United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is an Arabian Peninsula nation settled mainly along the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. The country is a federation of 7 emirates. Abu Dhabi, the island capital, is home to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with crystal chandeliers and room for 40,000 worshipers. Dubai is the site of ultramodern Burj Khalifa tower, enormous shopping centers and extravagant entertainment attractions.
Islam isthe official religion of the UAE and Arabic is the official language, although Indianand English language are widely spoken, as the latter being the language forbusiness and education especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. And one of themonarchs who, traditionally the Emir of Abu Dhabi is selected as the Presidentof the United Arab Emirates. The UAE’sgas reserves are considered as the world’s 17thlargest, while theiroil reserve is the 7th largest in the world. Abu Dhabi’s ruler andthe first President of UAE, Sheikh Zayed, kept his eye on thedevelopment of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, educationand infrastructure. The economy of UAE is considered as the most diversified inthe GulfCooperation Council, and Dubai being the most populous city, isconsidered as an international aviation hub and an important global city.
In ancient times, it appears that the land of the Emirates has been occupied for thousands of years. In the emirate of Sharjah, they recovered stone tools from Jebel Faya which reveals an occupation of the people from Africa some 127,000 years ago and a stone tool used for slaughtering animals were discovered at Jebel Barakah on the Arabian coast, which suggests an even older habitation from 130,000 years ago. Several sea Travel routes were opened; bringing other people from different countries to enter and trade in the country. The Greek and Phoenician settlers also went through the Arabian Peninsula territory. There are also other settlers, such as the Romans, who tried to invade the peninsula but unfortunately failed. Then the evolution of Islamic culture and religion had marked the stability of the country. The influence of the Umayyah Dynasty brought the country to progress, making the Gulf a global centre for navigation and trade.
Emirati culture is based on Arabian culture and has been influenced by the cultures of Persia, India, and East Africa. Arabian and Persian inspired architecture is part of the expression of the local Emirati identity. The list of the museums in UAE includes some of regional repute, especially Sharjah which has the Heritage District that contains 17 museums which was known as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 1998. And Al Quoz in Dubai, has attracted a number of art galleries as well as museums such as the Salsali Private Museum.
The Ministry of Education monitors the education system through secondary level in all emirates except Abu Dhabi, where it falls under the authority of the Abu Dhabi Education Council. The public schools are government-funded for all UAE citizens, and their curriculum is created to match the United Arab Emirates’ development goals and values. The medium of instruction in public schools is Arabic but with emphasis on English as second language.
The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), the Dubai Education Council (DEC), and the UAE Ministry of Education (MOE) are each tasked with education reform, while preserving local traditions, principles and the cultural identity of the UAE.
Dialing code: +971
Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
Ethnic groups (2015): 27.15% Indian; 12.53% Pakistani; 11.32% Emirati; 7.31% Bangladeshi; 3.13% Sri Lankan; 38.56% others