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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Occupations of the Old World of UAE - The Traditional Side of Emirates
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Occupations of the Old World of UAE - The Traditional Side of Emirates

The UAE is keeping up with the current trends and technology, but its old world, traditional jobs are still kept alive is the main source of income for the older generations residing there.

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Pearl Diving

This job is pretty risky and done to collect oyster shells from the seabed. A diver gets off the boat and keeps his head above the water until he puts on a nose clip to prevent breathing or swallowing underwater. He then ties a 5kg weight to his leg so that his descent to the seabed will be fast and smooth, and once he is done collecting the shells in a basket or runs out of breath, he shakes his leg violently, and the rope tied to his leg also goes all the way up to the crew on the boat and once they see the movement, they pull the diver up, oyster shells and all.

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Drum Making

Made with the wood from the Ziziphus tree, it is carved using a unique tool called Al Manqar and is softened at the core and shaped from the inside out. Once the cylindrical shape has been created, the drum is then painted with Al Hall which gives it a brown hue. Lastly, a leather strap is fixed on the drum and from the two ends of the strap, a rope slung to make the drum easy to hang.

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Construction

A traditional summer home in UAE is made out of fronds and palm branches. After the cornerstones have been built, the palm trunks are used to create pillars and then, the walls and roof are made of the palm branches. These huts are used as summer houses in most parts of the UAE even in this day and age.

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Manufacturing

Woven mats, also known as Al Hasseer are created with palm fronds. These fronds are soaked in water to soften them for easier weaving process and then the women start linking the strips and weaving it until it forms an authentic mat. Sir Bani Yas Island takes pride in this job and some resorts there have activities that take you through these jobs, like the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts among a few others.

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Fishing

At Sir Bani Yas Island, activities and even leisure sports include fishing. Being a land that doesn't see rain often, UAE had to focus more on the seas to harvest for food and fishing has been something traditional among the people. The Hadra traps, Gargour traps and drift nets are the most commonly used fishing methods. The smaller fish is dried and salted, fishmeal is also used as camel fodder and some types of fish, like the silversides, were also used as fertilisers in vegetable gardens.

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