Photos of the people of the United Arab Emirates

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Flag of the United Arab Emirates

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
“Desert Safari” drivers
Arab drivers
Desert Safari driver
Chairman and staff member
Emirati Bedouin women
Women making embroidery
Emirati Bedou woman
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.