culture festivals such as the recent Hoyamal festival allow locals and expatriates to experience UAE’s heritage and culture firsthand (Swan, 2014). Through festivals, natives and expatriates can go to see the works of UAE’s varied arts like sewing and food. Fourth, television and radio programs that air in the UAE today can center on Arab and Islamic tradition and their resources. For instance, one of the goals of public TV station Sharjah TV Station is to air “concerns directed towards culture” (Department of Culture & Information, 2004). Lastly, entities that promote local culture can target locals and expatriates to raise awareness about the UAE’s many socioeconomic resources that require their effort.


One of the ways UAE is promoting their culture abroad is:

-Helping Artists and Marketing culture:

Through a six month duration internship programed that aims to create a legacy of highly skilled art practitioners in the UAE equipped to take the national contemporary art and cultural scene boldly into the future. A unique opportunity for young Emiratis and long-term residents to be part of the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates at la Biennale di Venezia during the 56th International Art Exhibition (May 9 – November 22, 2015) .The National Pavilion UAE is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development. The commissioner of the National Pavilion UAE, Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, is a philanthropic, non-profitable organization with a deep commitment to developing and supporting the arts and culture of the UAE.

It is the family foundation of Her Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan.



Media Requests:  Mouna Khorchid

[email protected]



  • Mrs Hoda Kanoo, the founder of Admaf, says: “Fourteen years since the launch of Admaf, the UAE is now an international centre for the visual arts, and a hub for the art market of the Arab world.”

The new archive will function both as a register of artists’ achievements and a resource to boost their reputation abroad.

Kanoo continues: “Through professional guidance, mentoring, vocational development, grant-giving and publications, we shall ensure that the world realises the promise and potential of Emirati art.”

“We’re scouring the country to collate artists’ work,” she says. “Emirati art needs a boost, not because it is underachieving or lacking in talent, but to help promote contemporary Emirati art internationally.

“There is phenomenal talent out there. But in terms of helping it thrive, we must raise our game.”

Read more:

Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

  • helping artists to be recognized worldwide through The art exchange programme that was founded by Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the president of Dubai Women Establishment and the newly established Cultural Office. It began in 2008 with a trip to Art Basel in Switzerland and continued in 2009 when a group of students visited Frieze in London.

Read more:

Follow us: @The National UAE on Twitter | on Facebook


-Emirates Stadium


-Emirates Arena


-Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed theatre


  • 2.3.1 Marketing culture for global export

Parts of Emirati culture could be as internationally exportable as sushi or hip hop, according to the man behind a new advertising campaign. Watani, the organisation created in 2005 to promote the UAE’s national identity, is running several public service advertisements on local television stations to encourage Emiratis to share their cultural heritage with others. “UAE national identity has got international properties if we know how to present it right,” said Mohamed Baharoon, the deputy director of Watani. “We shouldn’t be thinking of national identity as pure heritage, something of the past, elements that need to be kept in a museum. No, it’s a practice. Something like drinking Arabic coffee or Arabic hospitality is a living thing.” One of the commercials shows a man in a kandura being served Arabic coffee at a cafe. As the camera pulls back, it reveals that the man is sitting in a French cafe, surrounded by customers from all around the world being entertained by accordion-playing street musicians. Everyone turns out to be drinking Arabic coffee. “It’s like sushi being served in Dubai or Finland,” Mr Baharoon said. “These are culturally specific elements that could have international proportions.” They were conceived by Watani and produced by Blink Studios, a television and film production company based in Dubai Studio City, for a budget of around Dh150,000 (US$40,000), according to Mr Baharoon. They are the first of nearly 20 advertising campaigns to be shot outside the country by Watani, which receives the bulk of its funding from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He views television stations as partners who run the commercials because they believe in spreading awareness about national heritage. “For people to respect you, they have to understand you,” he said. “If you cannot communicate yourself to other people there will always be a misunderstanding of the culture.”

Read more:

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  • The Dubai Arts & Culture Authority (commonly known as Dubai Culture), one of the dedicated authority of Emirates for arts, culture and heritage, in the support of UAE’s bid to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai, hosted an event for 3 days at the well-known IMA (Institut du Monde Arabe), that is the Arab World Institute in Paris. The UAE cultural industry is very thriving and has very strong associations with France; “Dubai Next” is one of the good demos of the UAE and France partnership. The “Dubai Culture” has worked a lot to support the bid of UAE and it helped a lot to reiterate global position of Dubai as a creativity and collaboration hub for Dubai Expo 2020. The UAE cultural industry is very thriving and has very strong associations with France; “Dubai Next” is one of the good demos of the UAE and France partnership. The “Dubai Culture” has worked a lot to support the bid of UAE and it helped a lot to reiterate global position of Dubai as a creativity and collaboration hub for Dubai Expo 2020.

See more at:

  • Etihad Airways has designated 2011 as “the year of Abu Dhabi” with the launch of its “essential Abu Dhabi” destination marketing campaign. Designed to enhance Abu Dhabi’s place as a top tourist and MICE destination, the campaign will see Etihad unveil a number of exciting promotional activities across the globe. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Etihad plays a hugely important role in bringing visitors to Abu Dhabi, and essential Abu Dhabi will give extra momentum to our efforts to promote the capital as one of the world’s best destinations.  “We will be promoting essential Abu Dhabi in all of our overseas destinations, as well as online and in-flight, and refreshing the program’s special offers regularly so that frequent visitors will always have something new to look forward to.” The campaign is being supported by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority as a major partner and demonstrates the commitment of the entire local tourism industry to work effectively together to promote Abu Dhabi as a major global destination. As well as appealing to visitors planning a trip to the UAE, the programme is also targeting the millions of passengers transiting through the Abu Dhabi hub, to entice them to stopover in the city for a few nights.

