25 Fascinating & Lesser Known Facts about United Arab Emirates

Although the United Arab Emirates is a small country located along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, it has a rich and colorful history, culture, and lifestyle distinctive to its region and the world as a whole. Though most people focus on the recent boom and growth of the country, it has thrived for thousands of years and has fascinating traditions. Under the leadership of its founding father, Sheikh Zayed, the United Arab Emirates officially became a nation-state in 1971. In addition to discovering oil in the UAE and its vast network, which consists of seven emirates and Abu Dhabi as its capital, the country gains wealth from millions of tourists who travel to Dubai, enjoy the stunning deserts, and enjoy breathtaking views. Moreover, UAE is technology-enabled, enabling people to send gifts to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and across the Emirate with the help of online gift shops.

In almost every major city in the UAE, its flag is flown with pride and interesting history. To appreciate how dynamic this beautiful country is, you should know the following interesting facts about UAE. In this list curated by us, we cover every important and essential thing people should know about this Arab country. So, take a look at some of the little-known things about the UAE flag, its traditions, its history, & vibrant culture –

About UAE –

Location: The region is located in the Middle East, between Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Oman.
   Capital: Abu Dhabi
Time Zone: Gulf Time Zone – UTC+4:00
Government: Federal Constitution.
Internet penetration: 70.0%
Nationality: Emiratis
Population: 9.5 million+ (2019 est.)
Currency: Dirham
Population growth rate (2019): 1.2%
Climate: Desert with cooler temperatures in the eastern mountains.
Business Culture: ranked 27th among 58 countries in the Business Culture Complexity IndexTM.

Flag: The UAE flag was adopted for the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Red, green, white, and black are the colors representing the unity of the Arab countries.

National Anthem: Known also as Ishy Bilady (Long live my Nation), the National Anthem of the United Arab Emirates was composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab and adopted in 1971 as the UAE was first formed. Arif Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan wrote the lyrics of the song, did not become an official part of the song until 1996.

Ethnic Make-up (2020 est):
Emirati – 11.6%
Egyptian – 10.2%
Philippine – 6.1%
Other – 12.8%
South Asian – 59.4%, including –
Indian – 38.2%
Bangladeshi – 9.5%
Pakistani – 9.4%
Other- 2.3%

Major Celebrations of United Arab Emirates –

1st January – Like all across the world, 1st January of every year is celebrated as the New Year in the UAE as well. On this day, people send New Year gifts to Dubai along with cakes, flowers, and gift items to their loved ones as this festival lasts only for 1 day.

30th November – Memorial Day, which commemorates those who have laid down their lives for the UAE, lasts a day.

2nd December – A national holiday celebrated on 2nd December, commemorating the 1971 union of the original six emirates with the second Emirate in 1972. This celebration lasts two days.

In accordance with the Islamic (Hijir) Lunar Calendar, the following Islamic holidays fall on different dates –

Israa Wal Miraj Night – According to the Islamic calendar, it is celebrated on the 27th day of the 7th month of Rajab.

Eid Al-Fitr – It starts at the end of the Ramadan holy month and lasts for three days. Eid begins when a new crescent moon is sighted. For this day, people wish loved ones with Eid gifts online as this is one of the essential festivals of Muslims.

Arafah Day – On the twelfth and final month in the Islamic lunar calendar, the Night of Arafah falls on the night day of the Dhu Al Hijjah. During the Hajj, pilgrimage is the second day and occurs before Eid Al Adha. Pilgrims travel to Mount Arafah, where Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon on the day.

Eid Al-Adha – On this final day of a three-day celebration outlined above, the festivities come to a close.

Hijri News Years Day – When the Prophet Muhammad arrived in Medina in 622 AD, it Islam began its lunar calendar on this date. AH, 1438 – 1439 corresponds to 2017 in the Islamic calendar. ‘AH’ stands for ‘After Hijra.

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Mawlid – According to the Islamic calendar, Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday is celebrated in the third month, Rabi al Awal.

Interesting Facts about United Arab Emirates –

1. UAE – Perfect Blend of Tradition and Modernity

A big reason for Dubai’s popularity is how it combines both ancient Emirati tradition and modernity that came with the oil boom. While Dubai continues to be a truly dynamic city, the city manages to retain its fiercely Emirati identity while welcoming diverse ex-pat communities. When tourists come to the UAE, they mostly visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The city also holds the distinction of being the cultural capital for the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf states? Using its heritage sites, mosques, old souks, and traditional architecture, it is symbolic of the culture and traditions of the Middle East. It was also recognized by Unesco in 1998 as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World, under the wise leadership of Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi.

2. UAE adopted on December 2nd, 1971 – National Day

The UAE flag, which was raised for the first time on this very day, was adopted the same day the UAE was officially declared as an independent nation. As a national holiday, UAE celebrates this historic event every year.

