Africa & Middle EastU.A.E – Dubai

A city known for its dedication to the ultimate indulgence

One destination in particular instantly springs to mind at the mention of the United Arab EmiratesDubai, the glittering metropolis which sprung from the desert sands and today reaches high into the clouds and out into the gulf on magnificent man-made islands. To the average traveler, United Arab Emirates means glitzy shopping malls, luxury resorts, endless leisure attractions and unfathomable wealth, but there are seven Emirates in total and Dubai is, although glorious, only the tip of the iceberg.

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History of U.A.E

Abu Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain are the other Emirate Sheikhdoms, each with their own distinct traits. Ras Al Khaimah is a popular beach haven, known for its watersports and adventurous mountain trails, whilst Sharjah is a center of Emirati art and culture, home to archaeological sites and a number of museums. The capital, Abu Dhabi is constantly looking towards the future whilst the drifting sands of the Empty Quater remain unchanged by the hands of time. Due to the international airport hub, Dubai is many travelers’ first taste of travel to the Middle East and most who travel to the United Arab Emirates find there is a real east-meets-west atmosphere.

Many elements of cultural and religious life are different from the West, but at the same time, you can find all the usual western chains and the pull of consumerism is ever-present. If you travel to the United Arab Emirates you’ll have a rich array of experiences on offer in an easily accessible area. Go shopping at the world’s largest mall in Dubai and look towards the sky in awe at the gravity-defying Burj Khalifa before exploring mountain top forts in Ras al Khaimah and visiting the vast marble-clad Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, a true architectural wonder.

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Culture In U.A.E

Concrete jungles with glistening skyscrapers are the images that spring to mind when you think of the United Arab Emirates, but there are actually many pockets of beautiful and untouched natural landscapes to explore on a trip to the United Arab Emirates. Mythical deserts, palm-fringed oases, and rugged mountains can be found throughout the diverse Emirate states. Each of the Emirates has, to some extent, its own desert areas, the perfect places to get in touch with Bedouin culture.

DUBAI - JUNE 5: Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on June 5, 2013 in Dubai. Emirates Palace was originally conceived as a venue for government summits and conferences in the Persian Gulf, and only later was turned into a hotel

As an Islamic country, religion plays a vital element in the lives and culture of Emiratis. The weekend begins on Friday, as it is the holiest day of the week, and visitors on a trip to the United Arab Emirates will hear the five-times-daily call to prayer which sets the pace for day-to-day life in the United Arab Emirates. Traditional, modest clothing is widely worn amongst both Emirati men and women and is an important part of the culture. Many elements of Emirati culture are very different from what we expect in the west; gender roles, class systems and family life are all governed by religious traditions as the United Arab Emirates’s judicial system is based on Sharia law.

Arabic is the official language, although you’ll find that English is widely spoken and understood, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Amongst the glitz and glamour of the United Arab Emirates’s gravity-defying cityscapes, elements of traditional Arabic culture still exist if you know where to look for them. Sharjah has a great number of heritage sites where you can step back in time. Alternatively, a desert excursion to an authentic Bedouin camp is a popular activity for travelers on a tour of the United Arab Emirates who want to see the age-old traditions of these indigenous communities. Dubai’s Old Town is another must-visit for those interesting in knowing more about the culture of the United Arab Emirates. Here, visitors can cross Dubai Creek on a traditional abra boat, shop for bargains in the glittering gold souks and dine on delicious Arabic food for a fraction of the price found elsewhere in the city.

Currency:
Dirham
Language:
Arabic
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Electricity :
220 V
Time Zome:
UTC + 04:00
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