United Arab Emirates Culture

United Arab Emirates Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in United Arab Emirates

According to EZINERELIGION.COM, United Arab Emirates is a country located in Asia. There are eight daily newspapers in the United Arab Emirates. Arabic newspapers are published in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The largest are al-Bayan (Dubai, edition: about 80,000 copies), al-Ittihad (Abu Dhabi, about 60,000 copies) and al-Khalij (Sharjah, about 80,000 copies). English-language newspapers are among others. Gulf News (about 90,000 copies), Khaleej Times (70,000 copies) and Emirates News (20,000 copies). There is a ban on publishing criticism of the country’s economic and social policies and starting new newspapers.

Radio and TV are state-owned. The radio broadcasts on Arabic, English and Urdu. TV broadcasts in three channels. There are 318 radio and 292 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ANIMALERTS, the culture of the United Arab Emirates is characterized by the rapid modernization that the country is undergoing. Western mass culture exists in parallel with a traditional Arabic Bedouin culture.

The traditional Bedouin culture has few public expressions. Most things happen within the four walls of the home. As in the rest of the Arab world, oral poetry is important. Unlike in more puritanical Saudi Arabia, dance and music occur at ceremonies. Dinners are often so carefully arranged that they can be seen as artistic forms of expression.

With the oil industry, Western culture also came to the country in the 1970s. Through radio, CDs, TV and the internet, modern mass culture has spread to almost the entire population. In particular, Dubai and Abu Dhabi nowadays have a modern and international metropolitan life. Dubai has a new opera house and in 2017 an art museum was opened in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the French Louvre. The Emirate Museum may, under contract, use the Louvre’s name and borrow hundreds of works of art from French museums.

In Abu Dhabi, since 2007, an annual international award has been awarded to Arab writers. The award was established with the support of the British Booker Prize Foundation to encourage translations into English of Arabic fiction.

For many men in the emirate, camel races are a passion. Dubai is also investing in major sporting events, such as golf and athletics.

Hunting with falcons has a long tradition from times when Bedouins tamed birds of prey to help find food. Since 2010, the UN organization considers UNESCO falconry as a cultural world heritage. The tradition has, among other things, led to Abu Dhabi having an animal hospital where the veterinarians are birds of prey. Falcons are allowed to keep birds born in captivity and the falcons get their own passport if the owner wants to make a hunting trip abroad. On Emirates aircraft, tamed falcons as well as guide dogs can be found in the passenger cabin.



Activist drops in HD

December 31st

The Supreme Court confirms a 10-year prison sentence, sentenced in May, against Ahmed Mansoor. He is accused of spreading false information about the regime via social media in order to damage the emirate’s relations with neighboring countries (see March 19).

The Pope will hold a fair in the emirate

December 6

Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in February 2019 at the invitation of the Emirate Crown Prince and the local Catholic Church. The pope will hold a mass in public place, church officials say. Most of the Christians in Abu Dhabi are guest workers from Asian countries. The Crown Prince and the Pope met at the Vatican in 2016. The Pope’s visit is said to be the first official on the Arabian Peninsula, however, Francis has visited several other mainly Muslim countries. He will travel to Morocco in March.


Spy-convicted Britons are released

November 26th

British researcher Matthew Hedges is pardoned and released despite being sentenced to life imprisonment for spying by a court in Abu Dhabi. Hedges claims he was in the country to work on his doctoral dissertation when he was arrested in Dubai in May. The tours in the case are difficult to understand as the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom are described as close allies.

Neighboring cooperation will close gas deal for Qatar

November 12

The two largest energy companies in the Arab world, Saudi Aramco and Emirate Adnoc, conclude agreements on technology exchange and cooperation in the natural gas market. Both companies are state-owned. The United Arab Emirates has decided on a five-year investment plan, which will make the emirate self-sufficient on gas and, by extension, to the exporter. Currently, the emirate imports gas from Qatar via pipeline. Imports have continued despite Qatar being subject to boycotts and isolation policy from neighboring countries for over a year.


New lures for foreign companies

October 30th

Foreign companies investing in the emirate should receive more favorable terms, according to a presidential decree. In some respects, companies must be treated as domestic companies, which means reduced bureaucracy. The reason the regime is attracted by extended “carrots” is that several important industries – oil, tourism and real estate – show declining figures (see May 21). The United Arab Emirates is the region’s largest economy next to Saudi Arabia and has more complex business, but the Emirate is equally dependent on the oil market to worry about the country’s leadership.

First completely emiratic satellite in space

October 29th

The first satellite built entirely in the Emirates is launched and orbited around the earth with the help of a Japanese rocket. The satellite will take pictures of the earth for different purposes.

Israeli visits to the emirate

October 29th

Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev visits a mosque in the United Arab Emirates. She talks about the visit to Abu Dhabi’s largest mosque as the first at ministerial level – Israel does not have full diplomatic relations with the Emirates. In Abu Dhabi, Israel’s national anthem is also played at a judo tournament, also a rarity. At the same time, an Israeli delegation attends an IT conference in Dubai and looks open. Prime Minister Netanyahu has long sought an approach to Arab countries that, like Israel, are critical of Iran.

