This image can be seen, along with 66 other examples, at Roots of the Union, an exhibition at the UAE Pavilion on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.
This image can be seen, along with 66 other examples, at Roots of the Union, an exhibition at the UAE Pavilion on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

Time Frame: Weighing pearls at sea

A combination of the Great Depression in the 1930s and Japanese cultured pearls sealed the doom of pearling in the Gulf, but ships and divers still put to sea until the early 1960s.

This photograph captures a dying way of life. It was taken by Ronald Codrai, dispatched to the then Trucial States in 1948 as the search for oil resumed after the Second World War.

Codrai was working for Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd, part of the Iraq Petroleum Group of companies that included what is now known as BP.

Based in Dubai, he travelled widely across the emirates. The exact location of this photo, taken in 1952, is unclear, since the description is simply of a pearling boat "off the coast between Dubai and Abu Dhabi". At the time the important pearling trading centres included Delma and Ghagha islands, in the Western Region and Sir Bu Nair, off the coast of Sharjah.

The image shows pearls being sorted and graded. It can be seen, along with 66 other examples of his work, at Roots of the Union, an exhibition at the UAE Pavilion on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

According to the description: "a pearl merchant and a nakhuda (captain) of a jelbut (type of commonly used boat frequently used for pearling) weigh pearls aboard the vessel. Sorting and grading the pearls was a skilled operation as weight, size and colour were the main variable factors that determined the value of a pearl." Codrai was a keen photographer, chronicling many aspects of life here for the first time. The display on Saadiyat was arranged by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) and includes a free booklet of Codrai's work.

Roots of the Union is part of The Union Exhibition, which also includes vehicles used by Sheikh Zayed and The First Day, an account of the formation of the UAE in 1971. It continues until December 20.

Time Frame is a series that opens a window into the nation's past. Readers are invited to make contributions to


6.30pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 Group 1 (PA) Dh119,373 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.05pm Handicap (TB) Dh102,500 (D) 1,200m

7.40pm Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (Turf) 1,800m

8.15pm UAE 1000 Guineas Trial (TB) Dh183,650 (D) 1,400m

9.50pm Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,600m

9.25pm Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (T) 1,000m


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Gender pay parity on track in the UAE

The UAE has a good record on gender pay parity, according to Mercer's Total Remuneration Study.

"In some of the lower levels of jobs women tend to be paid more than men, primarily because men are employed in blue collar jobs and women tend to be employed in white collar jobs which pay better," said Ted Raffoul, career products leader, Mena at Mercer. "I am yet to see a company in the UAE – particularly when you are looking at a blue chip multinationals or some of the bigger local companies – that actively discriminates when it comes to gender on pay."

Mr Raffoul said most gender issues are actually due to the cultural class, as the population is dominated by Asian and Arab cultures where men are generally expected to work and earn whereas women are meant to start a family.

"For that reason, we see a different gender gap. There are less women in senior roles because women tend to focus less on this but that’s not due to any companies having a policy penalising women for any reasons – it’s a cultural thing," he said.

As a result, Mr Raffoul said many companies in the UAE are coming up with benefit package programmes to help working mothers and the career development of women in general. 

THE BIO: Martin Van Almsick

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Family: Wife Hanan Ahmed and their three children, Marrah (23), Tibijan (19), Amon (13)

Favourite dessert: Umm Ali with dark camel milk chocolate flakes

Favourite hobby: Football

Breakfast routine: a tall glass of camel milk


Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are tokens that represent ownership of unique items. They allow the tokenisation of things such as art, collectibles and even real estate.

An NFT can have only one official owner at one time. And since they're minted and secured on the Ethereum blockchain, no one can modify the record of ownership, not even copy-paste it into a new one.

This means NFTs are not interchangeable and cannot be exchanged with other items. In contrast, fungible items, such as fiat currencies, can be exchanged because their value defines them rather than their unique properties.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.