Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Abu Dhabi

February 24th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Abu Dhabi view from Marina village © - patano/cc-by-sa-3.0

Abu Dhabi view from Marina village © – patano/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the largest emirate by area (67,340 km2), accounting for approximately 87 percent of the total land area of the federation. Abu Dhabi also has the largest population of the seven emirates. The population is at 2.8 million, of which less than 20% are Emirati citizens. Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the emirate, after which it is named, as well as the capital of the federation. Main cities and towns are Abu al Abyad, Al Ain, Al Shahama, Al Tawelah, Al Shalelah, Al-Aryam Island, Al Shamkha, Bani Yas City, Ghayathi, Ghantoot, Habshan, Al Wathba, Al Mu’azaz, Al Ad’la, Swehan, Halat Al Bahrani, Khalifa Port, Liwa Oasis, Madinat Zayed, Marabe al Dhafra, Marawah, Port Zayed, Ruwais, Sila, Sir Bani Yas, and Tarif.   read more…

Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Sharjah

February 23rd, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage |

Buhairah Corniche © Basil D Soufi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Buhairah Corniche © Basil D Soufi/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Emirate of Sharjah is one of the seven emirates. The emirate covers 2,590 square kilometres (1,000 sq mi) and has a population of over 1.4 million. The emirate of Sharjah comprises the capital city of Sharjah, after which it is named, and other minor towns and exclaves such as Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn and Khor Fakkan. The emirate is a constitutional monarchy. It has been ruled by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi since 1972. Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, and is the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The emirate covers 2,590 square kilometres (1,000 sq mi) which is equivalent to 3.3 per cent of the UAE’s total area, excluding the islands. Sharjah City borders Dubai to the south and Ajman to the north, and the three form a conurbation. The city lies some 170 kilometers away from the UAE capital city Abu Dhabi. Sharjah also encompasses some important oasis areas, the most famous of which is the fertile Dhaid region, where a range of vegetables and fruits are cultivated.   read more…

Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Fujairah

February 22nd, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Al Bithnah Fort © Mike "fasmike" Che/cc-by-sa-3.0

Al Bithnah Fort © Mike “fasmike” Che/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fujairah is one of the seven emirates, and the only one of the seven that has a coastline solely on the Gulf of Oman and none on the Persian Gulf. The emirate of Fujairah covers approximately 1,166 km2, or about 1.5% of the area of the UAE, and is the fifth-largest emirate in the UAE. Its population is around 153,000 inhabitants; only the Emirate of Umm al-Quwain has fewer occupants. Fujairah is the only emirate of the UAE that is almost completely mountainous. All the other emirates, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi are located on the west coast, and are largely covered by deserts. Consequently, Fujairah boasts a higher than average yearly rainfall of the UAE, allowing farmers in the region to produce crop every year. The emirate has a cove, Ad Dayt. The variability of the east coast climate is partly due to the presence of the Hajjar mountain range. As with other mountainous areas, precipitation is higher, and this allows for a more varied micro-environment in the area. Tourist visitor numbers peak just before the school summer months.   read more…

Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Umm al-Quwain

February 21st, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Mangroves with the city of Umm al-Quwain © - Peter Dowley/cc-by-2.0

Mangroves with the city of Umm al-Quwain © – Peter Dowley/cc-by-2.0

Umm al-Quwain is the least populous of the seven emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate is ruled by Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla. The emirate had 73,000 inhabitants in 2015 and has an area of 750 km2 (290 sq mi). The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques which are scattered around the country. Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise between Friday’s holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of Saturday-Sunday.   read more…

Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Ajman

February 20th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

© MMuzammils/cc-by-sa-3.0

© MMuzammils/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Emirate of Ajman has an area of a mere 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi), which makes it the smallest of the emirates in terms of area. It is named after the city of Ajman, which is its seat of government. It is bordered on the north, east, and south by the Emirate of Sharjah. It has a population of some 240,000. Located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, Ajman also controls two small inland exclaves: Manama and Masfut, both of which are primarily agricultural. Approximately 95% of the population of the emirate resides in the city of Ajman, which forms part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. Ajman is ruled by Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi of the Al Nuaimi tribe. The Crown Prince of the Emirate is Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi.   read more…

Theme Week United Arab Emirates

February 19th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks |

Ras al-Khaimah - Al Hamra Fort Hotel & Beach Resort © Pedantin9/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ras al-Khaimah – Al Hamra Fort Hotel & Beach Resort © Pedantin9/cc-by-sa-3.0

The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates, is a federal absolute monarchy in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Arabian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. In 2013, the UAE’s population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates. The country is a federation of seven emirates, and was established on 2 December 1971. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. The largest cities are Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs (traditionally always the Emir of Abu Dhabi) is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. Islam is the official religion of the UAE and Arabic is the official language (although English, Urdu and Hindi languages are widely spoken, with English being the language of business and education particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai).   read more…

The Gulf States: Bon appétit!

October 31st, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General |

© Hégésippe Cormier/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Hégésippe Cormier/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest. The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline. The gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive reefs (mostly rocky, but also coral), and abundant pearl oysters. The body of water is historically and internationally known as the Persian Gulf. Some Arab governments refer to it as the Arabian Gulf. Arab cuisine is a cuisine defined as the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab world, from the Maghreb to the Mashriq or Levant and the Persian Gulf. The cuisines are often centuries old and resemble and culture of great trading in spices, herbs, and foods. The three main regions, also known as the Maghreb, the Mashriq, and the Khaleej have many similarities, but also many unique traditions. These kitchens have been influenced by the climate, cultivating possibilities, as well as trading possibilities. The kitchens of the Maghreb and Levant are relatively young kitchens which were developed over the past centuries. The kitchen from the Khaleej region is a very old kitchen. The kitchens can be divided into the urban and rural kitchens.   read more…

12345...10...Last »
Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