On the 2nd December 1971, seven sheikdoms were brought together and formed the UAE. Before the sheikdoms were unified sheikdoms (Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm al Quwain, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah and Dubai) were under the control of the British and were known as the Trucial States. The British made a decision to withdraw its involvement in the Trucial States in early 1968 which led to the decision of forming a federation that was agreed by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum. The two then invited other leaders to join the federation. On the 25th February 1968 the rulers of the sheikhdoms met in Jumeirah and they reached what was known as the Dubai Agreement of the Union of the Nine (the seven emirates of the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain) and then formed the Federal Supreme Council. Abu Dhabi hosted the first meeting of the Federal Supreme Council which developed into the institution of the Interim Federal Council and then resulted into the formation of the Union. The new union needed symbols and that’s why in today’s post I share the national symbols of the UAE.
NATIONAL BIRD OF THE UAE
The national bird of the UAE is the falcon. Falconry is a major aspect of the Emirati culture and traditions. To the UAE, the falcon represents strength, agility and national heritage. The falcon is on the emblem of the UAE and the 500 dirham note.
NATIONAL FRUIT OF THE UAE
Dates are the national fruit of the UAE. Dates are very popular in Emirati dishes.
NATIONAL ANTHEM OF THE UAE
The UAE national anthem is Ishy Bilady which translates to ‘Long live my nation’. A famous Emirati composer, Mohamed Abdul Wahab, was given the task to compose the national anthem of the nation. The lyrics of the anthem were later on written by Arif Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan (a famous poet and scholar).
NATIONAL CURRENCY OF THE UAE
The official currency of the UAE is the Emirati Dirham. It can be abbreviated as AED, Dhs or Dh. The word dates back to the Ottoman Empire. The currency was adopted as the official currency of the UAE on the 19th of May 1973 and replaced the Qatar and Dubai Riyal.
NATIONAL TREE OF THE UAE
The Ghaf tree is the national tree of the UAE. The Ghaf tree is indigenous to the area and therefore it is illegal to cut down. In addition, it has also been used as the logo for the Year Of Tolerance Initiative. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan has given the Ghaf tree a great importance and have issued laws of forbidding the cutting of the Ghaf tree throughout the UAE.
NATIONAL ANIMAL OF THE UAE
The national animal of the UAE is the Arabian Oryx and in Arabic it is called Al Maha. For many years these beautiful creatures were considered extinct to the wild but thanks to the huge preservation efforts of the UAE they were brought back into the wild once again.
NATIONAL FLAG OF THE UAE
The UAE flag is also known as the Emirati flag and it has a super interesting history. After the Federal Union was formed in 1971 a flag designing competition was launched in the Al Ittihad newspaper. The advertisement came out of Sheikh Zayed’s royal diwan. There were lots of entries that were submitted but however only 6 out of the mant were shortlisted. The winning designed was designed by a young Emirati named Abdullah Mohammad Al Maena who was 19 years of age at the time. The young Emirati was awarded 4000 riyals, in that time the UAE Dirham had not been introduced.
THE NATIONAL EMBLEM OF THE UAE
The coat of arms of the UAE or the national emblem of the UAE is represented as a falcon with the UAE flag at the heart of it. The flag with the seven stars represents the seven Emirates united around the UAE flag. The falcon is a symbol of strength, national heritage and supreme agility. Originally the emblem that was adopted in 1971 featured a dhow instead of the current emblem of the nation today.
DID YOU KNOW THE NATIONAL SYMBOLS OF THE UAE? THANKS FOR READING
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