Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

1 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month

Sheikh Zayed Mosque seen from the courtyard © Wikiemirati/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sheikh Zayed Mosque seen from the courtyard © Wikiemirati/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The largest mosque in the country, it is the key place of worship for daily prayers, Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid, it may be visited by more than 41,000 people. The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007. It was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky. The building complex measures approximately 290 by 420 m (950 by 1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), excluding exterior landscaping and vehicle parking. The main axis of the building is rotated about 11° south of true west, aligning it in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.   read more…

The European Union: Real Estate and Demography

25 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Editorial, European Union, Living, Working, Building

(Latest update: 18 September 2019) First, there is not THE real estate market – not national and certainly not international. In fact, the market situation is very fragmented due to the general conditions, in other words, many individual markets, collectively referred to as “the market”. Metropolitan Area A faces different challenges than Metropolitan Area B and Metropolitan Area C can not even understand what A and B are talking about. Where there is comparability, is the housing situation in the “affordable segment” in urban centers in all western EU states, the US and Canada. This is where the call for the state, which should intervene regulatively, quickly becomes louder. In free market economies, however, this is on the one hand not wanted and therefore on the other hand, only limited possible. That’s pretty okay, because the market is inherently profit-oriented and that’s just what it will stay, otherwise investment incentives for new construction would sooner or later be completely absent. The “rental price brake” (Mietpreisbremse) exemplifies the problem. At the same time, more and more social housing is being let out of the rental price brake without replacement investment being made. In the following, single aspects are examined in more detail using the example of Germany, whereby the scenarios can also be transferred to other western EU states, the USA, Canada, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates or Tel Aviv in Israel.   read more…

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…

The Gulf States: Bon voyage!

9 February 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: 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…

Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi

27 August 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© reem-island.ae

© reem-island.ae

Reem Island is a natural island 600 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi island. Sorouh Real Estate, Reem Investments, and Tamouh are independently developing parts of the island with projects like Shams Abu Dhabi. Reem Developers define the overall dimensions of the project as 6.5 million square metres and investment costs as exceeding $30 billion. The project has gained international interest as one of the first free zones in Abu Dhabi, where foreign nationals can buy property as leasehold.   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 Fujairah

22 February 2018 | Author/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

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…

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