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Before the establishment of the oil economy in the early s, two main orientations shaped traditional Emeriati culture: These subcultures were economically, politically, and socially interdependent, creating a common culture and social identity. The UAE shares significant aspects of its culture with neighboring Arab countries and the larger Arab culture. It shares land borders with Http://, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

The seven emirates vary greatly in size. Abu Dhabi represents 85 percent of the land, and the smallest emirate is Ajman. Each emirate is named after its capital city, and Abu Dhabi City is the permanent capital of the nation. The inland area is mostly desert with a few oases, and the barren Hajar Mountains run through the country.

On the social level, most families visit each other, and all Muslims are encouraged to be forgiving. In Algeria and Morocco we were no less impressed by people's warmth and openness to us. Headdress pattern might be an indicator of which tribe, clan, or family the wearer comes from.

The UAE has a dry climate with very high temperatures and humidity in the summer. Relative to its size and oil wealth, the UAE has a small population, estimated at 2, in Beforethe this web page population was tiny estimated at eighty-six thousand in and lacked most of the technical skills needed for a modern society.

The commercial production of oil triggered rapid population growth as a result of an increase in the national population from improvements Arab Culture Norms Around The World diet, health care, and living standards and the importation on a large scale of mostly male foreign laborers. The latter factor has generated a dependence on expatriate labor; the UAE has become a multiethnic society, and Emirati nationals account for only about 20 percent of the population.

This has created an imbalanced population composition in favor of males; inthere were 1, males andfemales. The remainder are Arabs, Europeans, and Americans.

The official language is Arabic. English is the language of commerce. National Day symbolizes one of the most successful experiments in unity in the modern Arab world. The main metaphor is that of the family, with the president referred to as a father. The colors of the national flag—green, red, white, and black—are shared with other Arab countries.

Other cultural symbols are the falcon, camel, Arabian horse, pearling boat, coffeepot, and date palm. They are used to invoke a historical community that survived harsh conditions and now enjoys the benefits of unity and prosperity. These emblems appear on banknotes, coins, and stamps. Emergence of the Nation. Before the seven emirates were collectively known as the Trucial States, a name that originated from maritime agreements between the British and the leading sheikhs of the tribes inhabiting the southern coast between Qatar Arab Culture Norms Around The World Oman in the first half of the nineteenth century.

This led to the settlement of different ethnic groups from countries along the trade routes, such as Iran and India. Trade activities with east Africa led to the importation of Africans as laborers in the pearling industry in the late nineteenth century.

The African and Iranian ethnic populations have been more info integrated as citizens. Beforethe only settlements were small towns and villages. Oil resources have enabled massive modernization. Towns have been transformed from mud-walled communities into commercial capitals integrated in the global economy.

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Because of the small population and harsh desert interior, 80 percent of the population lives in the coastal capital cities, leading social scientists to describe them as city-states.

Urbanization has been characterized by unparalleled growth. Abu Dhabi is one of the most modern cities in the world. UAE cities have been heavily influenced by the global city type.

Dominant urban features include skyscrapers in the commercial city centers, multistory residential buildings, large shopping malls, wide boulevards, an extensive network of highways, and sprawling new suburbs. The cities have a multiethnic composition, with segregated housing areas for nationals and the immigrants.

Housing is subdivided further according to class, social power, ethnicity, and nationality. To create a balance between their global and local aspects, in municipalities have adopted policies projecting Arab-Islamic architectural design, particularly arched windows, gates, and decorative stucco. Recently, more urban settings have exhibited decorative designs with local themes related to the national heritage.

Preservation of the urban heritage also is seen in the renovation of old forts, palaces, souks marketplacesand mosques. Date palm trees, symbols of the local culture, have been planted extensively along city roadsides. Food in Daily Life. Before the s, food consisted mainly of fish, rice, bread, dates, yogurt, homegrown vegetables, and meat from sheep, goats, and camels.

The diet has improved in quality and variety, with modern supermarkets offering imported foods. Lunch is the main family meal and is eaten at home at around two o'clock.

