Culture United Arab Emirates

Culture United Arab Emirates


Do you know the Mighty Camels, the Dubai hockey team? With 4 or 5 dromedaries per km², the Emirates are one of the richest countries in the world in camelids! This "gift from God," as the Arabs call it, was once essential to the hard life of the Bedouins.

The tribes, semi-nomads, moved from pasture to pasture during the winter, before returning to the oases for the date harvest. The only means of transport, the dromedary also supplied milk and leather. Its pile, woven, made it possible to make canvas for tents, carpets and clothes.

On special occasions, festive meals or a visit from a dignitary, a male was killed and shared. Even the shoulder blades were reused to serve as slates for children! Modern dromedaries are particularly illustrated during winter races (see "Sports"). The most successful animals are traded for sums of several million dollars.


This activity, once reserved for sheikhs, is widely promoted by the ruling families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Inaugurated in 2006, the National Falcon Center by Nad al Sheba (Dubai) is home to a museum and a real falcon souk, where you can buy trained birds and all the necessary equipment.

Traditionally captured during their fall migration, falcons (peregrines and sacred) are now bred in captivity. Each is identified by a “passport”, to limit traffic.

Originally, animals were quickly trained in anticipation of the arrival of houbaras, bustards, favorite prey of falconers. Hares and gazelles were also hunted. The falcons were released in the spring to allow them to resume their migration.

The Emirates have led a lobbying movement to adopt falconry in the Unesco's intangible heritage of humanity, which was done in 2010. International competitions are organized on the occasion of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Sports Show (ADIHEX). The falcon even appears on all banknotes!

Pearl fishing

Practiced Abu Dhabi, DubaiKhaïnomad to settle on the coast, promoting the development of cities.

Fishing was practiced only in summer, between the 5th and the 9th lunar month, at the rate of about fifty daily snorkeling dives. Needless to say, many did not come back.

The accessories: a nose clip, gloves, a basket and a large rock to descend faster ...

Several of the tribes from the Liwa oases settled on Sir Bani Yas Island, where they organized cooperatives. The captain received the lion's share, followed by the divers, then those who assisted them. However, it was the traders who pocketed the most profits. Some of the money was set aside to finance the following year's expedition. In winter, divers returned to the oases to take care of their palm groves. Activity declined from the 1940s.

A pearl farm was established in 2005 opposite Ras el Khaïma at the initiative of a Japanese entrepreneur. It produces 40 pearls per year, mostly sold in the Gulf countries, where their yellow color is appreciated.

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