Marhaba! There are some things to know about the United Arab Emirates flashy marvels, with its Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building), desert outposts and glitzy facades. If you want to know what to expect when living in Dubai, you should know that the city seems determined to retain heritage while speeding to embrace the modern era, encompassing all the great life opportunities for students. Wandering the labyrinthine markets or visiting the shopping malls feel like a world away, but here are 5 things to know about things you should do while visiting Dubai or any other popular destination.
This article is meant to be a guide about customs, culture, and etiquette in this covered in a glam country that emanates from the desert and that many foreigners rarely get a true glimpse of. The emirate is full of customs different from those in the west, so in order to prepare for a cringe-free life, there are some things you should expect in this cultural melting pot. I will share with you the five most interesting cultural facts about the United Arab Emirates that I found out since I’ve moved here.
For anyone researching Emirati language, manners or values, and wanting to understand Abu Dhabi or Dubai, this guide will help you improve communication.
1. You should keep it conservative
If you are visiting UAE right now, you might want to know that it is rooted in Islamic traditions, so do as the expats do and dress modestly, wearing clothing that covers the knees. Women are the backbone of society and enjoy a level of respect, as long as they keep it conservative.
2. It is a federation of seven emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) that have united in 1971 are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain.
3. It is full of students and expats…
and 4. You probably won’t connect with Emirati people
It might be surprising to find out that Emirati nationals are far outnumbered by expats, to the tune of almost six to one, so you’ll probably only meet few local persons. You will surely make lifelong friends and learn about different cultures, beyond Dubai. Away from the main tourist drag is where you may find locals, so don’t try chatting on the beach, as it isn’t the ideal place to strike up a conversation. Every nation and background can be found in the UAE, therefore you can see and learn about the world in a non-traditional classroom setting, sharing the experience in this challenging foreign environment. Emirati nationals are outnumbered by the majority of the population which is Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani.
The UAE culture is fascinating
I bet you weren’t expecting that, but if you head to the souks that flank Dubai Creek, you can see traders from all over the Middle East, haggle for turquoise trinkets from Iran or anddates from Saudi Arabia, or check out a spectacular souk, even if you’re not buying. I wish I’d known before that beyond the skyscrapers and camels viewed by the eight million overnight tourists, there’s a rich history.