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Historical information
Natural Resources
Seven Emirates
Culture & Heritage
Traditional Occupation
Appropriate Behavior
Traditional Sports
Life in the Arabian Gulf, as in all Arab countries, is dictated to a large extent by the dominant religion, Islam. Islam is a monotheistic religion; it is based on the belief that there is only one God. In this respect it can be compared with the Christian and Jewish faiths. Islam and Christianity also share the principles of compassion, honesty, justice and love.
The most important difference between Islam and these faiths is that, whereas they worship Jesus as the son of God, Muslims believe that God alone should be worshipped and that the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) is the 'Seal of the Prophets', i.e., the last one who has or will come.
Islam is a tolerant religion and allows people of other faiths to observe their religions. There are both Catholic and Protestant churches in Dubai.
Muslims belong to two major groups, Sunni or Shia, with the majority of UAE nationals belonging to the former sect.
The Arabic Islam means 'submission' and a Muslim believes that it is his duty to believe in God in the manner which is described in the Holy Quran. The Quran which is God's word as revealed through the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) supplements and completes the earlier revelations upon which the Christian and Jewish faiths were built. It lays down the rules for both man's spiritual and temporal behaviour; Muslims believe that Islam, due to its nature, suits all times, and its guidelines are simple and adaptable.
The most obvious evidence of Islam's importance in the daily life of the Gulf Arab is the prevalence of mosques, with their very distinctive minarets from which the faithful are called to prayer five times a day.
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