Essay on Uae Society & Culture

1474 Words Mar 1st, 2015 6 Pages
UAE Society & Culture
The United Arab Emirates is home to a rich cultural heritage that has been strongly influenced by its unique environment. The region's varied terrain, desert, oasis, mountains and coast, dictated the traditional lifestyles that evolved over the centuries. A resilience and resourcefulness necessary to survive in these harsh conditions was fostered by society’s age-old tribal structure: each family was traditionally bound by obligations of mutual assistance to his immediate relatives and to the tribe as a whole. Among the tribe an individual's selfless hospitality was the source of his honour and pride. A common religion, Islam, also provided the cement that held society together.
The UAE’s rich history is rooted
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A common religion, Islam, also has held the people together.
The largest tribe, the Bani Yas, roamed the vast sandy areas that cover almost all of the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Other tribes, too, such as the Awamir and Manasir, shared this challenging environment for numerous generations. All the subtribes and clans were accustomed to wander great distances with their camels in search of grazing, moving as entire family units.
In Al Ain and other oases luxuriant date gardens were watered by an efficient traditional irrigation system (falaj aflaj) bringing water from aquifers in the mountains. In the narrow mountain wadis (valleys), falaj-like watercourses (ghayl) were used to irrigate terraced gardens tended by extended families.
Life in the mountains to the north and east was quite different to that on the sandy plains, but the seas along the UAE's extensive coastline were a common resource for all and the people of the region have been involved in trading by sea for many millennia. Great wooden dhows used to wander the Indian Ocean, bringing back new foods and new ideas. Today, seatrading is still a very profitable economic activity and the UAE remains an important entrepot.
Eventually, the pearling boom brought increased urbanisation with a great mix of tribal people settling in coastal towns and villages. This process was hugely accelerated by the discovery and export of oil in

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