WORLDWISE MAGAZINE

United Arab Emirates

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Exploring United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is situated in the southeastern part of the Arabian peninsula.  A collection of seven emirates (or principalities), Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain, each is governed by a hereditary emir and united by a single national president. The capital is Abu Dhabi, a center of political, industrial, and cultural activities. Once known as the Pirate Coast, transitioning to the major center of the pearling industry, the UAE now is both a source of oil and sits on vital transition points for world crude oil.  The main sources of income today arise from the oil and tourism industries.

The population of the UAE is comprised of Arabians, Iranians, Indians, and many expatriates from Europe and other parts of Asia.  The UAE culture revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab and Bedouin culture, but the largest cities are quite cosmopolitan. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on the UAE's architecture, music, cuisine and lifestyle are evident and co-exist with the ultra-modern.  Muslims continue to be called to prayer from the minarets of mosques, five times each day.

Geography ranges from sandy deserts, to jagged mountain ranges, to oases, and white sand beaches.  The UAE coastline stretches for more than 650 kilometers along the southern shore of the Persian Gulf.  The climate is subtropical with hot summers and warm winters. The houbara bustard, hyena, desert fox, falcon and Arabian oryx are found in the deserts and more than 320 species of migratory birds pass through.  The waters off of the Persian Gulf are home to tropical fish, jelly fish, coral reefs, whales, dolphins and sharks and some endangered marine turtle species.

Cosmopolitan Dubai City boasts thriving business and tourism centers. Dubai lies within the Arabian Desert, at sea level.  Dubai Creek runs northeast-southwest through the city and divides it into two sections.  Some dub Dubai " the shopping capital of the Middle East". The city hosts more than 70 shopping malls, including the world's largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. Dubai is also known for its souk districts located on either side of the creek. Dubai has also been called  "the City of Gold". The Gold Souk in Deira houses hundreds of gold retail shops.

Dubai is also known for its modern architectural achievements, and now boasts a signature skyline full of soaring skyscrapers.  Luxury villas co-exist with more traditional structures, but Dubai hosts some of the most luxurious properties in the world.  LaCure is sure to offer a luxury villa that suits any discerning traveler's needs. Ranked among the 10 most visited tourist destinations, Dubai offers sunshine, sandy beaches, warm waters, world-class lodgings, and international dining and entertainment venues.  The beach resort destinations at Jumeirah, literally Arabic for "beautiful", attract millions of international visitors each year.

Unwind at award winning spas, scuba dive, visit the Wild Wadi Water Park, or learn about Arabian culture by visiting souks, heritage villages or cultural museums. Imagine enjoying a desert safari, haggling in a traditional spice souk, trekking rugged mountains, and relaxing on white sand beaches, all in a single day!  

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