Louvre Abu Dhabi

1 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions

© Phpeter/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Phpeter/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The museum was inaugurated on 8 November 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron and United Arab Emirates Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The museum is part of a thirty-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government. The museum is located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District.   read more…

Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai

8 March 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Dubai, General

© Imre Solt/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Imre Solt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jumeirah Beach Residence (also known as JBR) is a 1.7 kilometres (1.1mi) long, 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) gross floor area waterfront community located against the Arabian Gulf in Dubai Marina in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is a residential development and contains 40 towers (35 are residential and 5 are hotels). JBR can accommodate about 15,000 people, living in its apartments and hotel rooms. The Project has 6,917 apartments, from 900sqft (84 m²) studios to 5,500 sq ft (510 m²) penthouses. JBR has a total of six residential blocks, Shams, Amwaj, Rimal, Bahar, Sadaf and Murjan (in order from east to west). The developer, Dubai Properties (a subsidiary of Dubai Holding), launched JBR in August 2002. This 6 billion dirham project was completed in 2010.   read more…

The Gulf States: Bon voyage!

9 February 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Dubai, Editorial, General, UNESCO World Heritage

© Hégésippe Cormier/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Hégésippe Cormier/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Arabian Gulf (the Arab states call the west side of the Persian Gulf Arabian 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. About 200 million people are living in the Gulf States, with Iran being the most populous country with 80 million inhabitants, followed by Iraq (38.7 million), Saudi Arabia (32 million), Yemen (38 million), United Arab Emirates (9.4 million), Oman (4.4 million), Kuwait (4.1 million), Qatar (2.6 million) and Bahrain (1.5 million). Tourism is an increasingly important factor for the smaller countries of the region, but Iran and Saudi Arabia are developing this sector more and more either. While the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain are suitable for less experienced travelers, traveling to other countries in the region requires quite a few preparations. Relevant links to the U.S. Department of State can be found at the end of each country portrait. With the exception of Yemen and Iraq because of travel warnings for EU citizens (there are additional travel warnings for other Gulf States for US citizens), all Gulf States can be visited without difficulties, as far as the rules, way of living and habits of the respective host country are respected.   read more…

Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Abu Dhabi

24 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

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

Abu Dhabi view from Marina village © panoramio.com – 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

23 February 2018 | Author/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 Umm al-Quwain

21 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

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

Mangroves with the city of Umm al-Quwain © flickr.com – 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

20 February 2018 | Author/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

19 February 2018 | Author/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…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 9 July 2020) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund, timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba and the assassination of UN mediator Folke Bernadotte by the terror organization Lehi/Stern gang. Among them, the later Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 208 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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