| · Population: 541,000
The first inhabitants of Abu Dhabi were Bedouins (nomads) of the Bani Yas tribe whose customs remained unchanged for a thousand years. However, the new generation sees little need to retain the traditions.
* As the young people put aside the culture of their fathers, pray that this void would not be filled with secular materialism, but by a hunger for God and His truth.
As the modern city of Abu Dhabi continues to grow, new high-rise apartments and offices are replacing decaying 1960s compound homes built with the first oil revenues. As the city grows its inhabitants face all the issues of any large city. Many who are lonely, needy, and feeling trapped are ready to hear good news.
* Pray that those Christians working in the city will have open eyes to see these needs and also have compassionate hearts.
Before the advent of oil, Abu Dhabi was a small fishing village on an island. Now it is a large modern city with outstanding architecture; it is also the political and financial centre of the UAE. The pre-eminence of this city and its role in the UAE brings with it responsibilities both to the federation and to the entire Arabian Gulf region.
* Pray that decision-makers in the capital will be wise and compassionate stewards of this influence and authority. Pray that the Christians whom they may meet prove to be faithful role models, influential work colleagues, and examples of Christ.
| · Population: (674,100 in city and 1,510,000 in the metropolitan area)
Shopping malls are the main place of recreation during the hot summers in Dubai. Materialism and the lust for money make Dubai a somewhat “cut-throat” business environment.
* Pray that Muslims turn to Christ instead of secular materialism. Remember in prayer those Christians who seek to bear witness to Christ through their business activities in Dubai, since this is an especially stressful calling.
The Burj Al Arab, a seven-star hotel, is an image recognised around the world and identified with Dubai. The Burj, or “tower”, symbolises more of Dubai than just an amazing feat of architecture. Decadent opulence, craving for the biggest and best, and a desire to be seen as a modern city in the eyes of the world underlie many of the local building projects.
* Pray that people of the Emirates will see that their need for significance is best met in a personal relationship with Christ.
Many local families have grand palaces for homes. The ruling sheikhs look after their people well by providing homes, education, and financial assistance. Many are discovering that material comfort does not necessarily bring happiness.
* Pray for the witness of the many Christian servants (mostly Filipinos and Indians) who live in these homes. May they have courage to serve their employers as they would the Lord, so that their employers may desire to serve the Lord Jesus.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)
| · Population: 318,000
Al Ain is the birthplace of the late UAE ruler, Sheikh Zayed al Nayhan. On the crossroads of a significant desert trade route, Al Ain is steeped in an influential past. The only large inland city in the country, and a border city with the Omani township of Buraimi, Al Ain is as much today a place of crossroads as it was in ancient times.
* Pray that this city will also be a crossroads with the gospel message proclaimed enthusiastically by the many who visit there.
Al Ain’s green oasis feel is only possible through the presence of water. Irrigation systems are used like arteries to supply groves of trees with water from its source in the mountains. The Arabic word for water (“mai”) is used figuratively to describe something easy, sweet or pleasant.
* Pray that the people from Al Ain would come to know the One who is the source of living waters. Pray that they will come to know Christ as their “living water”.
Mountain ranges dominate the Al Ain oasis. The rainfall on these mountains is trapped underground to supply the springs, which water the oasis.
Evidence of civilisations 3,000 years old speaks of a time when this region was cooler and more fertile. Even within living memory there is talk of when it rained more and these plains supported wandering herds of goats and camels.
* Pray that the searing spiritual dryness of this place will be replaced with “streams in the desert”.
The information on these pages has been provided by the “Praying Through the Arabian Peninsula” intercession effort. We strongly recommend using their prayer material (printed and digital), which is available from the website www.pray-ap.info.