Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates

Ras Al Khaimah

Umm Al Quwain is the second smallest and the least populated emirate in the UAE. Located in the north of the country, and is currently governed by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al-Mualla, member of the Supreme Council of the Union.

Umm al-Quwain has experienced a construction boom that transformed the city into a very modern city filled with tall skyscrapers, good roads, and tourist attractions, while still maintaining its natural beauty. Umm al-Quwain has miles of beautiful beaches that make it a popular destination for vacationers.

History Of Umm Al Quwain

The history of the region dates back to more than 7,000 years, it has shown effects on their relationship to the civilization of Mesopotamia and Umm Al Nar civilization; which is an important trading port on the Arabian Gulf coast.

During the Bronze Age (3000–1300 BC), semi-nomadic tribes inhabited the region; they moved in groups from place to place foraging for timber from the indigenous acacia for smelting copper. The metal was sent to all the prominent ports on the Persian Gulf, Umm an-Nar being one of them. Ties with Mesopotamia were jealously maintained and consequently the trade in copper ushered in prosperity in the region.

During the Bronze Age, agriculture flourished, with dates being the prominent crop. Wheat, millet and other grains were also cultivated wherever there was enough water for irrigation. It is now widely believed that the climate during the period was more temperate than now. During the Umm an-Nar period (2500–2000 BC), buildings and fortress towers came up in Umm al-Quwain. The most common buildings associated with this era are the circular burial tombs.

The modern history of Umm al-Quwain began some 200 years ago when the Al Ali tribe moved their capital from Al-Sinniyah Island to its present location in the mid-18th century due to declining water resources. In 1775, Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, founder of the ruling Al Mu’alla lineage of the Al Ali tribe, established an independent Sheikhdom in Umm al-Quwain.

On 8 January 1820, Sheikh Abdullah I signed the General Maritime Treaty with the United Kingdom, thus accepting a British protectorate in order to keep the Ottoman Turks out. Like Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah, its position on the route to India made it important enough to be recognized as a salute state with a three gun salute.

By 1903, J. G. Lorimer's famous survey of the Trucial Coast had Umm al-Quwain listed as a town of some 5,000 inhabitants and identified as the major boat-building centre on the coast, producing some 20 boats a year compared to 10 in Dubai and 5 in Sharjah.

On 2 December 1971, Sheikh Ahmad II joined its neighbours Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Fujairah in forming the United Arab Emirates, with Ras Al Khaimah joining later in early 1972.

Geography

The Emirate of Umm Al Quwain is located in the Northwest of the country of the U.A.E. and overlooks the Arabian Gulf and Peninsula coastline stretching along 150 kilometers between Emirates Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah and extends its territory at home about 32 km and has an area of Umm Al Quwain, about 720 km 2 and is equivalent to 1% of the country area.

Umm Al Quwain has a semi-desert climate with high temperature and humidity during the summer months but the humidity varies on averages from month to month, the weather is moderated most of the winter months with irregular rainfall. The coldest part of the year is from November to March where temperatures are around 26 degrees Celsius in the day, and 15 degrees Celsius at night.

Umm Al Quwain’s surface is sandy with saline land in neighboring parts of the coast, Falaj Al Mualla features fertile soils located in Al Batha Valley high above sea level and located at a distance of 52 km South East of the town of Umm Al-Quwain.

Population

According to the December 2005 census, the population of Umm Al Quwain was 49,159.

The population of UAE nationals in mid-2010 was 17,482 comprising 8,671 males and 8,811 females. This is the only emirate where females outnumber males.

Government

Umm Al Quwain is ruled by Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla. He was born on October 1st 1952. He became Ruler of the emirate of Umm Al Quwain and a member of the Supreme Council after the demise of his father Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mualla on 2nd of January 2009.

His Highness received his early education in Umm Al Quwain and his high school education in Lebanon, after which he completed his higher education in Economics from the University of Cairo in 1974.

His Highness was appointed third secretary in the UAE Foreign Ministry in 1973, and was Commander of Umm Al Quwain National Guard with the rank of Colonel. In 1979, he headed Umm Al Quwain Royal Court (Al Diwan Al Amiri).

Later, on the 22nd of June 1982, his father Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mualla named him as Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain. His Highness assisted his father in managing the affairs of the emirate, oversaw many investment projects and established numerous government entities and local enterprises.

Economy

Fishing is a key contributor to the economy of Umm Al Quwain. The emirate exports seafood throughout Europe and Middle East.

The first poultry farm in the UAE was established in Falaj Al Mualla. It is considered a key supplier of poultry and dairy products to the local market.

The construction of Ahmed Bin Rashid Port and the Free Trade Zone signifies the emirate's plans towards expanding its commercial and investment base.

Educational

The Government of Umm Al Quwain is keen to provide an integrated educational environment and to establish schools and training institutes for a promising and educated future.

  • Kindergartens and schools

Education is compulsory for all citizens. The government is committed to harnessing all its resources and resources to provide free education. Government schools are spread throughout all areas of Umm Al Quwain. The Ministry of Education can be consulted for a list of schools and their areas.

  • Higher education

The UAE-Canadian University College is an educational institution with a distinct identity. Its primary role is to provide fair and equitable learning opportunities for students in the UAE.

Is dedicated and designed to organize and deliver educational programs and all advanced means. In addition, the Foundation will provide its resources and contribute significantly to paving the way for higher education in the UAE and meeting the requirements of the community.

