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
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 four days.
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
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.