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The Emirati Way- The Culture and Customs of United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates, a federation of total seven emirates with hereditary absolute monarchy is located in Western Asia. Each of the Emirates, which are being governed by an absolute monarch jointly, forms the Federal Supreme Council. The official religion and official language of United Arab Emirates are Islam and Arabic respectively. The cultures of the countries like Persia, India and East Africa have widely influenced the Emirati culture and way of living, which is based on the Arabian culture.  Emiratis are considered to be friendly people and welcome those visitors generously who respect their culture and traditions. Though conservative, the Emirati culture is quite distinct and Islamic traditions are well rooted in it. Visitors are free to follow their own beliefs and religion along with the dress code, but it is generally advised to dress conservatively in United Arab Emirates as the Emiratis take it as a mark of respect towards their culture and tradition.

Emirati Outfit/Dress

The Emirati dressing is quite distinct and is a part of their age-old history. The men wear a cloak, which is generally white, and of ankle-length, known as “Kandura” or Dishdash worn along with a “ghutra” which is a red or white checkered headdress. In public, women wear a long, sheer black robe, which is called “abaya” that cover their clothing along with “shelya” which is a headscarf. The abaya is adorned with detailed and fine embroidery, which looks quite stunning.

Social Customs and Etiquettes

Alcohol is forbidden in Islam so being a visitor, it’s always preferable to assess the surroundings and situations and accordingly order the drinks. The renowned restaurants and hotel chains serve alcohol and have no issues with their guests boozing but it is better to follow the host if you are at your friends’ place in United Arab Emirates.

Etiquettes and respect forms the very foundation of Islam and Emirati culture and are given due importance. During social gatherings, men generally greet each other with “As-Salaam –Alaikum” which is An Arabic greeting and followed by quick nose to nose touch and shaking of hands. Women greet each other by kissing on both cheeks and link arms and men are not supposed to offer a handshake to an Arab woman unless she extends her hand first. During the holy month of Ramadan, even the visitors are expected to follow certain rules of fasting. As a visitor, you cannot eat, smoke or drink during the daylight hours in public while you can do so in private like the hotel rooms.

Dubai is considered much liberal and modern for the visitors in comparison to other emirates of United Arab Emirates. The excellent entertainment options along with the distinct culture make it a favourite destination for the tourists who are visiting UAE. So, if you are planning to visit Dubai, apply for an Online Dubai Visa through a Dubai Visa agency and pay the required Dubai Visa Fees to get the Visa via email within 3-4 working days.

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