3. Founded by father, Sheikh Zayed

Sheikh Zayed, the nation’s founder and leader, raised the flag first on this historic day. Since then, the flag has become synonymous with the UAE’s proud independence.

4. The Religion of United Arab Emirates

Iftar (breakfast) meals are provided by a mosque in the UAE after sundown so that Muslims may break their fasts during Ramadan. Religion plays an important role in UAE cities; all religious practices are respected equally regardless of culture. The country has most Muslim residents (approximately 76%), specializing in Sunni Muslims rather than Shias. Other minority religions practiced in the country include Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Judaism.

Muslims in the country can practice their religion freely because specific laws allow them to do so. The government reduces working hours during Ramadan by two hours. Muslims can also offer their Friday prayers without difficulty because official working days are Sunday through Thursday. All religions are regarded as equal in the country, but converting Muslims is seen as a heinous crime. It has happened that people have been deported from the country for passing out Bibles to Muslim people.

5. Art in the UAE

A number of different elements of UAE culture can be seen in art, music, dance, literature, and theater. This country has many galleries and museums which represent the past as well as provide insights into the future. Arabic words are presented as aesthetic art through calligraphy, a traditional art form in the Middle East. Contemporary literature is characterized by two elements in the UAE that are particularly popular: ‘Nabati poetry,’ which traces the lives and routines of people over time, and ‘spoken poetry.’

The UAE is also a vibrant nation of music and dance, with songs and dances that have been passed down from generation to generation and still performed at celebrations. Stick dance, a form of dance that demonstrates tribal values such as unity, is among the most popular in the UAE. The Khaleegy dance form is another popular form of dance in the UAE, during which women shake their bodies and sway their hair rhythmically to strong musical beats. Among the many international artists to perform in the United Arab Emirates have been Zayn Malik, Coldplay, Shakira, Linkin Park, etc.

6. Dressing Style of UAE

Women and men alike wear clothing that covers most of their bodies because Islamic texts preach modesty and conservativeness. Traditionally, in the Arab Emirates, women wear abayas, long black cloaks that cover their whole body except their feet, hands, and faces. Women often cover their hands and faces with this as well as Niqaabbb and Gafaaz. When women go out in public, they cover their whole body and face with a burqa, an outer clothing piece worn over daily clothes.

Typically, men in the Arab Emirates wear kandura, a long and loose-fitting robe that comes in white and is worn in conjunction with a headscarf called ghutrah, which can be tied in various styles. A long Kandura robe indicates that a person is wealthy since the longer it is, the more they are. Furthermore, several people, especially youths and ex-pats, have been seen wearing western-style clothes like jeans and T-shirts in cities like Dubai.

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7. Incredible Architecture of UAE

The architecture here reflects the unique culture and rich history of UAE & the Emiratis, heavily influenced by Persian, Arabian, and Islamic architecture. Their designs incorporate a variety of materials and carefully analyze the climate conditions to ensure that people are adequately ventilated and protected from the elements. Iranian architecture uses a wind tower, known as a barjeel, to produce natural ventilation. Since the country is often flooded with tourists who come to these buildings, the malls and hotels in the UAE have the best architecture.

Here are a few buildings in this country that are known for their architecture:

 The Dubai Mall, Dubai
 Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi
 The Emirates Palace hotel, Abu Dhabi
 The Burj Khalifa, Dubai
 Souk Madinat, Dubai
 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

8. The Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall, although a cliché, is what makes the city unique. With an enormous variety of shops, an ice skating rink, a cinema, and delicious restaurants, the Dubai Mall is almost a town in and of itself, located next to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

9. Burj Khalifa – The Tallest Building in the World

The Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world, provides an incredible view of Dubai. This city’s lights and fireworks at the New Year will never cease to impress you, and they serve as a reminder of why it’s such a special place.

Red is the color of allegiance to the Prophet Mohammad in both the national flag and the flag of each emirate. It may represent the sacrifice that many Arab states have gone through in the past, but it is also widely known to represent Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Despite adhering to international regulations, the UAE is still governed by Islamic sharia law and remains dedicated to adhering to Islamic law.

10. Known for Pearl Diving and Fishing

UAE was first brought wealth and recognition through pearl diving, which historically put them on the map for international trade with India, Persia, East Africa, and even Great Britain. Since the 1970s, when the country became a nation-state, and after discovering oil, the country has grown and thrived in part because of the thriving fishing and pearl diving trade from centuries past.

11. UAE – Part of an Ancient Trade Network for at least Thousand Years

Even though the UAE has only recently become an independent state, its powerful tribal ties and strong leadership still make it a formidable force. The UAE often goes undiscussed because of its large monopoly on international trade and commerce. Still, it played an important role in the trade and empires of ancient India, the Safavid Empire in Iran, and the Empires of East Africa.

