This is my second time to visit UAE from Kuwait where I am residing since 1978. On my earlier trip of 2010, I stayed for 4 days but was confined to Dubai only but now I am here for one week and during the days have been to Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and therefore I am in much better position to compare the two oil exporting countries which are quite rich in any case. There can be as many comparisons between the two countries as one wants but I will limit tonone but greenery only. Topographically speaking both the countries have desert and very hot climate so from nature point of view there is not much difference between the countries but yet human efforts have made very significant difference which is so much striking that I simply cannot help writing on it.
As per Google per capita income of UAE is $ 48,158 (IMF); 47, 213 (World Bank) and 48,500 (CIA) totalling to $ 143,871 whereas for Kuwait the figures are $ 41,691 (IMF); 52,657 (World Bank) and 40,700 (CIA) giving a total figure of $ 135,048 which means that though there is not much difference between the two countries but yet UAE is a bit richer country as compared to Kuwait. Area wise UAE is much bigger because it is spread over 32,278 square miles whereas Kuwait is only 6,880 square miles. However, the difference in moneyand area between the two countries has no relationship so far as greenery is concerened. Luckily this time I have travelled by road on different long routes namely between Sharjah to Dubai; Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi to Al Ain and wherever I have gone I have seen lush green stretches for miles and miles. Green trees and shrubs planted on both side of the road give so very pleasing feelings that for a wgile one forgets if he is travelling through a desert dominated valley. On many of cross roads and interjections I found seasonal flowers too which added extra beauty to the scenery. At some spots I found some beautiful landscapes where flowers, shrubs and trees were planted quite artistically.
Kuwait also has to put in lot of efforts to make it green and I have myself noticed that it was very much green till 2nd August, 1990 but unluckily Iraq the country and it lost its vegetation during long occupation hours but admittedly Kuwait government has rebulit ythe country and it has again turned green and at some spots one really wonders to know if a desert could be so so green. Needless to mention, one needs soil and not sand for vegetation and hence from this point of view one can very well imagine what it requires to turn a stretch of sand into a green stretch. The sizzling heat of summer which at times even crosses over 50 degress is the biggest hurdle in vegetation. However, Kuwaitis rose to the ocassion and did their best to restore the beauty of the country and undoubtedly it has paid them back.
Summing up I will say that UAE has excelled a bit over Kuwait in greenery because I found more greenery on the three big routes I have travelled in UAE.
PrayersSincere Iqbal Hadi Zaidi