2005/04/15

UAE Photos

Here are some photos of the UAE that I found interesting:

The Coffee Pot Roundabout in Al Ain:



The coffee pot is a symbol of hospitality in the UAE, since you always give cardamom flavored coffee to guests.

The Camel Souk:



A Souk is a traditional marketplace and they frequently have one item or theme. The Camel Souk in Al Ain is the place to go to buy and sell young racing camels. I have read that the merchants try to sell camels to anyone who comes, even obvious tourists who would have no use for a camel.

Tomb at the Hili ruins:



The Hili archaeological site just west of Al Ain has ruins of settlements and tombs from as long ago as the third millenium B.C.

Al-Jahili Fort:





The Al-Jahili Fort is one of many forts around Al Ain that used to used to protection from desert raiders and is now a museum.

Al Jimi Mall:



One of two large malls in Al Ain. (The other, and new one is the Al Ain mall; it has an ice skating rink.) Carrefour, the store you can see here, is, so far as I can tell from reading about it, sort of a French Wal-Mart. (There are no Wal-Marts in the UAE.) You can see the sorts of things they sell and some of their prices at http://www.carrefouruae.com/English/home-new.asp.

Minarets:



Minarets are the towers attached to a mosque. I don't know if these are actually in Al Ain. However, they do something that I want to point out. Traditionally, the call to prayer (five times a day) was sung from the minaret; now the call to prayer is recorded and then played from the loudspeakers attached to the minarets. The first call to prayer (which includes the words "It is better to pray than to sleep") can occur as early as 4 am. Books warn us that it is something that you have to learn to sleep through. {Added later} John Chilton, the Emirates Economist, comments below to correct me; the calls are still done live, but with amplification.

I'll post more interesting photos of Al Ain when I find them.

1 comment:

John B. Chilton said...

Actually, I believe it's usually live, not recorded. But it is amplified!