Robert Padbrugge, who visited Muscat in 1672 as a representative of the Dutch East Indies Company, mentioned in his journal the rock carvings discovered on a gravestone in Ruus Al Jibal – now known as Musandam – believed to pre-date the Wahhabi revival in the 1700s. These carvings are thought to be the first historical evidence of the Arabian dagger, also known as khanjar in UAE and Oman or jambiyah in Yemen.

A camel gets a lift into a truck, ready to travel to a camel beauty show!

A beauty contest winning camel may easily sell for AED 3,000,000! To get her look her best, she is kept on a diet of honey, milk and olive oil, as well as top quality grass. Some Emirati Bedouin spend as much as AED 12,000 daily just on food for a camel.

Al Dhafra Festival
Al Dhafra Festival, 2008

The most expensive camel ever sold in the UAE was AED 10,000,000! It was bought in 2008, at Al Dhafra camel beauty festival in Abu Dhabi emirate, by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. During the event, the Crown Prince bought camels worth AED 16.5 million ($4.49 million), including a female camel for AED 10 million ($2.72 million). At Al Dhafra Festival 2017, this 14th – 28th December, some 1,500 camel owners and 20,000 camels are expected to participate.



100 dirham note, 1973

The name Dirham derives from the Greek word Drachmae, literally meaning “handful”, from Latin. Due to centuries of old trade and usage of the currency, dirham survived through the Ottoman Empire. The UAE dirham was introduced on 19th May 1973. It replaced the Qatar and Dubai riyal, which had circulated since 1966 in all of the emirates except Abu Dhabi, where the dirham replaced the Bahraini dinar. Before 1966, the seven emirates that were to form the UAE used the Gulf rupee. As in Qatar, the Emirates briefly adopted the Saudi riyal during the transition from the Gulf rupee to the Qatar and Dubai riyal.

Abu Dhabi airport, 1968!
In those early, pre-tarmac days, the sand was hardened with water, to make it possible for airplanes to take off and land!  The airport was initially built in Al Bateen area, in 1960, then moved 30 km outside the city, where it is today, and inaugurated in 1982.

The oldest pearl in the world belongs to the UAE! It originated between 5547 and 5235 BC, it is fully intact and it has two millimeters in diameter.
It was discovered by French archeologists in Umm Al Quwain, in a grave site, five years ago. Their findings revealed that pearls were often placed on the deceased’s face, usually above the upper lip!world's oldest pearl