The UAE has a rich culture and heritage that reflects Arab and Islamic values. Environment and terrain also influenced the lifestyle. The UAE is blessed with a rich heritage that encompasses architecture, sports, occupations, traditions, arts, crafts, food, and places of historic and archaeological importance, lifestyle and values imbibed in Islam.
Heritage and tradition and the skills that enabled survival are still held in high esteem by many Emiratis. Members of the older generation recall that they were crucial to their own survival. Today’s visitors can experience desert life (without the risks) through participation in a range of organised desert trips that usually involve transport by four-wheel drive vehicles, camels and sometimes horses. A night spent under the stars is one of the most memorable experiences of a visit to the UAE.
Other aspects of the UAE’s heritage and culture can be experienced in museums and heritage centres, by visiting fishing harbours or fish souqs, boat-building yards, falconry centres, gold souqs, spice souqs and other venues. Throughout the year various cultural events are organised by bodies such as the Emirates Heritage Club, which runs dhow races, longboat races, camel races, and a host of other activities that encourage an interest in the UAE’s heritage and culture. Festivals such as the Qasr al Hosn Festival in Abu Dhabi, TCA Handicrafts Festival in Al Ain, Liwa Date Festival, and Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition also preserve and promote traditional culture.