Amid Shifting Sands (Paperback)
The United Arab Emirates are renowned for their enormous production of oil and the rise of great cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which attract millions of tourists annually. It is as if the great aridity of the country did not exist. Yet the UAE is essentially a vast desert, thinly peopled for thousands of years by nomads, grazing sheep, camels and growing a few crops in great oases like Al Ain and Liwa. Early people used spears and falcons to hunt rich populations of oryx, gazelle, ibex, and the iconic migratory bird, the houbara. These animals were decimated by the introduction of European vehicles and guns in the 1920s, and later by the oil boom in the 1950s and 1960s. Today the desert is virtually devoid of these wild animals. This and many other fascinating little-known highlights of the complex history of the lands now known as the UAE are revealed in this book.