UAE | General

Family values drive a unified society

Relatives form an important part of UAE culture

  • By Fatma Salem, Staff Reporter, Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 December 5, 2009
  • Gulf News

Close ties
  • Image Credit: Megan Hirons mahon/Gulf News
  • Several generations of an Emirati family often live together in the same house or area, providing love and support for one another.

Dubai: Family forms an essential role in the Emirati community; it signifies unconditional endless love, care and respect.

However the most important is the spirit of mutual responsibility that combines all members of the family.

Moreover, its importance is strongly imposed in Islam and mutual care among parents and children is also highly recommended in the Holy Quran. There are frequent reminders from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) of the essential nature of the family being the most significant institution in life and the crucial role it plays in people's lives on a psychological and sociological basis.

Family is defined as a group of people that are closely related by blood with unbreakable bonds that are extremely important to Arab communities in general, due to the common faith, values and culture they share.

Sign of Pride

Being an integral part of an Arab Nation, therefore, the Emirati community is governed by the importance of Family. Its duties don't end when for example a member gets married and establishes an independent life of his or her own. On the contrary, as a matter of fact the bonds get even stronger because the circle of the family is expanded to include the in-laws and thereby the relationship that gathers two families takes more powerful impact and mirror a healthy society.

People in the UAE have always been very proud of their large families and tribes and it has been famously known as a sign of pride therefore the previous Emirati generations paid attention to such an issue and passed it on into their grandchildren because it brings reputation and support as well as it mirrors the prestigious situation of its members not to mention the huge amount of respect it gains by the community.

Emirati families take the form of the extended family which means parents, children, grandparents, and in some cases even in-laws share one household. Old Emirati houses were designed to be big and spacious in order to have enough room for everyone and the same concept is still followed in today's modern houses as well.

So when a daughter, for example, gets married she normally lives in husband's house with his family, and when they have children, sometimes they have an extra annex in the same house or if the land of the house is big enough then they build a small villa just to be surrounded by the intimate togetherness of the family. However, if there's no room left to build inside the parents' house, they try to live in the same neighbourhood. This is the way that Emirati are used to living.

Under the family umbrella, a person feels loved, safe, supported and always feels there's someone there for him no matter if there's a misunderstanding or conflict, because the bonds of a family top all other issues. Together they can overcome any obstacle that life might bring.

Family is like a wall of protection. It gives the feeling of safety and makes you aware of that there are always people there behind you to pick you straight back up again.

Gulf News