12. Royal Families in the UAE

UAE has more than one royal family, unlike other European countries or Japan. UAE Emirate is each ruled by a different royal family, with Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan royal family and Dubai’s Al Maktoum royal family being the two most prominent and powerful.

13. Emirati Families Rule the UAE.

There are seven emirates in the UAE, each of which has a different ruling family, culture, tradition, and even dialect. Finally, the Emirates came together in 1971 to form one country, the United Arab Emirates and became what it is today.

14. Oil Discovery in the UAE in the 1960s

A major factor that propelled the UAE into modernization and international cooperation was the discovery of oil in the UAE, as many commonly associate it with the country. With a monopoly over oil, the UAE is unique among countries in its ability to control oil. Abu Dhabi has one of the largest oil rigs in the country.

15. Nearly 80% of the UAE’s Population is Made Up of Ex-pats

Thousands of ex-pats also live in the UAE for various reasons, such as business, fashion, entrepreneurship, and many others. The UAE’s population is almost 80% expatriates, making it one of the world’s most international and culturally vibrant places.

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16. Local Emiratis – Ethnic Bedouins, Ethnic Iranians, Indians, and East Africans

A casual visitor to the UAE may think that local Emiratis belong to one ethnic group, but this is not the case. Iranians, Baloch, and Africans from Sudan and Iran have lived in the UAE for centuries, becoming citizens and becoming Emiratis while maintaining certain culinary traditions and foods from their ancient past.

17. Camels – Integral Part of Local UAE Tradition and Culture

It is an important and fascinating part of the UAE’s tradition and history that camels are a part of its traditional culture, nomadic lifestyle, and diet. No visit to the UAE is complete without experiencing camel culture, including owning camel farms, participating in camel racing, and even drinking camel milk.

18. Emirate Flags Will Be Flown Alongside The National Flags

All seven Emirati emirates fly their own flag right next to the national flag during holidays or on government buildings. Nevertheless, many cities, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are choosing to fly the national flag these days to show unity and solidarity as one nation and not as separate emirates.

19. Emirati Families Continue to Own Vast Date Farms

Local Emirati families take great pride in the dried date fruit from local palm trees. Thousands of years old, date farming remains in the hands of many families, who continue to pass down the methods of collecting and harvesting these special dates.

20. UAE National Flag Should Change Every Six Months

To ensure the flag remains in prime condition, any UAE national flag displayed on official premises must be checked every 45 days and changed every six months.

21. The Empty Quarter desert

One of the unique aspects of Dubai is the expansive desert that spreads across the southern part of the UAE and extends into nearby areas. In addition to being one of the world’s largest stretches of sand, the Empty Quarter remains a hugely popular destination for locals as well as tourists.

22. Bedouin Culture and Tradition

Many of whom are descendants of Bedouin nomad families, local people in Dubai are a unique feature of the city’s history. The Emiratis of known Bedouin heritage often preserve their culture and traditions through food, fabrics, dialects, and desert tents to preserve their heritage in an ever-modernizing city.

23. Traditional Emirati Food &The Street Food of Emirates

Although the population of the Emiratis is small, the traditional food is renowned for its excellence and uniqueness. As one of the best things about living in or visiting Dubai, the Emirati food showcases ancient ingredients traded from India and Africa and local nomadic ingredients. And don’t even get us started on the Karak tea! Locals and tourists alike fall in love with Dubai’s street food, which is available almost all day long. You can get a spicy Indian curry or delicious shawarma at any time in Dubai, giving New York a run for their money with the title of ‘city that never sleeps!

24. Sharjah – 6,000 Years History

That’s right, you read it correctly! It was recorded on a map drawn by the Greek geographer Ptolemy in the second century BCE that Sharjah existed. Sharjah’s Jebel Faya has been home to human life since 8,500 BCE, the earliest evidence of human life in the UAE.

25. Two thousand years old history of the Nomadic people

Nomadic people lived in the areas that now make up the UAE for thousands of years before Christ, mainly camel herders and probably subsisted on their meat and milk. The majority of ethnic Emiratis claim descent from the Bedouins, which we now call Bedouins.

The Final Takeaway

All these fascinating facts about the United Arab Emirates will surely give you a new fantastic way of looking and thinking about the Emirates. You can definitely visit the UAE to celebrate your anniversary, birthday, or any special occasion. And, if confused or wandering for the gift delivery to Dubai, don’t worry as Flowerdeliveryuae.ae can be your option for sure. This is one of the most popular and recognized online gift shops in UAE, catering to the customers’ needs to send UAE National Day gifts online and online anniversary gifts to Dubai and across UAE.