The Culture of United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates Culture Overview
The national lifestyle of UAE is strictly conditioned by strong affiliation to Islamic tradition. However, the country is highly tolerant towards expatriates who are given a great degree of religious freedom. The government spares no efforts to safeguard the religious and traditional interests of the country. In the country, one hears the regular prayer calls five times a day and sees all the people sincerely observe the religion.
Nearly all citizens of UAE are Muslims and Islam is the official religion of the land. Around 85 percent of the citizens are Sunnis while the rest belong to the Shi’a sect. Arab Emirs are the natives of UAE, each of their tribes dominating an Emirate. Non-native Asians constitute about half of the population of UAE. Among the foreign population, over 55 percent are Muslims, 25 percent are Hindus and around 10 percent are Christians.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE housing 40 percent of the country’s population. However, Dubai is the largest city of UAE and the center of trade and financial activities. Since 1960s, the population of UAE has multiplied greatly due to the influx of oil workers from other counties. A great portion of the population enjoys a highly comfortable life in air-conditioned houses, apartments or villas, while a small rural population lives in moderate traditional houses.
United Arab Emirates Languages
The official language of UAE is Arabic. Also, one sees English, Hindi, Urdu and Persian widely spoken in the country. The dressing style of UAE reflects a blend of modern and traditional influences. Most of the Emirs wear dishdasha, a white, loose-fitting garment suitable to hot weather. Most women wear the long abaya, a long black robe completely covering their normal clothes. The older women wear a facemask called burka, while the younger, educated women are increasingly abandoning it.
United Arab Emirates Foods
Countries like Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and Afghanistan have influenced the culinary tradition of UAE. The most popular dish of the country is called shawarma, which is a hot sandwich with lamb or chicken served in pita bread with vegetables. Suiting the hot weather, one sees a variety of juices from mango, pineapple, banana, or mixed cocktail extensively consumed throughout the country.
United Arab Emirates Islamic Clothing / Muslim Clothing
UAE's Clothing follows the traditional Islamic Clothing and Muslim Clothing attire worn in other Arab countries that includes the abaya, jilbab, hijab, etc.
United Arab Emirates Sports
The most popular national sports are falconry, camel racing and soccer.
United Arab Emirates National Social Life
Though there are disparities in the standard of life, poverty is hardly found in UAE. Within a short span of around fifty years, the towns and cities of the country have equipped themselves with all modern facilities comparable with the best of any advanced nation. Though the religion of Islam and the heritage of traditional society form the basis of a stable and conservative social structure, one sees a predominantly tolerant and cosmopolitan atmosphere in UAE. This fact is attested by the religious freedom given to the expatriates and the social freedom given to young women of the country to expose themselves to the advancements of education and science.
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