Healthcare

Like the other UAE emirates, Umm Al Quwain enjoys high quality healthcare. Umm al-Quwain has a mix of both public and private hospitals. It is also very close to Dubai, which also has a wide range of top quality hospitals.

Most hospitals in Umm al-Quwain are well equipped, modern, and can handle any type of medical need. The main problem with public hospitals is that there may be a longer waiting time than the ones at private hospitals. Private hospitals generally have no waiting times.

Another difference between public and private hospitals is that private hospitals are more expensive. Public hospitals are not available to Emirati nationals. All expatriates and visitors will have to pay for all costs. In addition, expatriates can only access public facilities if they have a health card or require emergency treatment. Otherwise, expatriates have to visit private hospitals, which can be very costly.

Tourism

The emirate has rich coastal mangroves on the coast of Arabian Gulf and many islands that lie to the east of the mainland. The biggest island, Al Seniah, is home to Arabian gazelles, falcons and turtles.

Umm Al Quwain provides facilities for numerous recreational activities; from sailing to skydiving. Traditional activities such as dhow building and sports such as falconry and camel racing are also popular in the emirate. Dreamland Aqua Park, the UAE's largest water park and resort attracts several visitors.

Shopping Malls in Umm Al Quwain

Town Mall

The united for real estate development has built this mall with the objective of being one of Umm Al Quwain’s largest & newest shopping center and premier shopping, and dining destination with 29 stores, including nearly 50 Brands. Town Mall features a diverse collection of shopping world including locally owned boutiques and national retailers including banks, restaurants, a café, gift shops, fashion & perfumes shops, a pharmacy and an optician, sports & beachwear shops, etc.

Lulu Centre

LuLu Hypermarket, the retail division of the multidimensional and multinational LuLu Group International has always been known as a trend setter of the retail industry in the region. Today, LuLu symbolizes quality retailing with 133 stores and is immensely popular with the discerning shoppers across the Gulf region.

LuLu Hypermarkets not only dot the cities of the UAE but have become the most preferred shopping destinations in Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Al Hamra Mall

Al Hamra Mall is a 37,000 m2 two-storey shopping center set amidst the stunning residential development of Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah, offering a perfect blend of shopping, entertainment, dining and recreational options. Al Hamra Mall houses a wide range of stores and services catering to its international customers, synchronizing perfectly with the demands and wishes of the multi cultural population in the UAE.

With over 100 stores to choose from, shoppers can delight in designer clothing, electronic appliances, furniture and daily groceries, no matter whether you are a visiting tourist or a local resident. You will surely find yourself enjoying the shopping as you pick all you need from Al Hamra Mall.

Splash

The Middle East’s largest fast fashion retailer. Splash was founded in Sharjah in 1993 and has since grown to over 200 stores across 14 countries worldwide. It has a large collection of popular clothing for men, women and teens.

Arts and Culture

Umm Al Quwain Museum

The history of Umm Al Quwain Museum goes back to 1768 when it was established as the residence for the Emiri family, and hundreds of years later it was made a museum. The museum is actually a renovated ancient fort that was used to guard entrance to the old town and houses various artifacts found at the archeological sites. The Museum has a fundamental importance in presenting the history, heritage of Umm Al Quwain and the UAE. Also, the museum includes many valuable items on display. The majority of these items have been brought from the Ed-dour historical site whose history goes back to the Roman Empire.

Umm Al Quwain Fort

A fort which was once home to the emirate’s ruler and guarded the entrance to the old town, overseeing the sea on one side and the creek on the other. It eventually became a police station then a museum. The museum now houses artifacts found at important nearby sites including Al-Dour and houses a collection of weapons that were used through the emirate's history. It is located near a Masjid (Mosque) in Umm Al Quwain Bazaar.

Al-Dour

Al-Dour is located roughly where the town of Umm Al Quwain is now, it is considered the largest pre-Islamic site on the Persian Gulf coast. Al-Dour was an important trading port from about 200 BC to 200 AD. Thousands of graves are found among the houses of Al-Dour. In some cases, the larger tombs contained the remains of more than one individual, perhaps a family. There are two public monuments at Al-Dour, a small square fort with round corner towers and a small square temple dedicated to the Semitic sun god Shamash.

Transportation

Airport: Currently, there is no airport in Umm al Quwain, but there are airports in nearby emirates Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah.

Bus: no commercial bus.

Taxis: taxis are available all around Umm al Quwain.

Language

The official language of the UAE is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood, with both languages being commonly used in business and commerce.

Currency

The official currency in Umm Al Quwain is named Dirham (or United Arab Emirates Dirham; AED). The Dirham (AED) is abbreviated as DH or Dhs. It is not the currency of Umm Al Quwain only, but also other emirates including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ajman, Sharjah, Ras-Al-Khaimah.

The most common notes in circulation are the 100 Dh, 50 Dh, 20 Dh, 10 Dh and 5 Dh note although there are three other less commonly used notes – 200 Dh, 500 Dh and 1000 Dh notes. 1 Dh = 100 fils and coins are available in 25 fils, 50 fils and 1 Dh denominations.

Dollars is widely accepted in Umm Al Quwain and the major credit cards such as American Express, Diner’s Club, Visa and MasterCard are acceptable throughout Umm Al Quwain. ATMs can be found across the UAE in malls, hotels and gas stations. ATMs accept foreign credit and debit cards including Switch, Maestro, Cirrus, Union Pay, Visa and MasterCard.