Another amazing experience a UAE visitor will enjoy is the traditional architectural Arabian buildings with its distinctive decorative features and simple yet artistic forms.
The Bastakia district for example, on the waterfront east of the Dubai Souk and Diwan, features a number of traditional wind-tower houses – precursors to air conditioning. From a distance, the towers appear to be beautiful lanterns with warm eastern sense which always connected me to the past while heading to the future through the impressive new modern architectures.
To restore and keep such beautiful traditional buildings, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has started restoration of historic buildings in Al Ain with a view to preserve the past and the cultural heritage. The Jahili fort presents a wealthy traditional form of buildings which is considered as one of the most famous historical forts in the UAE, is located just outside the south-western corner of the garden that is near the Clock Tower Junction in the heart of Al Ain city. The Fort was built by essential traditional materials of mud-brick, stones, and palm-trees, was built for defense purposes and to guard precious palm groves. It was also used as a residence for the local governor.
The majority of Emiratys have family names within one of a small set: Al (about 90% of all UAE), Bin (or about 5%). A UAE name consists of a family name, in almost every case one syllable, plus a given name usually of two syllables. The family name comes first. A UAE woman does not take her husband’s family name, but their children take their father’s family name.
More about Arabic/Muslim Names:
Arabic or Muslim names are names used in the Arabic speaking and muslim worlds. Not to forget that there are some muslim names which are not Arabic, for example Shahram which is an Iranian name or Okan which is Turkish name.
In our Middle Eastern world and culture our Arabic name can be quit long. It can consisit of a given which we relate to as (Ism), a nickname (Laqab) and patronyms which is (nasab) and/or a family name (nisba). Sometimes these name are preceded by what we call (Kunya), which refers to the persons first born son.
For example, people will be calling my father (Abu Ali) which means (Father of Ali) and Abu Ali is the (Kunya) of my father.
The majority of Arabic given names are derived from vocabulary words, equivalent to an English vocabulary name such as Faith or Willow. The ninety-nine attributes of Allah, as listed in the Qur’an, are frequently used as names, for example Rashid and Aziz. Sometimes the attributes are prefixed with Abd al meaning “servant of the …” (such as Abd-al-Aziz and Abd-al-Karim).
The historical figures from Islam are also a major influence on naming practices. The multiple forms of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are extremely popular, as are the names of his family and descendents, such as Abdulla, Ali, Bakr and Fatima. Military leaders are often honoured as well; for example Tariq and Amir. The names of prophets and other figures from the Qur’an are also used – Ibrahim and Mariam are two examples that have English biblical equivalents (Abraham and Mary).
Emiratys believes that marriage is one important essence in life and a divorce is regarded as a disgrace not only for the couple but also for their families ― even though the divorce rate is growing rapidly these days. Marriage ceremonies preparation all depends on the family tribe system and traditions. Today’s typical wedding ceremony is somewhat different from what it was but at most part the Emiratys still care to maintain their cultural wedding ceremonies by having the men ceremony to be held in an outside indoor tint and women celebrate separately in either a hotel hall room or also in a indoor tint.
Jumu’ah ((also known as Friday prayer) is a congregational prayer (salat) that Muslims hold every Friday, just after noon. It replaces the dhuhur prayer performed on other days of the week.
Its important to understand that Friday in general is an important Family day for all Muslims around the world, especially in our Middle Eastern countries where we prefer to focus more on spending this day with our families and not to forget its our first day of the weekend so easy on the phones and work related subjects…
Though my country is rapidly growing and very much adopting the global style of living, Emarati family is still very much connected and keeping the extended style of families form. In Addition to the basic family members (dad, mom, sons and daughters), grandparents, brother and sister in laws, Uncles and aunties will also be part of the one big home concept and its daily activities.
Happiness, sadness, worries, dreams are everybody concern and responsibility, you will never feel alone and helpless as you will always get support accompanied with unconditional love once you are part of the family. You are always considered as the family child no matter how mature you get to be, your mom will always spoil you with her sweet dishes flavored with her warm kisses and hugs and your dad will not ever hesitate to give you extra money even if you became completely financially independent.
In Emarati family, it is always mothers Day! Always Fathers day! Actually, its always the Family Day where all gather to share a big meal of rice with (meat, chicken or fish) options. Tickles, laughter and arguments which seems more into fights for a stranger view, is the surrounded atmosphere of the house when everyone is there.
Passion, emotional, and very visual, these are three characteristic of any Middle Eastern person who is either born or raised in this region, that makes us very talkative plus speak with passion which forces us to use our hands and body to explain, describe and tell something to others. So whenever you see two people speaking loudly or pointing at each other, relax and remember they are probably just chit chatting and having a good time.
One of the most pleasurable aspects of exploring our Middle Eastern culture is its cuisine. Dishes are rich of variety of flavors due to the use of herbs, spices and olive oil ingredients. Appetizers of different pickles types with special tiny dishes of smashed homos and sesame oil, rolled grape leaves stuffed with delicious rice and vegetables mix are just few options to drive your food lust to its high limits!
Main dishes are the real wonders where you will get seduced by the hot tempting food steam scented with cinnamon, ginger and different variety of spices and wild herbs. Red or white meat is an essential part of the dish recipe whether toasted in the oven after its fully dipped with lemon and garlic mix or steamed with light creamy milk and herbs.