Thursday, July 18, 2024


5 Must-Read Books About the United Arab Emirates

Whether you’re planning a holiday, a business trip or are relocating to the UAE, some background knowledge on the rich culture and traditions of the United Arab Emirates is essential to make the most of your stay or to help you settle into your new life. The books about the United Arab Emirates listed here are excellent sources of advice and tips.

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Must-Read Books about United Arab Emirates

Here we are with the list of 5 must-read books if you want to know culture, history and much more about the United Arab Emirates.

1. Lonely Planet: Dubai And Abu Dhabi

City Guide
Lonely Planet Dubai & Abu Dhabi City Guide

The Lonely Planet guides are the stalwart companions of the traveler, offering reliable advice, essential information, reviews, maps and images. This book, detailing the Emirate’s two most popular cities, highlights the famous sights, such as Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, as well as ‘off the beaten track gems. This city guide is invaluable, providing details of accommodation and sightseeing opportunities to suit all budgets, as well as containing information including crucial phone numbers, websites and transit arrangements.

‘The Lonely Planet guide to Dubai and Abu Dhabi is essential reading for anyone traveling to the UAE,’ suggests Marco Brown, writer at Essayroo and OXEssays. ‘Covering everything from cultural traditions to contemporary politics, it’s an invaluable resource.’

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2. The Sand Fish: A Novel From Dubai

By Maha Gargash
The Sand Fish by Maha Gargash

This novel, by Dubai-born Maha Gargash, is set in the rural Dubai of the 1950s and follows the fortunes of Noora, who, within the confines of a repressive society, yearns for independence. A beautiful and thought-provoking tale, this novel is also a rich and immersive source of information on the history and culture of this now slickest of cities.

Gargash’s narrative charts both Noora’s journey and Dubai’s, as the city’s old customs, began to give way to new ways of life.

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3. Dubai: The Vulnerability Of Success

By Christopher Davidson
The Vulnerability of Success

This wide-ranging book charts Dubai’s journey from an ordinary fishing town to its current elite status as one of the world’s true megacities. Davidson carefully examines the city’s background, charting its political and cultural history and the effect of the influx of Western immigration into the metropolis. The book is important reading for readers wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the social mechanisms of this Emirate. In exploring how the post-oil boom fundamentally changed the course of the city’s fortunes, the author is able to extrapolate likely problems that Dubai may face in the future, such as the potential for continuing ideological clashes as the traditions of the region become entangled with the effects of growing foreign investment.

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4. From Rags to Riches: A Story of Abu Dhabi

By Mohammed Al Fahim
From Rags to Riches by Mohammad Al Fahim

This autobiography charts Al Fahim’s life and the changing nature of the city itself in the wake of the vast wealth generated by the oil trade. The author grew up within a palace, and his book depicts the role of the power classes (both in terms of business and society) within Abu Dhabi and is an important read in terms of understanding what makes the city tick, and why.

In the words of Dale Easton, travel blogger at Stateofwriting and Paperfellows, ‘Al Fahim’s book captures the speed with which this region of the Middle East was transformed, and how this affected the individual life, as well as the community as a whole.’

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5. UAE – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide To Customs And Culture

By John Walsh
Culture Smart UAE by John Walsh

This guidebook is a fantastic guide to the region, full of pointers to help you navigate social and business encounters and tips to stay safe and things to avoid. The book aims to give the traveler a comprehensive understanding of Emirate culture in order to best appreciate all the area has to offer and is packed with information on the lifestyles, customs and history into the peoples of the Emirates so that you can feel confident in finding your way through a variety of situations.

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Fusing New And Old

The United Arab Emirates is unique as a region, and as an experience. As the area continues to grow, change and develop, its relationship with its past and its culture and traditions are in a continual negotiation with its place on the world’s stage and its future. The Emirates offer a unique opportunity for exploration and for the enrichment of our understanding of The Middle East, and these books are fantastic tools to this end.

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Katherine Rundell studied philosophy before earning a Master’s Degree in journalism and is a travel writer at Nursing Essay Help and Academized. Read more of Katherine’s articles at Boom Essays.

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