Abu Dhabi Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd
  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd
  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd

Best Rated Local Customs in Abu Dhabi

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo

    Abu Dhabians are conservative

    by Faiza-Ifrah Updated Jul 23, 2005

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    A mosque

    Unlike Dubai and even Sharjah, people of Abu Dhabi are quite conservative, but very friendly nevertheless. Most ladies wear Abaya (black robe) and will not talk to strange men. Similarly, men will avoid talking to ladies.

    Photographs of strange women and even girls should not be taken, except with permission.

    Abu Dhabi itself has many beautiful shopping centers and other buildings that can be explored easily. However, while entering a mosque (Abu Dhabi mosques are very beautiful) to take pictures of the interior, please ask the guard first.

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  • Greeting someone in Abu Dhabi

    by amna_alshamsi Written Jul 14, 2003

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    Greetings can be protracted affairs as an Arab may enquire after you and your family's health. The polite reply is that all is well, thanks be to God. It is usual to use 'Sayed' (Mr) or 'Sayeda' (Mrs) followed by the first name. The name should always be prefixed with the honorific title when conducting business. The Bedouin custom of offering food and shelter to strangers in the deserts is preserved today by the coffee ceremony. Business often starts with a tiny cup of cardamon-flavoured coffee poured from the traditional metal pot or dallah. To indicate that you have had enough, guests must wiggle the cup from side to side.

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  • amna24's Profile Photo

    Language, Culture, Religion & Law

    by amna24 Updated Aug 5, 2013

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    Language
    The official language of the UAE is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and is commonly used in conjunction with Arabic.

    Culture
    UAE culture is based on the Islamic religion is the 'Culture' of the UAE. Muslims are not terrorists, in every culture, there are going to be those psycho people who feel that violence is the answer, but NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE LIKE THAT!

    Religion
    Islam is the official religion in the UAE. There is no separation of the sacred from the secular, as Islam is a way of life for Muslims and it is something that you will have to get used to. Probably the first thing you will notice is the call of the prayer. This is a short verse sung by the 'Imam' from the mosque, which begins with "Allah Akbar", or "God is the greatest". You will hear it 5 times a day (once at dawn). All Muslims will then stop work, wash themselves ritually, and face Mecca to pray.
    The loudspeakers of most mosques will call the faithful to each prayer time. New expatriates searching for accommodation near a mosque should bear the certainty of the dawn and other calls to prayer in mind when you are deciding where to live. Many people think that muslims are

    UAE Law
    There are 3 courts in the UAE: the Shariah, Criminal and Civil Court.
    Shariah law is based on the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Mohamed *(PBUH). Crimes are referred to a Public Prosecutor who decides whether the case should be adjudicated before a Shariah Court or a Criminal Court. Generally, Muslims are sent before the Shariah court, while expats, depending on the nature of the offense, are referred to Criminal Court. The Civil Court is for general cases (unpaid house rents, bouncing cheques, etc), however these cases can be referred to the Shariah Court.
    *(PBUH) stands for Peace Be Upon Him - you will often find this written when Prophet Mohamed's name is mentioned.

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  • amna24's Profile Photo

    Climate

    by amna24 Written Jan 29, 2008

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    Abu-Dhabi has a sub-tropical, arid climate with mostly sunny blue skies. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular, falling mainly in winter, from November to March (12cm per year). Temperatures range from a low of around 10 C (50 F), to a high of around 48 C (118 F) in the summer. The most pleasant time to visit is in the cooler winter months when temperatures are around 24C (75 F) during the day and 13 C (56 F) at night.
    The prevailing winds are from the north-west and are called "Shamal" and they often bring sandstorms particularly in winter. More surprisingly is the fog in the winter mornings that can make driving a hazard but that disappears with the morning sun. In the summer, humidity can be killer - approaching 100%! As in any place with plenty of sun, good quality sunglasses, hats and sunscreen are essential and so are drinking plenty of fluids (at least 1 1/2 litres of water/day), don't rely on feeling thirsty!.

