The UAE consists of seven emirates, which are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Ajman. I’ve been to six of them. Umm al-Quwain is the second smallest emirate by area. Umm al-Quwain is derived from Umm Al Quwatain, which means "Mother of two powers", a reference to the powerful seafaring tradition of this emirate. It is located in the north of the country.
Accepted alternative spellings include Umm al Qiwain as well as Umm al-Qawain, Umm al-Qaywayn, Umm el-Qiwain, and Umm al-Qaiwain.
Umm Al Quwain is the smalles of the 7 emirates. The total area of the emirate is equivalent to 1% of the country's total area. Its land spreads towards the interior for a distance of approx. 32 km.
The city of Umm Al Quwain is the capital of the emirate, situated on a deep creek ("marina") 1 kilometre in width & 5 kilometers long. Like all the Gulf Sheikdoms, Umm Al-Quwain owes its original existence to a creek which provided harbourage for fishing boats.
The Ruler of Umm Al Quwain is H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla. He succeeded his father (Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla) who died on January 4th 2009.
Apparently the name means "Mother of Powers", referring to the emirate's rich fishing & marine history. Umm Al Quwain refers to two economic and agricultural powers that the emirate has historically possessed: the sea and the land. Thus, the emirate was seen as the mother of these two strengths. But the word Quwain is inspired from Qawn which is a direct reference to iron. Based on a historical reference, "the double powers" relates to one of the sheikhs (tribal leaders) because he had hundreds of cannons. But researchers still do not know who the sheikh was.
It's a 45 - 60 minute drive by car from Dubai.
Fondest memory: Umm Al Quwain is also one of the few spots in the United Arab Emirates with interesting and preserved flora and fauna:
At the natural "corniche" of Umm Al Quwain there are rich mangrove forests teeming with marine life (dugongs!) together with a breeding colony of Socotra cormorants (birds).
Located 50 km south of Umm Al Quwain is "Falaj Al Mualla", the agricultural area of the Emirate. Sinayah Island, lying 1 km from the town of Umm Al Quwain, is a natural reserve for a large number of species of birds, deers and Al Qaram trees.