It usually consists of fish, rice, meat, and a vegetable dish. Many Emiratis prefer the traditional style of eating with the right hand. There are strict Arab Culture Norms Around The World taboos against pork and alcohol, and meat must be slaughtered according to the Islamic halal method.

Emiratis are known for their hospitality; they feel honored when receiving guests and socializing with friends and relatives. Guests are welcomed with coffee and fresh dates. Incense is passed around so that guests can catch the fragrance in their headwear.

With the immigrant population have Arab Culture Norms Around The World restaurants offering a wide variety of ethnic foods, and fast-food restaurants have also become popular. Income is among the highest in the world, but there are large differences between the emirates, with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah producing the most oil.

The other emirates have benefitted from oil wealth through the federal welfare system and employment in state institutions. With declining oil prices, the government has attempted to diversify the national economy. This has led to the growth of industry, construction, commerce, free trade zones, transportation, tourism, farming, fisheries, and communications.

The rapid development of these sectors has reduced the nation's dependence on oil. Major Industries and Trade. The UAE is the third largest exporter of crude oil and gas in the Gulf. Citizens account for Arab Culture Norms Around The World percent of the total labor force. Almost all nationals 99 percent work in the state sector because of the attractive benefits and are employed mainly in nontechnical jobs link education, the army, the police, and the civil service.

They also own all Emirati businesses. Immigrants are employed in both the public and private sectors in manual, technical, and professional occupations. Emirati society is divided into two social categories: Citizens are subdivided into four main social classes: Among the immigrants there are hierarchical groups that receive different economic and social rewards: In general, nationals are a privileged minority, and benefit from state laws and business regulations.

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Symbols of Social Stratification. The symbol of a male national as Arab Culture Norms Around The World distinct social category is seen most visibly in the traditional dress of a white robe kandoura and white head cloth ghutrah with a black rope aqal.

Men grow short beards and mustaches. An old fortress surrounded by modern buildings in Abu Dhabi. Aftermud-walled communities transformed into commercial centers. Women wear long dresses with a head cover hijab and black cloak abayah. The UAE has please click for source federal government that is made up of several organs: The Supreme Council has both legislative and executive powers and includes the rulers of the seven emirates.

The cabinet consists of ministers drawn mainly from the ruling families of the emirates. Leadership and Political Officials.

The fact that the traditional tribal system of government each emirate was based on similar political principles facilitated the establishment of the UAE. Hereditary dynastic family rule still operates in each emirate as a local government system under the umbrella of the federal system.

Members of the ruling families occupy the most important positions in their political administrations. While the political system continues to retain some of its traditional values at formal and informal levels, it has been able to keep pace with economic and social change. The sheikhs are highly regarded for performing the dual roles of modernizers and guardians of the cultural heritage.

Among Arab countries, Egypt has been a leader in radio broadcasting from the beginning. Lunch is the main family meal and is eaten at home at around two o'clock. Progress of UAE Women.

They still have traditional majlis where citizens have access to their leaders. The development of the infrastructure has been impressive.

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The welfare system offers womb-to-tomb free state services for all nationals, including high-quality health care, education up to the tertiary level, social security, family allowances, subsided electricity and water, and housing for low-income groups. This is a major way of distributing oil wealth among the national population. The immigrant population also benefits to some extent, particularly in regard to medical care. There were Associations of Public Benefit inserving interests of many groups and identified with heritage preservation, immigrant communities, professional groups, culture, women, religion, sports, and general humanitarian services.

Their role is seen as complementary to that of governmental institutions. Division of Labor by Gender. Modern economic roles and social see more reflect both change and continuity for women.


Schools and universities are segregated, and levels of enrollment of girls and their performance are impressive. In higher education, female students outnumber males two to one. However, women's participation in the labor force remains one of the lowest in the world at 6 percent in In spite of new employment opportunities, most women opt for marriage and raising children.

UAE society places a high value on those roles.

Arab Culture Norms Around The World

Conservative cultural attitudes lead women to seek jobs that do not involve mixing with men or commuting far from home. Subsequently, most women are employed in education, health, and civil service.