Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Abu Dhabi is Stylin’ and Profilin’

Part I of II

“Have you ever heard of Abu Dhabi?” You may receive several misleading answers if you’ve asked this question. Answers like, “I can’t eat spicy foods.” Or, “He works at the Quick Stop at the corner of my street.” Maybe you’ll even hear “That music is too loud and noisy for my taste. I don’t know how those hipsters can listen to it.”

Abu Dhabi is the capital and largest of seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates. On January 19th, the European Tour along with several big name PGA tour players will be part of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Championship, an event that will without a doubt capture the attention of millions.

Many Americans know very little about this burgeoning piece of real estate in the Middle East known as Abu Dhabi. As mentioned, it is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven separate emirates, all working together in order to establish themselves as global players in a plethora of worldwide industries. And it’s working!

Even though the wealth that the UAE has is directly derived form the export of Black Gold, (Oil) it has systematically decided to venture into other markets such as entertainment, tourism, transportation and communications. In fact, British tourists alone brought in $74 million last year from just June to August. That’s not too shabby.

Geographically speaking, all the above mentioned is made possible due to the fact that the UAE is perfectly situated. It has become the Hub of International travel for those venturing to Europe, the Far East, southern parts of India as well as all of Africa.

Also, sitting on top of an ass load of oil doesn’t hurt either.

To give you a brief history lesson, Abu Dhabi’s landscape was first used all the way back during the 3rd millennium B.C., when your typical everyday folk were busy herding animals, fishing for sustenance and nomading around. (Caution, the term nomading is not a real word. Use is sparingly.)

Its present day history really began in the late 18th century when both Abu Dhabi and Dubai were united under a tribal confederation named the Bani Yas. Not long to last, the Bani Yas branches in each territory parted ways in the 19th century.

As Abu Dhabi entered the 20th century, the territory maintained their way of living the good old fashioned way, camel herding. Not to be outdone, farmers in soon realized that the nearby oases of Al Ain and Liwa were superb breeding grounds for vegetable and date (the fruit) production. Also, during primarily the summer months, many would fish and dive for pearls off the coast of Abu Dhabi City.

Oil didn’t really come into the fold until around 1958 when it was first discovered. The cabbage (money) didn’t start pouring in overnight though, and in fact, it really didn’t have too much of a major impact at first. This was due to the fact that the ruler at this time, Sheikh Shakbut, wasn’t sure if the money would keep rolling in, so he decided to save it and not invest it into the territory.

This conservative approach did not last long. Shakbut’s brother, Sheik Zayed, soon to be named Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, took the reins away from his brother on August 6, 1966 with a little help from his friends, the British. Who, by the way, were occupying the entire region at this time. Zayed, before being appointed, envisioned reinvesting this newly found wealth back into the territory rather than socking it away. Ah, a visionary!

Two years later, in 1968, the British government announced that they would fully withdraw from the Gulf region by 1971. Upon this news, the second year rookie/leader Zayed turned into a roving diplomat around all the emirates, vying for unification within the region.
On December 2, 1971, the day finally came. The United Arab Emirates celebrated their first day of Independence from Britain.

Those British sure did get around.

Currently, the head of state of the UAE is President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan who is also the shaykh a.k.a. Head Honcho of Abu Dhabi since 11/4/2004.
The prime minister is Shaykh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Makrum he also moonlights as the shaykh of Dubai.

The government also consists of 21 ministers and one deputy prime minister. Furthermore, the UAE has a national assembly called the Federal National Council which is made up of 40 members, all of whom are from the seven emirates. It is the council’s job to put through or reject new laws and also suggest amendments.
So much for brief, sorry.

It’s quite interesting though, that the two most powerful people in the UAE government, President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan and Prime Minister Shaykh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Makrum are also leaders of the two emirates that now host international golfing events, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

I wonder what their handicaps are.


At 9:19 PM, Blogger Miranda said...

Will this be televised on a channel we can get here in America? I would like to see the tournament. A lot of good players will be there.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger The Undaunted Duffer said...

You bet your sweet bippy. The Golf Channel will broadcast all four days of the tournament, from 9a.m.-12p.m.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Miranda said...


At 12:34 AM, Blogger Muhammad Amjad said...

You bet your sweet bippy. The Golf Channel will broadcast all four days of the tournament.Abu Dhabi is the one of best tour place and sports places.
Abu dhabi tourism


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