Reading list inspiration for travel
City and region specific
Books & eBooks
- A History of the Arab PeoplesView on Amazon One of the most distinguished scholars of the Arab world and the Middle East tells the story. By Albert Hourani.
- A Peace to End All PeaceView on Amazon The definitive book on the subject, it tells the fascinating story of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Middle East. By David Fromkin.
- Arabian SandsView on Amazon Having spent five years exploring and wandering the deserts of Arabia, the British author (1910-2003) provides deep insights into the nomadic bedouins. By Wilfred Thesiger.
- Emirati WomenView on Amazon Drawing on eight years of conversations and interviews with three generations of women and her own personal observations, the author affords a window into marriage, independence, freedom and the future. By Jane Bristol-Rhys.
- Tales of the Marvellous and News of the StrangeView on Amazon Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest-known Arabic short stories. Resembling those in The Arabian Nights, these charming, surreal, baffling and beautiful tales are indeed both marvelous and strange. Illustrated by Coralie Bickford-Smith; translated by Malcolm C. Lyons.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “A New Art Capital, Finding Its Own Voice”View on NYTimes.com Inside Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. By Carol Vogel.
- “Abu Dhabi’s High Cost of Culture”View on NewYorker.com The author examines the UAE's practice of importing tens of thousands of low-wage workers — from Bangladesh, Pakistan, or India — in the hopes of transforming the country into a luxury tourist playground. By Ben Mauk.
- “Far Ahead of Curve, a 6-Year-Old Thrills a Nation”View on NYTimes.com Rashid al-Dhaheri, a precocious driver at 6, builds a following in the United Arab Emirates. By Sam Borden.
- “Far From Home”View on NationalGeographic.com In today's hyperconnected world, many developing countries find that their most lucrative export is people. By Cynthia Gorney.
- “Islamic Calligraphy”View on MetMuseum.org An excellent, highly visual review of the subject by the renowned Harvard professor. By Annemarie Schimmel.
- “Islamic Carpets”View on MetMuseum.org A first-class review — of technique, style and regional variations — of carpets from around the Islamic world. By Richard Ettinghausen.
- “Renewable Energy Seawater Desalination”View on masdar.ae Water scarcity has been a primary concern for the United Arab Emirates since the nation’s inception. This article summarizes its technological efforts to decrease the use of traditional energy sources for desalination and in turn power the process with the region’s abundant renewable resources, such as solar or geothermal.
- “Sheikh of the Skies”View on RoadsandKingdoms.com Behind every skyscraper in Dubai … is the falcon that keeps pigeons away from it. By Mansi Choksi.
- “Sprinting Over the Dirt, With a Robot on the Hump”View on NYTimes.com Camel racing blends centuries-old traditions and modern technology. By Sam Borden.
- Inside the Emirati sha’bi houseListen on thenational.ae Nick Leech discusses the sha’bi house, low-cost housing that transformed the lives of Emiratis.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Guide to the Call to PrayerVisit ApproachGuides.com* Our quick review of the intoxicating, ever-present call to prayer.
- Islamic Prayer TimesVisit Islamicfinder.org Get up-to-date times for the five-daily prayer sessions.
- Quran TranslationVisit Quran.com Offers English translations of all the chapters in the Quran. Invaluable for understanding the meaning behind the Arabic inscriptions you will encounter throughout your trip.
- Sheik Mohammed’s WebsiteVisit sheikmohammed.com The official website of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and constitutional monarch of Dubai.
- Travelers’ Health | U.A.E.Visit CDC.gov Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for vaccines and medicines.
- World Bank | United Arab EmiratesVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
Just for Kids
Who to Follow
- Twitter: HH Sheikh MohammedFollow @HHShkMohd Official Tweets by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
- Twitter: Mark LobelFollow @marklobel BBC Middle East Business Correspondent based in Dubai.
- Twitter: The NationalFollow @TheNationalUAE The UAE's premier news source in English.
- Twitter: The National LifestyleFollow @LifeNationalUAE The National newspaper's Arts&Life, keeping you up to date with the latest UAE arts and lifestyle news from our own journalists.