Breastfeeding in Dubai
IS IT OK TO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC?
The answer is actually very simple – say YES to breastfeeding in pubic
Yes, the Arabic society in the Emirates encourages breastfeeding, including breastfeeding in public. However you do need to remember to cover yourself properly and not to expose any nakedness.
I spoke about breastfeeding with locals - including an Emirati woman at the cultural breakfast at the Sheikh Mohamed’s Centre of Cultural Understanding and an Emirati man at the Dubai Museum. They both assured me that the breastfeeding was very common and preferable way to feed a baby in the Emirates and public breastfeeding was not that uncommon and was no way forbidden or offensive.
Moreover before I managed to ask my questions I was encouraged to breastfeed my little munchkin as “it is the best for small babies like him”.
WHERE CAN I BREASTFEED?
If you are planning all your sight-seeing activities around a big shopping centre with a parenting room or if you are asking locals about a closest toilet to rush in to feed your bubby - don't!
You CAN breastfeed in a coffee shop, restaurant, on a beach, in a park, in a taxi or a boat … Hmmm… I wouldn’t breastfeed in arba though, simply because it is too unstable ;)
Did I breastfeed in public myself? Yes, I did, covered with a huge but light shawl.
A. Breast is the best!
B. You are in the Islamic country, so you want to be respectful to local customs, cover yourself thoroughly when you breastfeed and avoid exposing any nakedness.
When you breastfeed in Dubai try to think of yourself as of a Muslim woman covered fully with her abayah and disguise as much as required to be tactful.
SO WHERE DO I START?
All you need to do is to get a big light shawl to cover yourself properly and drink plenty of water to keep your milk supply up!
Take the Boat!
Looks scary, mostly men, boat looks like it is going to sink any second, but for 1 Dirham it's the best way to get across the creek and it is safe!
Just walk on the boat like you own it and pay only the Captain (if you can call him that)!
There are great picture opportunities onboard and if you watch closely at the sloops you might even see one of the grossest things... hint it's called the "Poop Closet".
All under one roof
The Burjuman Shopping Center is a nice mall in the centre of Dubai. Most of the people there are window-shoppers (like myself) and for that purpose it's really nice. It's not a very big mall though, so you'll have seen it within an hour (if you're a woman) or 15 minutes (if you're a man). ;) *jk* There aren't any special shops or items available there. A lot of labelled goods that you'd get anywhere else too. The good thing about this Shopping center is the central location. Above average rates
THE DARK SIDE OF THE CITY OF GOLD
Far from the glossy, airbrushed pages of travel brochures & ads, Dubai has a dangerous and just plain horny underbelly which doesn't enjoy quite the same world-wide exposure as, say, the Burj al Arab. A shame really, since this seamy, human side is just as much an integral facet of the city's make-up as gold and shopping. We're talking a world filled with hookers and hookah, people. Gangsta' spouting home-grown pimps, in safe MOR Dubai. A parallel universe, that Dubai would like to keep hidden away forever from the millions that pour in here each year.
Every part of the city has its own collection of these raucuous haunts. Where "What drink can I get for you?" is almost as ubiquituous as "How much?" Put aside your prudishness and insecurities, 'cause traipsing through this minefield of sights and sounds is a loud, dolby-surround experience that hits you hard... and sure. Crazy, wild-spirited women friends of mine have on plenty an occasion coerced me into accompanying them inside one of these haunts. And they've had a ball! Revelled in the surreal colours & flavours inside these dives, laughed themselves silly at the old geezers trying to hook up with someone speaking absolutely no English, and played up their sluttiness factor just for kicks!!! Life's too short guys, and let's be real. No one's going to force you into doing anything here. Everyone's a grown-up, and if you keep a good sense of humour about you, you come away with a Dubai snapshot that not many will.
But the most important reason to frequent Dubai's darker side, is the amazing, unsung music you'll come across in any of these dives! Anonymous bands who no one knows about, but who can thrash their way through a set of '80s hard rock, grunge and noisy synth-pop, alost in the same breath! The Filipinos who play at the pub at the York hotel, the African band at the President Hotel, and a host of motley musicians plying their trade across Deira and Bur Dubai - they're the true characters of this "picture-perfect" little city of ours.
point to your seafood...
Seafood galore at hits quite informal seafood joint... you go in, the waiter brings you a cart, and you walk around the seafood displays... pick what you'd like to eat, and then choose the way you would like it cooked. The restaurant's concept is really good, but when we went, the fish was surely not the freshest. The praws cooked in some leaf were delicious - the other types of fish and seafood we had was not quite as memorable. Neither the tiger prawns nor the calamari were very fresh - although they were still edible. We asked to have them grilled - they possibly would have gone down better with some "camouflaging" sauce.
Update 2007: this time we asked for some fish, grilled, no sauce. The waitress said it was not possible: we would need it fried and with some sauce, as the fish had a strong smell. A strong smell? or maybe old fish?