Photos of the people of the United Arab Emirates

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The People of the Emirates

The Arabian peninsula, most of it desert, stark and austere, has shaped its people. It has always been a harsh environment that for the majority of its inhabitants provided a level of life barely above that of minimal subsistence. This produced a society in which family, clan or tribe had to be defended against anyone who might threaten their security and meagre possessions.

In a small four-wheel drive
 
Portrait Emirati man
 
Man of Sharjah
 
Visiting the park
 
Arab drivers
 
 
Arab drivers
 
Desert Safari driver
 
Chairman and staff member
 
Emirati Bedouin women
 
Women making embroidery
 
Emirati Bedou woman
 
Practicing
 
Bedouin women weaving
 
Bedou women weaving baskets
 
Bedou woman weaving
 
Abu Dhabi Men's College
 
ADMC Students
 
Students, Men's College
 
Razafat dance
 
Traditional Arab dancing
 
Razafat and Al Yula
 
Arab and Australian
 
Displaying a hunting falcon
 
Students and falcons
 
Student with hunting falcon
 
Playing table football
 
Playing a computer game
 
Displaying his falcon
 
Traditional lunch
 
Students of Al Ain
 
Playing Arabic music
 
Traditional Arab music
 
Playing the
 
Playing the
 
A whirling dance
 

Fiercely independent tribesmen with an absolute belief in their religion and their tribal customs created a code of living that included a duty to look after themselves, their kin and - most importantly - travellers. Hospitality has always been paramount, even to enemy tribesmen, provided they came in peace.

This code of conduct is still valid in this time of great change. The Bedouin life is still celebrated; transport may now be with four-wheel drives instead of camels, but the essence of the culture is still intact, as can be seen from the traditional dress, crafts as performed by the women, sports like falcon hunting and traditional dancing. But most of all, it lives on in the friendliness and dignity of the people and their incredible hospitality to strangers.