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Emirati culture

The United Arab Emirates has a divers society. The country’s historical population as a small tribal community has been changed with the arrival of other nationals — first by the Iranians in 1810, and later by Indians and Pakistanis in the 1960s. Emirati people are ethnically diverse, with great ancestors from the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Baluchistan and East Africa. Arab descendants of the Bani Yas, Al Nahyan and Al Maktoum families in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively, represent the Emirati leadership. Al Qawasim have also played a vital role in the history of the United Arab Emirates. Some Emiratis in Dubai are of Persian ancestry. Emirati culture is based on Arabian culture and has been heavily influenced by Persian culture. Arabian and Persian inspired architecture is part of the expression of the local Emirati identity. Persian influence on Emirati culture is noticeably visible in traditional Emirati architecture and folk arts. For example, the “barjeel” has become an identifying mark of traditional Emirati architecture and is attributed to Persian influence. Certain folk dances, such as “al-habban”, are originally Persian. Local Emirati culture has also been influenced by the cultures of East Africa and India. Dubai has been criticized for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes. Despite the diversity of the population, only minor and infrequent episodes of ethnic tensions, primarily between expatriates, have been reported in the city. Major holidays in Dubai include Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and National Day (2 December), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates. The influence of Islamic, Persian and Arabian culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine, and lifestyle are very prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques, which are scattered around the country. The weekend begins on Friday due to Friday being the holiest day for Muslims. Most Muslim countries have a Friday-Saturday or Thursday-Friday weekend.