In Pictures: The Story of the UAE’s Rich Pearl Diving Culture

Before oil was the backbone of the UAE’s economy, there was pearl diving. Known for its shopping and tourism, very few people are aware that pearl diving is one of the UAE’s treasures. From sailing boats to collecting shells, to sorting pearls and selling them, there were a number of jobs associated with this industry. The divers, who were all men, would dive from sunrise to sunset.

While many Emirati families trace their wealth to the pearl diving that their forefathers did years ago, for some, it was their main source of income. Archaeologists have found evidence that this tradition dates back to over 7,000 years! Fun fact: The world’s oldest pearl was discovered in Abu Dhabi.

Here are a few pictures we thought were quite cool; take a look!

via Abu Dhabi Culture

WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss “Find Out How NYU Abu Dhabi’s New Course On Khaleeji Music Is Putting Heritage Back On Top