“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St. Augustine
I consider myself incredibly fortunate that my coaching and leadership development business led me to the UAE in the month of January. I was working in Abu Dhabi and had a day to travel and see Dubai. Both cities are very vibrant and alive with arts, culture, infrastructure and commerce like I have never witnessed before. It has been estimated the 30% of all of the cranes in the world are in the UAE. The people were welcoming, friendly and warm. Everyone speaks English (in addition to Arabic and other mother tongues). With 170 countries in the world represented there the culture, arts, architecture and food is full and rich.
The most commonly asked question I have been asked since returning is “what is the biggest difference that you noticed between there and the United States?” The biggest difference may not be what you might expect. The biggest difference I noticed was the topic of conversation. Because of the diversity of people there (most everyone is from another part of the world) everyone talked about world events, not just about what was happening in the UAE. Being from another country, they had an experienced and global perspective about so many other other parts of the world. It made conversation very interesting and “worldly,” to say the least.
I was able to learn much about the country and people by witnessing their way of life and work. I also learned many cool facts while I did research prior to my trip from Wikipedia and the website iloveindia.com The purpose of this post is to share some interesting facts that I thought that you might enjoy knowing about that part of the world. You can see pictures that I took HERE … Enjoy!
• Abu Dhabi is the capital city of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
• The city is located on a T-shaped island, jutting out in the Persian Gulf.
• Abu Dhabi is the second most populous city in UAE, after Dubai.
• Although Islam is the official religion of Abu Dhabi, many other faiths and religions are acknowledged and given their due respect, in the country.
• Abu Dhabi is one of the largest oil producers in the world and significantly contributes to the world’s economy.
• The city is the wealthiest emirate in UAE, with regard to GDP and per capita income.
• Abu Dhabi is one of the wealthiest states in the world.
• The national dress for women in Abu Dhabi is full length black abba, while for men; it is a long white robe or dishdasha.
• The climate of Abu Dhabi is hot and arid. Sunny and blue skies are predominant throughout the year. It is hot and humid climate from June through September (as hot as 120 degrees!) However, the weather cools down in November and the region experiences a cooler climate until March.
• Some of the important tourist attractions of Abu Dhabi include the exquisite Camel Market, ancient forts and theme parks
• In Dubai Emirates Mall, you can ski indoors while shopping, measuring 400 meters and using 6000 tons of snow.
• Dubai has one of the highest per capita incomes
• Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, along with the world’s tallest man-made structure
• Eighty percent of the residents of Dubai are foreigners.
• Dubai is home of the first man-made island in UAE, the Palm Island Dubai (Jumeirah Palm Island)
• No matter in which part of Dubai you are in, you will hear calls to prayer at least five times a day. Even in shopping malls, the calls to prayer are put out over the speakers, to remind Muslims that it is time to pray.
• Dubai has the largest population of all the United Arab Emirates (UAE).