Pearl diving has been intrinsic to the UAE culture and heritage. Top-ranking brands such as Cartier catapulted to fame by using these pearls due to their prestige and quality. That and the discovery of oil in the Arabian Peninsula caused many local Emiratis to shift positions from the pearl industry to the oil sector. To save their travelling time, they moved their families to these coastal towns and began living there. Cartier is one of the most famous examples of a loyal customer of the pearls of the Arabian coastline, with Jacques Cartier making his first journey to the region in 1912 to hunt for the mother of all jewels, which is what the pearl is so often referred to as. There was always a risk of drowning and attacks from one of the more aggressive marine creatures. While pearls are no longer an exclusive commodity only from the UAE, some of today’s most top-ranking brands began their careers by using UAE pearls for prestige and quality insurance. When you don’t find her engrossed in a book, you will find her composing poetry or sipping on her favourite soft drinks! Even Vikings had packed them into their belongings on their way to Scandinavia. Each member of the boat had a specific task, and this helped keep a loose social system that transferred back onto land as well. Dubai P… They would spend the money to maintain their boats and buy supplies for the crew. A voracious reader, FA enjoys discovering new things and writing about them. UAE author delves deep into lost world of pearl diving Emirati writer uses wealth of personal and documented knowledge Published: June 08, 2020 11:30 Shakir Noori, Special to Gulf News However, captains who were not indebted to any financier would sell their pearls to a professional pearl merchant. Abdulla Al Suwaidi, the founder of Suwaidi Pearls, states that at the beginning of each pearling seasons, wealthy families of the region used to give an advance loan to nukhadas (captains). Divers were expected to tie a small stone to the bottom of their foot in order to sink to the bottom of the seabed, and collect as many oysters as they could before their breath ran out. In many unfortunate cases divers drowned or were even attacked by sharks. The pearls were traded in many parts of the ancient world. Pearl diving was once the driving force of the UAE economy. 3. Do you know any interesting facts about pearl diving in the UAE? Pearl diving was the basis for the founding of cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi Because of the booming pearl industry, many families and pearl divers ended up moving to coastal towns like Dubai and Abu Dhabi to be closer to work, and therefore helped establish the history and foundation of the UAE… Published: November 14, 2016 20:02 Gulf News. All you need to know about pearl diving in the UAE. Those intrepid local merchants who wanted to save brokerage fees by dealing with India sought British, French and American buyers. While pearl diving in the UAE has all but completely died out, one of the Emirates - Ras Al Khaimah - is creating cultured pearls "much better than the ones in Japan", Kayed said. Let us know in the comments section and stay tuned to MyBayut for more insights on the traditions and culture of the UAE. The history of pearl diving in the UAE is ancient, with archaeologists finding evidence of this tradition dating back more than 7,000 years ago. UAE’s two biggest cities – Dubai and Abu Dhabi- came into being because of the booming pearl industry of the country. On a scorching September morning on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, the UAE’s last pearl diver looks out over the Arabian Gulf.Wearing white diving robes and armed with a nose clip and a basket to collect pearls in, Major Ali al Suwaidi stands on a wooden boat, leading a group of … “I am proud that today, the UAE has taken on the dual roles of being a celebrant of its natural pearl diving history, and a promoter of cultured pearls cultivation,” he says. Divers had to tie a small stone to the bottom of their foot to maintain a strong balance while searching for oysters in the seabed. During these months, a dhow used to carry divers as well as other important crew members to the sites targeted for this activity. By the early 1900’s the Japanese had discovered a way to make artificial and flawless pearls, which unfortunately caused the pearl industry in the UAE to plummet. The UAE pearls are remembered and appreciated worldwide to this day. Pearl-diving has been on the decline in recent years. Soon others followed suit, and these destinations became home to many! It contributed massively to the UAE’s sustenance and was the major profession for most of the population. Mumbai became the world’s largest pearl market. Captain Mohammad Khalifa Bin Thalith from Dubai Ports, the man who put together a list of pearl diving sites stated that the Arabian Gulf was home to as many eight sites where pearling was possible. 6 FACTS ABOUT PEARL DIVING •Pearls divers would be at sea from mid-May to early September. Because of the booming pearl industry, many families and pearl divers ended up moving to coastal towns like Dubai and Abu Dhabi to be closer to work, and therefore helped establish the history and foundation of the UAE’s two biggest cities. In exchange for the favour, they would offer them the pearls they collected. Ras Al Khaimah’s Pearl Roundabout 2. That’s because they constantly bought pearls from the souqs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Its role in defining the history of Dubai cannot be stressed enough. Now, these areas have been submerged into oil fields that are not easy to reach. For many centuries before the discovery of oil, pearl diving was an important occupation and the mainstay of local economies. Other monuments that pay tribute to the rich history of pearling in the UAE are: 1. Stones were polished and dispatched from Mumbai to Europe, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Soon, the pearling ecosystem of the UAE piqued the attention of divers from Yemen followed by India, Iran and other Arab countries when they came to Dubai to trade spices, textiles and rice. It’s begin on May and end on September. UAE pearls have been documented to have traveled all the way to Rome, Venice, India, Sri Lanka, and some have even pointed to evidence of pearls from the UAE showing up in Viking possessions in Scandinavia. Pearl diving was once the most lucrative profession in the United Arab Emirates and was tightly woven into the UAE culture that dates back around 7,000 … The history of the maritime life of the UAE, and specially Sharjah, including shipbuilding, pearl diving and pearl trade, navigational devices, etc. He donated his collection to pay tribute to all the pearl divers of the country. Pearl diving usually occurred between June and September. The money earned from this occupation circulated in the market, benefiting both divers and other residents of the UAE. In fact, in 1912, Jacques Cartier embarked on his first journey to the region to search for pearls. Pearl diving is an ancient practice that’s been around for over 7000 years. Pearling was the mainstay of the economy in the UAE. The pearl diving was one of the ways to make a living in the UAE, before the discovery of oil. Let’s find out more about the history of pearl diving in the UAE. Outsiders however, were forbidden to dive for pearls without the approval of local rulers. Emirati men were employed as pearl-divers for seasonal or full-time work. The Pearl Museum also features the largest exclusive collection of Arabian Gulf pearls by Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais, a descendent of pearl divers in the UAE. Pearl diving became, and is still considered, one of the UAE’s most treasured traditions. Pearl diving: UAE's hidden gem. The oil boom in the United Arab Emirates was also responsible for there being less people on this workforce. The pearls of the UAE were one of the most sought-after accessories of the time. •Pearl Divers would dive for 12-14 hours, before sunrise, and till sunset. Although the industry collapsed by the early 1900s, the traces of this historical golden period, are still ingrained in the hearts of the people of the country. Pearl Diving 1. By that time, the Japanese had found a way to make flawless artificial pearls. 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