Source: net/news/2059/etihad-launches-essential-abu-dhabi-campaign“>


  • 2.3.2 Sponsoring programs outside the U.A.E


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will this month celebrate the contemporary Arab film industry by sponsoring the Arab Film Festival Australia. It is the fourth year Etihad has sponsored the festival, which tours Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane throughout July.

Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said: “As the national airline of the UAE, we are proud to support programs that promote the richness and diversity of modern Arabic cultural life. “The feature films and documentaries in the Arab Film Festival Australia program showcase the extraordinary talents of their makers and give audiences insight into the lives of Arabic-speaking communities worldwide.” Dubai-based Talent Casting Agency founder Saro Carlwig said: “We are very grateful for Etihad’s support as it is essential to represent the culture of the UAE abroad. This trip to the Arab Film Festival in Sydney means a lot to Emirati filmmakers as – thanks to Etihad’s generosity – they have the opportunity to represent their films and their country in person.”

About Arab Film Festival Australia:  The Arab Film Festival Australia is managed by Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) and driven by an organizing committee representing Australia’s diverse Arabic-speaking communities and cultures. In 2011, the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary.


An agreement happened between Abu Dhabi and France in exchange of their culture art the agreement states the following:

For Abu Dhabi, the deal is an important step in its plan to build a $27 billion tourist and cultural development on Saadiyat Island, opposite the city. The project’s cultural components include a Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a maritime museum and a performing arts center as well as the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

For France the agreement signals a new willingness to exploit its culture for political and economic ends.

In this case, it also represents something of a payback: the United Arab Emirates has ordered 40 Airbus 380 aircraft and has bought about $10.4 billion worth of armaments from France during the last decade.

Apart from paying $520 million to the French agency for the use of the Louvre name for 30 years, with $195 million to be paid within one month, Abu Dhabi has also agreed to make a direct donation of $32.5 million to the Louvre to refurbish a wing of the Pavillon de Flore for the display of international art. This gallery, to be ready by 2010, will carry the name of Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, the founder and longtime ruler of the United Arab Emirates, who died in 2004.

Abu Dhabi will also finance a new Abu Dhabi art research center in France and pay for restoration of the Château de Fontainebleau’s theater, which will be

Be named after Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the current president.


In a statement, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan said the accord reinforced Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming “a world-class destination bridging global cultures.”



  • Raising the issue of the Arab World’s poor image in the International circles, by highlighting the use of cultural diplomacy to strengthen Arab ties with the rest of the world. Speaking more on the improvements of Arab relations with the rest of the world, Zaki Nusseibeh Advisor, Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Deputy Chairman, ADACH, said, “We do not view culture only as a tool, it is critical for our survival. We live in a rough neighborhood and wealth alone is not enough for survival. “We need to develop the concept of living in fear for the other, instead of fear for each other. In this way, cultural projects would have more significant feeling, and change the terrible conceptions of the region in Europe and the US.”

He added that education should look at worldly and philosophical issues train to think critically and ask the right questions without fear. “We need to bring education to a level that is international in nature,” added Nusseibeh. Schneider also quoted examples on how East-West collaboration through art and culture was proving to be a success.



The UAE makes no secret of the fact that oil revenues have been used to fuel a definite strategy and the rapid pace at which the art scene has developed in the UAE in the last seven or eight years is the result of it.  It is inevitable that an art culture with origins firmly rooted in the economic side of things is driven by money.  It seems that UAE using the oil revenues to raise the knowledge of the rest of the world about the Arab culture and present the UAE as a Cultural ambassador and a culture hub.



3.3 Projects

  • 4 Who is in charge ?
  • 4.1 Theatre and performing arts centers
  • 4.2 Events organizations
  • Conclusion: Perspectives










The Nation


Breading Centre Sharja


Traditional Dance In The UAE


UAE Interact


Traditional Games in the UAE’sGames.htm


7 Emirates





Morsy, M. (2012). The United Arab Emirates: A Modern History. New York: Hurtwood Press, Limited.

Romano, A. (2010). A Historical Atlas of the United Arab Emirates. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Zahlan, R. S. (2000). The origins of the United Arab Emirates: a political and social history of the Trucial States. New York: McMillan.

Arabian Nights. (2013). Languages and Religion. Arabian Nights. Retrieved from   

Department of Culture & Information. (2004). Sharjah TV Station. United Arab Emirates             Sharjah Government. Retrieved from

Emirates 24/7 Staff. (2011). Expats make up over 88% of UAE population. Emirates 24/7.             Retrieved from            population-2011-04-17-1.381853

Swan, M. (2014). Emirati women showcase local culture at Hoyamal festival. The National           UAE. Retrieved from       local-culture-at-hoyamal-festival

The national UAE newsdesk. (2012). Emiratis call for more local culture museums. The    National UAE. Retrieved from           for-more-local-culture-museumsأل%20نهيان%20الكرام/files/basic-html/page15.html







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