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  • amna24's Profile Photo

    Dress code

    by amna24 Updated Aug 5, 2013

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    Abu Dhabi is generally conservative, but tolerant when it comes to dress code. Residents and visitors are advised to respect local culture and customs by not wearing revealing clothing in public places. It is respectful for men and women to cover shoulders and knees when in public.

    For visitors to the country, lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year, but something slightly warmer may be needed for the winter months. Be sure to take some sort of jacket or sweater when visiting hotels, offices or the cinemas, as the air conditioning can be pretty fierce. Although throughout the emirates the attitude is fairly liberal, in Abu Dhabi it is rather more conservative than in neighbouring Dubai. As in all countries, a healthy amount of respect for the local customs doesn't go amiss, especially when shopping or generally sightseeing. Short or tight clothing may be worn, but it will attract attention - most of it unwelcome. For ladies it is advisable to wear short sleeved rather than sleeveless tops and dresses, especially if travelling by local taxi on your own (shawls and wraps are often worn over evening dresses etc).

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  • tashka's Profile Photo

    Be careful about taking pictures

    by tashka Updated May 22, 2005

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    Don't take pictures of local women. It's considered inappropriate and offensive. Well, I understand them. I wouldn't like some crazy foreigner to take pictures of me...

    Don't wear too revealing clothes when going out to the city.

    Related to:
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    • Women's Travel

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  • Robin020's Profile Photo

    Eating with Muslims

    by Robin020 Written Jan 26, 2012

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    If you are invited to eat with Muslims here are some tips to follow:

    1) If you are seated on the floor, make sure that the soles of your feet (with or without shoes/socks) do not point towards anyone.Its considred very rude

    2) If cutlery is not provided, you eat with your hands; your right hand, to be precise!because you use your left hand to wash your anus.

    3) Mostly muslims start with "Bismillah" (the name of God).you are not ologiesed to say it but wait till the person finish saying it.

    4) Usually people do not speak while eating

    5)People usually do not say bone apetite before starting the meal

    6)After finishing eating usually They say Al Hamdulilah

    7) In ramadan People do not eat or drink

    8)Men may kiss in Public but women do not

    10) If you are man do not offer to give hand when greeting to a woman unless she does.

    11) Bear in Mind That Arab culture is relax and every thing is slow so when Arab say I meet you at 10 AM expect him 30 to 1 hour delay

    Read more: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Middle_East/United_Arab_Emirates/Dubai/Dubai-1857296/Local_Customs-Dubai-TG-C-1.html#ixzz1kYeHRBxb

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Abu Dhabi's Facelift

    by MM212 Updated Nov 1, 2008

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    Demolishing the Old (Oct 2008)
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    A striking observation in Abu Dhabi, especially when visiting from Dubai, is how uniform the buildings are in this well-planned compact city. Apparently, land in Abu Dhabi was donated many years ago by the ruler to the citizens who were forbidden from reselling it. In the 1960s through the 80s, they were encouraged to build on the land they owned. In the past decade, however, Abu Dhabi decided to give itself a facelift and the government provided low interest (or no interest?) loans to landowners to destroy the less attractive old structures and to replace them with nicer taller modern towers, capped at a specific height. One by one, the old were destroyed and the result has been this pretty and uniform city (despite some of the modern structures still lacking in aesthetics). One disadvantage was a rapid rise in rents as new modern buildings immediately charged higher their apartments. Attached are photos of the some of the few remaining older buildings, one of which is in the process of being demolished. Soon, none of these will remain.

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  • awladhassan's Profile Photo

    Picnics in the park

    by awladhassan Written Jan 20, 2006

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    picnic
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    At the time of the Eids people take time off to relax and enjoy themselves, go visiting family and friends. Picnics in the parks and along the corniche are a means of enjoying the fresh air . Barbecues are set up, and pre-prepared food is taken along too. Whole families get together to share the feast.

