Updated: Feb 27
Geographically, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a small but wealthy Muslim country in Western Asia that belongs to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. It borders the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman as well as the countries Saudi Arabia and Oman. Bahrain and Qatar are also very close to it. Landscape-wise, you have deserts, cities and beaches all in one place. The UAE itself consists of 7 emirates (emir is Arabic and means ruler): Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. Each and every one of them is unique in their own way. Historically, the discovery of oil in the region during the 1970s enforced a rapid economic development that has turned the UAE into a competitive world leader in so many diverse areas.
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the UAE, while Dubai is bigger and the most popular city, particularly for tourists with its extraordinary and breath-taking sights. The world’s famous and tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa is just one example. The UAE also belongs to one of the rare countries with almost 200 nationalities, reflecting an interesting population mix of 20% natives and 80% foreigners, who are mainly from Asian countries. Only about 30% come from Europe, US or Canada. In order to get around, you don’t even need to know Arabic despite Arabic being the official language, most people speak English there.
For someone who does not know a lot about the UAE, one thing is certain it offers a lot of variety for everyone because it consists of a tribal society that lives a very modern lifestyle. This means it is up to you if you prefer to go to the mosque, church, Buddhist temple to pray or to a club to party. Instead of driving a car, you can even ride a camel. You can go to the fancy mall or to the traditional Indian Souk market. Both foreigners and natives who live in the UAE are very hospital people and will easily make you feel like home. The natives love to share their food and traditions with anyone who shows respect. Moreover, the UAE is a unique example of one of the safest countries in the world with close to zero crime rates.