On 2nd December 1971, the United Arab Emirates was created in a ceremony in Dubai at a site on Jumeirah Beach Road, not far from where we currently live. The UAE is made up of seven Emirates that we are now able to name – you will probably not recognize some of the names – we didn’t. Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, although at the 2 December 1971 signing, Ras Al Khaimah was still in negotiations, so it was just the 6 Emirates signing. They joined 2 months later on 10 February 1972. Bahrain and Qatar decided to remain independent states although they had originally intended to join and Oman decided not to join but would consider joining in the future. Queen Elizabeth and the PM at the time, Edward Heath, were amongst the first global leaders to congratulate the new state.
So, November arrives and the weather is consistently quite fabulous – the ridiculously high humidity has disappeared and so too have the temperatures in the 40s. Suddenly people are outside walking, talking, playing. Air conditioning is turned off and doors and windows are left open. We can now sit outside at night with a glass of wine without our glasses dripping with condensation within seconds. The atmosphere of the place has changed – people are more relaxed. Continue reading Walking in the Desert – November 2011