Free medicines for the seriously ill

October 4th

The Emirates Ministry of Health has signed declarations of intent with two pharmaceutical companies, Swedish-Swiss Astra Zeneca and German Bayer. They assume that patients with certain severe cancer diseases should receive free drugs. Patients should be selected, among other things, through income testing.


Agreements can help South African criminal investigators

September 26th

The United Arab Emirates and South Africa sign a extradition agreement. For South Africa, the agreement is important in light of the fact that criminal investigations are ongoing against the well-ordered Gupta brothers, who have key roles in corruption scandals surrounding former President Jacob Zuma. One of the three Gupta brothers lives in Dubai but is internationally wanted. Two of them have said they are ready to answer the investigators’ questions, from Dubai.

Display of record animal painting postponed

September 3

On September 18, the new Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum would have exhibited a record-breaking painting: Salvator Mundi (The Savior of the World), a Jesus motif attributed to Italian Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci. Now the display has been postponed indefinitely, the Emirates Ministry of Culture and Tourism announces. The painting was auctioned at a record price of $ 450 million in 2017. According to American newspapers, the purchase was made by members of the Saudi royal house.

Emirates may be ready for space travel

September 3

The United Arab Emirates has selected its first two astronauts: Hazza al-Mansuri and Sultan Saif al-Neyadi. The message is given by Dubai’s emir, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, who the year before stated that the goal was to send four emirates to the International Space Station (ISS) within five years. Four thousand emirates reported interest in the careful selection process.


Amnesty for migrants

1 August

An amnesty is initiated for foreign nationals who do not have a visa or have remained in the country despite the expiry of their visa. If they register by last October and travel home voluntarily, they will not have legal recourse. Those looking for a job can also get a six-month permit to make it legal. In the oil-producing emirates, there is a huge number of guest workers from Asia and Africa, but the emirate does not publish statistics on which countries migrant workers belong to.


Court orders protection for Qatari

23 July

The International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) demands in a ruling that the United Arab Emirates ensure that families with Qatari citizens who are divided as a result of the conflict with Qatar can be reunited. In addition, students from Qatar studying in the United Arab Emirates must be able to complete their education in the country. Since the summer of 2017, when the conflict erupted, the United Arab Emirates has demanded that Qatari nationals leave the country.

Emirati Prince on the run in Qatar

July 15

An emirate prince, from Fujayra, openly criticizes the country’s elite and has sought asylum in Qatar, where he has been for two months. For the New York Times, the prince talks, among other things, about tensions in the emirate as a result of the involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. He also claims that the war has demanded more emiratic lives than is officially allowed.

Nuclear power is delayed

July 4th

The United Arab Emirates is again postponing its first nuclear reactor, which is also believed to be the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world. It will not be possible until the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020 to operate the first reactor, states the state-owned energy company ENEC, according to the WAM news agency without stating the reason for the delay. Four reactors, which will cover a quarter of the emirate’s energy consumption, are under construction at the Barakah plant west of Abu Dhabi. The reactors are built by a Korean-sponsored consortium.


Investors are attracted with easier regulations

May 21

The Emirate government has decided to allow 100% foreign ownership of companies. The purpose is to attract investment in a situation where the growth rate has slowed down and the oil price has produced less revenue than before. Both the real estate industry and tourism are experiencing a slowdown. Investors with relatives will receive ten-year residence permits, as well as healthcare staff and other qualified guest workers. The new rules will come into force at the end of 2018, according to the WAM news agency.

Penalties should prevent currency and arms deals

May 10

The United Arab Emirates joins US new sanctions on Iran. Companies and individuals connected to the mighty Revolutionary Guard in Iran should be barred from doing business. The guard is accused of dollar purchases that must have taken place, among other things, to conceal arms exports to countries and armed groups allied with Iran. According to the US Treasury, currency transactions have been done in the United Arab Emirates.


The first nuclear reactor is stated clearly

March 26

The first of four planned nuclear reactors is reported to be ready for operation. The message comes in connection with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In visiting the Barakah facility on the coast along with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayid (see Natural Resources and Energy).


The Arab Emirates does not have the status of a tax haven

January 23

The EU deletes the United Arab Emirates and seven other countries / territories from a newly published list of tax havens. They are now being transferred to a “gray” list of 55 countries that have pledged to adapt to EU standards in tax and financial legislation, but without specific commitments. The EU published its first “black” list in early December. Now only nine countries / territories remain on that list.

VAT is introduced

January 1st

VAT on goods is introduced as of New Year, in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia at the same time. It is the first time VAT is introduced in any of the Gulf states. There will be 5 percent VAT on fuel, food, electricity and water, hotel stays, etc. Some exceptions to the tax, such as medical services, financial services and public transport. There is no plan to introduce income tax.

United Arab Emirates Culture

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