The timeless values of Islam lie at
the Heart of UAE's living heritage,
providing a strength and inspiration
that touches all aspects of everyday
The Arab national dress worn in Dubai
and throughout the Gulf is Adapted to
the high temperatures and religious
beliefs of the region.
Men wear and ankle-length, loose-fitting
garment known as a Kandoura or Dishdasha
which is usually made of white cotton,
although some darker, heavier material
may be seen in winter.
A white crocheted skull-cap, the gahfia
or tagia, is covered by the gutra, which
is a long white cotton cloth or sometimes
red and white woolen material in winter.
The gutra is kept in place by the igal,
a double black woolen braid worn around
the crown of the head.
Women usually wear a long-sleeved, full-length
dress, which is also called a kandoura
and is often elaborately embroidered
in gold, silver or colored thread. The
thoab is worn over trousers, sirwal
and covered entirely by a black abbaya.
The hair is covered and the face may
also be covered by a gishwa, a thin
Courtesy and hospitality are among the
most highly prized virtues of the Arab
World and the visitor is sure to be
charmed by the genuine warmth and friendliness
of the peoples.
The family is the most important institution
in Arab society, encompassing grandparents,
uncles, aunts, cousins and more distant
relatives as well as the immediate family
unit. Relationships within these extended
families are strong and respect is accorded
to the elder members.
Ramadan is the Holy Month in which Muslims
commemorate the revelation of the Holy
Koran. Its timing is not fixed in terms
of the Gregorian calendar, but advances
11 days every year. Ramadan is a month
of fasting when, from dawn until dusk,
Muslims abstain from eating, drinking
and smoking. As a sign of respect, visitors
are also required to refrain from consuming
these items in public during daylight
Eid Al Fitr is a feast which marks the
end of Ramadan and is celebrated from
three days. The celebrations start after
prayers in the morning, and gifts are
Eid Al Adha is a festival of sacrifices
and marks the end of Haj (the pilgrimage
that all Muslims should make to Mecca
at least once in their lives). It lasts
The sport of falconry is among the many
traditional pastimes which are still
practiced in Dubai. It is a unique partnership
between man and bird and it is not unusual
to see a hooded falcon being trained
on its owner's gloved wrist.
The Ancient sport of camel racing also
attracts a sizeable following-and substantial
purses for champions.
Expatriates and foreign visitors-both
male and female-can enjoy a relaxed
and pleasant lifestyle in UAE. There
is virtually no crime, the city is clean,
there are few traffic jams, apartments
and villas are modern, spacious and
surprisingly to many, the climate is
not only tolerable but also extremely
pleasant for most of the year.
There are many clubs and societies in
UAE. Freedom of worship is allowed to
all religions, and Christian churches
have existed in Dubai from many years.
Foreign newspapers, magazines, films
and videos are readily available. Alcohol
may be consumed at home, in hotels and
on licensed club premises. Women can
drive and move about unaccompanied.