The best info you can get on Dubai
The Explorer Dubai (Dubai Zappy-a practical guide, Underwater, Oman, Sharjah and offroad UAE are also available) is an excellent investment if you plan to stay in Dubai for a while, especially if you plan to move to Dubai, or set up a buisness etc.
It has the best and most detailed map (satelite) of Dubai youll ever come across (good maps are hard to find).
It telles you about housing, history, political aspects, laws, culture, restaurants, clubs, hotels....basically everything!
"Wudoo" in Islam - it's not black magic!
When you're in Dubai, you'll see signs for the ladies/men's room, ladies/men's prayer rooms, and also for "Abulution Rooms".
In case you've wondered what this is all about, here's some info I've learnt from my mother (she converted to Islam a few years ago).
The religion does not permit praying in the toilets (i.e. in a shopping mall, etc.), as this would not be "clean", so there are always separate prayer rooms for men & women, as you can't well go home or may not have the time for the mosque for all 5 prayers.
Wudoo is the Muslim ritual washing before each of the 5 daily prayers.
(In the Arabic Language: Wudoo is the action, and Wadoo the water used therefore)
They first start by saying Bismillah ("In the Name of Allah")
(you may know this word from the Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody: "Bismillah, he will not let me go, let me go!")
Each of the mentioned body parts is washed 3 times:
Performing the Wudoo in the Order Mentioned
I came to the Prophet (PbuH) with water for wudoo, so he washed his hands three times, then washed his face 3 times, then washed his forearms 3 times, then washed his mouth and nose 3 times, then wiped his head & ears - their outsides and insides - and washed each of his feet 3 times.
The Wudoo is broken if the person uses the toilet or has sex.
Types of Abulution:
1. Partial Ablution or Wudoo - Consists of cleaning parts of body that are exposed to dirt or elements of nature.
2. Complete Ablution - Consists of performing complete Bath followed by Wudoo. It is required after intimate intercourse or menstruation period for women.
3. Tayammum (Dry Ablution) - Tayammum, in certain circumstances can be a substitute. It is done by touching on clean earth, sand or stone and then wiping the face and then both hands to the wrists, when water is not available or is not practical to make use of water. (understandable, living in the middle of a desert!)
Gold Souk, Deira
Head into deira where right next to the creek is Dubai's famous Gold Souk where you buy gold by the ounce, after a lot of long hard bargaining. Even if you are not interested in buying Jewelry it is worth a trip to see a real Dubai tradition. The guys hanging round offering 5 dollar Rolex's are also worth seeing. If the Rolex stil works an hour later after buying it you have got a good one. It has a covered walkway so can be a welcome rest from the hot sun in the afternoon. Benches throughout the souk make it a great place to sit and relax and watch the traders bargain there way to a good living from Dubai's booming tourist visitors.
I visited Dubai during Ramadan, so i didn´t enjoy a great nightlife, but i really enjoy my stay. I only went out to take some drinks at the Meridien Mina Seyahi, with a couple of south african friends, a very nice place to hang out.
Emirates Airlines is the national carrier for the U.A.E. and is one airline that I frequently use when I travel around these parts. The Dubai-based airline boasts of many destinations, a modern fleet and world class service. Most of the aircrafts are quite new, especially the long haul and the ones for major destinations.
The entertainment onboard is also first class, offering the latest movies & other entertainment. However, I was on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Vienna and the TV didn't work at all on my 6-hr journey
The online booking facility is also easy & convenient to use. The frequent flyer program is called Skywards and it's quite good in terms of earning & spending miles.
Frankly, I prefer an asian airlines e.g Malaysian Airlines or Singapore Airlines because they give better service & hospitality