E – Emirates of UAE | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z
In 1971, when the British Empire could not further rule the ‘Trucial States’ as per the treaty relations established, they decided to liberate them. On December 2, 1971, six of the sheikhdoms of the Trucial states came together and formed a federation based on a constitution drafted in record time known as ‘United Arab Emirates’. On February 10, 1972, the seventh sheikhdom, Ras Al Khaimah, also became a member of the federation.
Currently, the seven Emirates constitute the nation of UAE – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah.
Archaeological pieces of evidence prove that this region was inhabited since ages. The artifacts reveal the presence of the pre-historic man and transmigration, which dates to as early as 125000 years ago. The region is considered uninhabited during the Glacial Maximum period, 68000 to 8000 BCE. But the artifacts of the ‘Ubaid cultures and Arabian Bifacial’ confirm human habitation since 6000 B.C.
Trade was always the backbone of the region because of its strategic location – whether it was the ancient times of Harappan Culture and Sumerian Empire or during the 19th and 20th century when the Pearling and fishing industry was at its peak or the current era of imports and exports.
Since the discovery of oil in the region the Emirates have enjoyed a prominent position in the world. During the 80s and 90s, it was Sharjah that was of prime importance, the 2000s belongs to Dubai as a top place of tourism and business. Now slowly, Abu Dhabi is taking over as the most important Emirate because of its Financial might.
Emirate of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and the second most populous city of UAE. It occupies about 87% of the total area of the UAE and is a major hub of political and industrial activities. Abu Dhabi’s rapid development and urbanization, have resulted in it controlling about two-thirds of the roughly $400-billion United Arab Emirates economy.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and was the core-founding member of the federation along with the then Ruler of Dubai.
The nation’s second largest peak and a well-known tourist spot Jabal Hafeet is declared as a ‘heritage site’ by UNESCO, because of its archaeological importance.
It is about a 90 min drive from Dubai and is home to the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – a must visit, it’s their equivalent of Taj Mahal. If you are an adrenaline junkie then Ferrari World is the place to be – it has multiple exhilarating rides along with the fastest roller-coaster in the world. One can also visit the Yas Mall, Yas Waterworld, and Yas Marina Circuit.
Emirate of Dubai
Dubai is the cosmopolitan hub of UAE and the most populous of all the emirates. Home to the tallest building in the world, it is the business hub of UAE. The Al-Fahidi Fort in Dubai, currently the Dubai Museum was created in 1787 to defend the Dubai Creek from getting invaded. Will be covering more of Dubai in detail over the course of the theme.
Emirate of Sharjah
Sharjah is the third largest and populous city of UAE. It was once the wealthiest of all the emirates. It is traditionally conservative compared to the above two and is currently the cultural capital of the UAE. It is a twin city of Dubai – just like Delhi-Noida or Howrah-Kolkata.
Sharjah is a city of museums and mosques. Some of the famous ones are – Sharjah Arts Museum, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Science Museum, Sharjah Archaeology Museum, National History Museum, Sharjah Heritage Area and Al Noor Mosque. Maritime Museum in Sharjah is home to ‘The Pearl’, which is widely believed to be one of the oldest pearls in the world with an estimated age of seven thousand years.
Emirate of Ajman
It the smallest of the Emirates in terms of area and is adjacent to the city of Sharjah, which forms part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. It has rich coastal history and Islamic heritage and was once the region’s biggest Boat Building Centre.
Top places to visit in Ajman: National Museum, Dhow Yard, Ajman beaches, Etisalat Tower, Al Jarah Cultural Center, Mowaihat, Al Zorah, Ajman Marina and Masfout.
Emirate of Umm Al Quwain
It is the least populated of all the emirates. It was once a popular place for trade and agriculture. Umm Al Quwain fort, currently a museum, guarded the old town from both the sea and the creek. It is a perfect weekend getaway from Dubai because of its close proximity.
There is a series of islands along the shore of Umm Al Quwain, which is surrounded by mangroves and migratory birds. Al-Dour, which is now an important archaeological site, is considered as one of the largest pre-Islamic site located on the coast of the Persian Gulf. Dreamland Aqua Park and Emirates Motorplex are more modern and commercial hangout places.
Emirate of Fujairah
The only Emirate, which has a complete coastline on the Gulf of Oman. The new Sheikh Khalifa Highway connects Dubai and Fujairah and is only two hours drive away. It is the best place for a relaxing weekend getaway. It is famous for its luxurious resorts facing the Gulf of Oman with the mountains in the backdrop. It is the perfect place to catch mountains and beaches in a single place.
It is home to the oldest mosque in UAE, Al Badiyah mosque built in 1446. Other places of importance include: Fujairah fort, Al Bithanh Fort, Fujairah Museum, Al Hayl Castle, Awhlah Fort and Ain al-Madhab Hot Springs.
Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah
The last of the emirate to join UAE, it is about an hour’s drive away from Dubai. It was the earlier capital of Sharjah and was formerly known as Julfar and was founded by Armenians. Sheba’s Palace is a restored archaeological site along with the largest Umm an-Nar tombs, which are considered as the largest in the entire Arabian Peninsula.
Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, at 1,934 m is the highest point in UAE. Dhayah Fort, Shimal and Jazirat-al-Hamra are of historical importance. Other places include: RAK National Museum, Khatt springs, Hajjar mountains, Iceland Water Park and RAK Pearl Museum.
The Emirates are the perfect amalgamation of cultural heritage and history along with a modern developing future. Thankfully the Sheikhs decided to come together and form this country of so much archaeological importance otherwise this too might have been lost to the unrest in the region.
For all those who have been to UAE,
For all those who knew about the seven emirates,
For all those who love ancient history
For all those who love the Emirates…
It’s not a goodbye,
But it’s a GOOD BYE.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This is the 5th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.
E – Emirates of UAE
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Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘F’
I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.