National Flag of the United Arab Emirates
The flag contains colours usually associated with the Islamic world. The flag consists of three equally sized horizontal stripes with a red vertical stripe on the left side of the flag. The horizontal stripes are from top to bottom, green, white and black.
It is believed to be based on the Arab Revolt Flag which was created in 1916, and flown by Arab nationalists during their liberation struggle against Ottoman (Turkish) rule. Red, white, black and green are called the pan-Arab colors and have been historically linked to the Arab people and Islamic faith for centuries. They stand for Arab unity and independence and can be seen in the flags of many countries in the region. The UAE was created when seven "Sheikdoms" (the rulers of the 7 entities are "Sheikhs", rather than "Emirs" despite the country's name) in the middle-east joined to form one country on 2 Dec 1971. They were formerly called "The Trucial States".
The 7 entities are: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah & Umm al-Qaiwain.
Abu Dhabi is the biggest of the 7 "Emirates" and by default, its ruler is the President of the country. Dubai, rich from commercial wealth, holds the Prime Minister post. All the rulers rule the country through a ruler council.
Heads up! A few "do's"
1) Keep the soles of your feet/shoes tucked away or aimed downwards. It is considered offensive to expose the bottoms of your feet to another person.
2) Stay indoors while drinking any alcoholic beverage. In addition to being a serious sin in Islam to drink alcohol, it is also unlawful to drink in public, such as on a beach or in the street.
3) If your visit coincides with Ramadhan, smoke, drink (even water) and eat only in private or enclosed areas, and never in the presence of someone who is fasting. Once the sun sets, you may indulge. This also includes gum chewing and chewing tobacco. All restaurants are closed in the daytime hours.
4) Be careful of where you aim your camera. You must not take photos of government installations, military or otherwise; and avoid taking pictures of local Arab women unless you have thier consent.
5) Use only your right hand to greet people, hand money to a merchant, or eat. The left hand is reserved for cleansing the private parts and is considered unsanitary.
STELLA ARTOIS MOVIE OF THE WEEK - INDIE HEAVEN
Bollywood love triangles. Hollywood endings. Enough to make you weep into your popcorn. Thankfully, the guys at 9714 Entertainment & Front Row Productions have conspired to infiltrate Dubai's notoriously mainstream tastes, infusing it with a shockingly alternative dose of film.
The Stella Artois Monday Movie of the week is held every Monday (imagine!) at iBO, the gritty club which doubles up as a make-shift screening venue. Comfy sofas, an interesting, interested crowd, and of course, loads of Stella Artois.
This has been a godsend for me, sating my cravings for Almodovar, Scorsese and in the days to come, even Fellini :) To watch films like Bad Education, uncensored and uninhibited, in Dubai - is something of a minor miracle. It's very much an underground thing still, and God bless these guys for it.
I.T. - HiFi - Audio - Video - everything's here!
Dubai has always been known as a great shopping destination for all you "tekkies" out there; the electronics market has had a chequered evolution in the Emirates. In the initial stages there was a substantial domestic demand for products such as TVs, Hi-Fi systems, VCRs, radios, etc.
We, the general public, have developed the habit of changing the names of streets, buildings, etc. in Dubai.
Alas, the Al Ain Centre is more widely known as "Computer Plaza" which is the largest specialized shopping centre selling hardware, computer systems, information technology and related services.
The nearby Khalid bin Waleed Road is better known as "Bank Street" (just some helpful pointers when talking to your respective taxi driver)
If you can't find what you're looking for in here, you can also try the Electronics Souk on Fahidi Street (Bur Dubai) or PlugIns Electronix.
There's also a small internet cafe in the lobby of the mall, as well as various small restaurants serving Chinese, Mexican and Arabic food (as well as a Baskin Robbins). Electronics has always been one of Dubai's greatest attractions for the shopper & tourist alike. Whatever it is you are looking for - from a nifty personal CD player and the most sophisticated component system to snazzy camcorders and projection television sets - chances are you will find the right product to satisfy all your needs.
Electronic giants such as Sony, Aiwa, Citizen and Brother are some of the big companies that have already established assembly facilities in Dubai to further boost the distribution of their products to African, CIS and Middle East markets.
NOTE: Due to increased demand in medium & high-end entertainment products, prices have shot-up considerably over the past few years. Electronics in Dubai no longer keep the promise of having the "cheapest prices", but good bargains can still be made nevertheless.
Haggling is possible to a certain extent, and only on certain products.
Opening Hours: Saturdays to Thursdays 10:00am - 10:00pm
Fridays: 04:00pm - 10:00pm
Taxi for everybody
Taxi in Dubai is to get easy and without waiting for a long time.
There's around 14.000 taxis in Dubai and it is cheap!
When you seat it starts with 3dirham( $0,8US) then it goes up half dirham every km.
Taxi drivers they are friendly and well behaved maybe they drive a bit to fast and they want all the road. Many of them talk bad english or it's hard to understand.
A big part of the cars are Toyota Camry with Air Condition