UAE: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)
Full of people who aim to combine the ancient and the modern,the UAE is an extremely rewarding place to visit. Set on thesoutheastern coast of the Arabian Gulf, the country was once a poordesert land, a confederation of tribal sheikhdoms on the peripheryof the Arab world, subsisting on pearl diving and fishing. It was aBritish protectorate until independence in 1971, after which sevenof the sheikhdoms united to form a federation, the UAE. Thediscovery of oil in the 1950s transformed the country's fortunes,and the UAE today is a land of contrasts—embracing skyscrapers,high-tech communications, and luxury hotels, while conservativevalues and religion remain strong. The UAE is a major player in theshifting alliances of the Middle East and the war against radicalIslam, simultaneously seeking a global leadership position whilemaintaining its social systems and slowly integrating women intopublic life without violating its core beliefs.