Umm Al Quwain INFORMATION
Umm Al Quwain, one of the 7 members of the United Arab Emirates, covers an area of 800 square kilometres and stretches from the beautiful, lush green coastal mangroves lining the shores of the Persian Gulf, inland across the rolling sand dunes to the fertile oasis surrounding Falaj Al Moalla.
The inland oasis and hinterland town of Falaj Al Moalla lies some 50 kilometres from Umm Al Quwain city.
From November to March temperatures are idyllic and average 26C in daytime and 15C at night. Temperatures can rise over 40C in the peak of the summer and the humidity levels are high. Rainfall is minimal and averages 42 millimetres a year. The coastline experiences cooling sea breezes during the day.
The name Umm Al Quwain is derived from Umm Al Quwatain, which means "Mother of two powers", a reference to the powerful seafaring tradition of this emirate. The modern history of Umm Al Quwain dates back some 200 years when the Al Ali tribe moved their capital from Al Sinniyah Island to its present location in the mid 18th century, when the sweet water supply dried up.
The Emirate of Umm Al Quwain is located along the coast of the Arabian Gulf, between Sharjah to the west, and Ras Al Khaimah to the east. Its land spreads towards the interior for a distance of 32 km approximately. The city of Umm Al Quwain is the capital of the emirate, situated on a deep creek one kilomter in width and five kilometers long. It comprises the Ruler's office, companies, establishments, banks, commercial markets, the Seaport and the Research and Pisciculture Center, which helps to develop fisheries in the country.
The area of Falaj Al Mualla is located 50 km south east of Umm Al Quwain city. The Seneyah Island is located one kilometer away from Umm Al Qiwain city with a total area of 90 Sq km. Umm Al Quwain city has witnessed drastic developments over the last few years including construction of buildings, roads, parks and other amenities. Also the city is linked by a modern network of roads with the typical villages set up for settlement of Bedouins.
With a population of around 36000 Umm al-Qaiwain is the least populous of the seven emirates. Like Umm Al Quwain, Umm al-Qaiwain is seeking to bring in money from the wealthier emirates through domestic tourism.
A wonderful waterpark attracts thousands of visitors to this little emirate every day and has added a new facet to the economy of the emirate whose main industries were fishing and agriculture.
More than any other place in the UAE, Umm al Qaiwain provides a glimpse of what life throughout the UAE was like not so long ago. There are no high rise buildings in the city centre and the pace of life is still unhurried.
Umm Al Qaiwain's archaeological sites are Ad Door, a thriving port town at the beginning of the common era, and nearby Tell Abraq, a fortified settlement from around 2,500 BC.
Umm al Qiwain opened it first post office on 27 November 1963. The shaikhdom issued its first stamps on June 29, 1964. Umm al Qiwain agreed to join the United Arab Emirates on 2 December 1971. On 1 August 1972 the UAE took responsibility for postal operations.
The tiny emirate of Umm al-Qaiwain (1 percent of the UAE's total landmass) is situated between Sharjah to the south-west and Ra抯 al-Khaimah to the north-east, about 20 minutes drive from Umm Al Quwain.
Umm al-Qaiwain City, capital of the emirate, is situated on a narrow peninsula encircling a large creek, Khor Umm al-Qaiwain. The old town and the business district are at the northern tip of the peninsula, along King Faisal Rd. The town boasts no less than seven forts, one of which, its main gate flanked by defensive cannons, has been renovated.
Traditional occupations of fishing and date cultivation are still important, but a mariculture research centre and a free zone have helped to develop the emirate whose main attraction lies in its small size, relatively remote location, and long clean beaches.
Getting Around Umm Al Quwain
There is no airport in Umm al Quwain itself, however there are airports in nearby emirates Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah and Ra's al Khaymah.
The tourist center is located in the Umm Al Quwain lagoon where the natural green islands provide shelter for several square miles of clean and unpolluted water without the hazard of rough open sea, which is most ideal for water sport and small boat activities.
FALAJ AL-MUALLA - As the name indicates, Falaj Al-Mualla is the Oasis Town which lies in Al Batha Valley and is rich in agriculture. The town is connected with Umm Al Quwain city by an exceptionally scenic road running for much of its length alongside Wadi Al Batha.
Al Dur Island - Located along the coast near Umm Al Quwain is the famous archaeological site with the remains of a once important town of the region dating a little over 2000 years ago. Several interesting objects including impressive tombs, stone houses, large storage jars, and glassware from Egypt and Syria have been unearthed with successive excavations.
Al Siniyyah Island - Across the creek from Umm Al Quwain city lies this island, a haven for birds. The bird sanctuary is also noted for its mangrove swamps, representing an extremely delicate and a fast-dwindling ecosystem.
Dreamland Aqua Park - Sprawling over 250,000 sq mts along the coast is Dreamland, a huge entertainment complex, offering a variety of water games and rides, a souk to take care of your shopping needs, and restaurants and fast-food outlets to satiate your growing appetite, an ideal family destination.
Umm Al Quwain Marine Club - Located on the shores of the creek provides facilities for wind surfing, water skiing and sailing. The Emirate has also the finest horse riding club linked to a marina, where Equestrian events are held each winter.
Finally, as is the case with other Emirates, camels are treasured and camel racing is held in Al Labsa, one of the UAE's most attractive race tracks, located on the road to the Falaj Al Mualla, near the banks of the valley. The Emirate is also famous for hawks and falcons.