Lifestyle and Culture in the UAE

Dubai culture

The people of the UAE, Emirati as they are generally called, are a unique set of people, growing to become one of the modern islamic nations in the middle east. The country is reaching for the future but still maintaining a keen sense of its cultural values and customs.

Their customs are duly represented in aspects such as food, fashion, and how they greet themselves. There are different types of traditional foods akin to the UAE, some very popular meal options in the country include: Shawarma, this popular middle eastern kebab-style meal is very famous and widely eaten by the Emiratis and foreigners alike. Machboos is also a delicious Arab styled dish that is prepared in one pot combining rice, meat, onions, and many middle eastern spices.

As modernized as the UAE is their traditional clothes are proudly worn by the citizens, it is surely not out of place to find an Emirati man dressed in a Kandura; a full-length dress style outfit that comes in white and many other colors, with a headpiece, called the Gutra and a comfortable slip-on sandal called the Neaal.

The women can be seen wearing the Abaya, which a full-length dress styled gown in different colors and variations. The women and girls are also donned in a Hijab or Burqa in respect to their Islamic religion.

One very popular culture shock for non-arab foreigners in the UAE is that both the men and women greet each other by shaking hands and kissing each other on the nose as a sign of reverence and fondness. This practice is particularly significant to the Emiratis as their culture is very expressive and respectful. They also speak a unique type of the Arabic language called the Khaliji Bedouin Arabic.

Sporting activities that are widespread and generally practiced in the country are camel racing, horse riding, and falconry. Camel racing fondly called the sports of the sheiks is very huge in the UAE with thousands of players and huge amounts of money placed on bets.

The sports utilize young male children to ride these camels because of their size, but more recently human rights movements have kicked against this practice. The UAE in response has put in more efforts to phase out human jockeys and now utilize robots for the games.



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