This once obscure territory of Arabia, originally populated by Bedouin tribes, is a strategic location par excellence. At the end of the 19th century, an agreement signed to stop piracy against British naval ships laid the foundation stone of the current state. The seven signatory states formed a federation and two of them, Dubai and Abu Dhabi took pride of place.
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At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the Emirates have created a key location, for business as well as tourism. Only a short distance away from European cities, sun worshippers and shopaholics come here for state of the art shopping centres and exceptionally comfortable hotels. As for international air traffic, Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports are hubs of utmost importance. Spectacular buildings such as the Burj Al Arab hotel or the Palm Islands are testament to the avant-garde and innovative spirit of the reigning sheikhs who apply the principles inherited from their Bedouin ancestors: generosity is expressed to excess, the sense of welcome and hospitality find their expression in first-rate tourist infrastructures. Camel races and the F1 championship are not only compatible here, but represent this country’s mantra: continuing ancestral traditions goes hand in hand with an omnipresent modernity.
Very rich in oil and gas reserves, the UAE are about to embrace solar energy. This shows that the sheikhs too are taking measures to do their bit for the environment. Something new, a country which is sitting on enough energy reserves to last for the next 150 years has decided to exploit an energy source which is also present in abundance: the heat of the sun. Already at the height of urbanisation on hostile ground, the leaders of the seven federal emirates show an understanding of the energy sector.
The Emirates’ economic dynamism and indisputable talent for business contribute to the good relations in international cooperation. Each of the states of the federation has kept its own personality, which means the visitor can go from a luxury shopping centre to a Bedouin market in record time.
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