Note to Parents: Help your family embrace God’s love for the world. Read this story together to learn about and pray for the Emirati Arabs, a Middle Eastern people group in the United Arab Emirates.
Come with me to a bustling city on the Arabian Peninsula, where gleaming skyscrapers tower over crowded highways lined with date palms. Many families here pray to Allah and follow the rules of Islam. They do not understand who Jesus is. See that boy weaving through the crowd of men with white, flowing head coverings? He is headed to the tallest building in the world …
Hi! I’m Mohammed. Welcome to my home in the United Arab Emirates (EH-muh-ruts), where we enjoy summer weather year-round. I am visiting my dad at his office in Dubai (doo-BYE). He works in the 163-story Burj Khalifa (behrj kah-LEE-fah). As I survey the city from Dad’s windows, it is difficult to believe that this area used to be a barren desert. Apartments buildings, gated mansions, and shopping malls have replaced the small fishing villages that hugged the coast.
Today, people from 150 nations have come to live and work in my country. Even though we are followers of Allah (AH-lah), we are tolerant of people from other faiths and cultures. Not only does our city have mosques where Muslim families worship, but also Hindu temples and Christian churches.
My family lives in a large two-story home. We have two servants who live with us and take care of everything that we need. They left their homes in the Philippines to work here. During the week, I go to school with my brother. My sisters go to a different school for girls only. On weekends, my friends and I play soccer or hang out at the arcade in the air-conditioned mall. One mall has an indoor ski slope with artificial snow. We rent skis and swoosh down the hill even though it is 43 degrees C (110 degrees F) outside! Sometimes Dad takes my friends and me to the camel races. We sit in the stands and cheer as the galloping camels kick up clouds of dust.
- Families like Mohammed’s are rich in material things, but most do not know Jesus, the only one who can satisfy the longings of their heart. Pray that many Emirati Arabs will have the chance to hear about Jesus.
- Filipino women who are believers often serve as house maids or nannies in Emirati homes, devoting their lives to the moms and children. Pray that the Godly character of these women will cause family members to want to know more about Jesus.
Coming up next: Watch for a sport that Emirati families enjoy. Have fun playing a version of it with your own family.