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  • Dress Code

    by dreamc Written Apr 27, 2007

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    As far as I can see, the dress code for western women is not a problem.
    If you are female then men will stare regardless of what you are wearing.
    I tend to wear a vest top and jeans or a long skirt. I did however see a woman wearing tight shorts and a very tight top. This seems a little over the top.
    But for everyone to suggest that women should wear long tops and skirts is silly. As i said before, your female, men here will look and chat you up.

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  • woef's Profile Photo

    Buying pork ...

    by woef Written Jun 24, 2007
    Abu Dhabi

    ... is like buying porn....sneeky stuff. ;-)

    From outside it does not even look like a store. It's tiny inside...but all is there .
    Alcohol should be on the oposite corner.

    10th (Liwa) Street. Close to "Friday's"

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  • Robin020's Profile Photo

    Wasta

    by Robin020 Written Jan 25, 2012
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    Wasta is a word often heard in Dubai in the UAE. It is Arabic and translates as something like authority, influence, political (or other) power, connections, or a combination of those terms. In practical terms it means that some rules can become more flexible if you have wasta, or know someone who has wasta. Also, a bit of wasta can smooth or speed up business transactions, bureaucratic issues, and other official procedures. At its best (or worst, depending on your point of view), a good dose of wasta could keep you out of jail or save you from other unpleasant consequences of dubious activities.

    The common English expression "it's not what you know but who you know ... " is a rough equivalent of wasta.

    On the wasta scale (not that there is an official one), things that can make a difference in the UAE are your nationality, your profession, who you work for, who you know, your political position in the country, your connections to people in positions of authority. Money and how long you have lived in the UAE don't usually directly affect your wasta level but indirectly they do since longer term residents may have built up a larger network of high-wasta friends, and rich people often associate with other rich people who may be high-wasta individuals.

    Many expat residents learn about wasta through a driving experience. In simple terms, the more wasta someone has, the less likely they are to cop a fine and/or be blamed if there's an accident. Wasta can result in some unusual situations for example, green lights were actually red when you went through them because the person who crashed into you had enough wasta to change the color retroactively. Indications of higher levels of wasta on the road are dark tinted or mirror tinted windows (30% maximum is the law so anything more than that means it's likely they have enough wasta to get around this rule), number plates with fewer than 5 digits (but anyone can buy them now if they have enough cash so it's not as good an indication as in the past).

    Wasta is something that many expats, especially westerners, find difficult to come to terms with but you'll find it easier to enjoy Dubai if you get used to that rather than try to fight it. And of course it helps if you can elevate your own wasta level somehow.
    Wasta and Bribes

    Don't confuse wasta with bribery. If you try to bribe a government official, for example a police officer who has just pulled you up for driving though somebody's garden, you should expect to be punished fairly harshly for trying to bribe them. And if the owner of the garden that you drove through has some wasta, then you'll probably be even worse off. In the business world, things may operate a little differently. Just as anywhere else in the world, the negotiation of business transactions and contracts is not always done on a level playing field, and bribes ... er gifts ... might be part of your discussions with interested parties.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Abu Dhabi Fridge Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Aug 14, 2013
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    As you all know, I am an avid collector of shot glasses and fridge magnets and boy, i have a quite a number of these knick knacks at my home. Abu Dhabi Fridge Magnets is one of those I bought (unfortunately, I cannot find abu dhabi shot glasses anywhere). You can buy assorted Abu Dhabi Fridge Magnets around the souks, souvenir shops, the shops at the Abu Dhabi Corniche, at the Malls, etc. and they come in different designs and mateerials like magnetite, plastic with magnetic strips, pocelain with magnet strips and more and they cost AED 12 to 20, depending on the material and your hagglin skills.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Ferrari World Fridge Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Aug 14, 2013
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    this will be my pictures of my ferrari world Fridge Magnets.

    I must have a separate Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Fridge Magnet besides the regular Abu Dhbai Fridge magnets as thewy have different themes. you can buy an assortmetn of Ferrari World Souvenir Items at the various ferrari world souvenir stores lining the ferrari world indoor park in yas island (28 kilometers east of downtown abu dhabi) and besides the fridge magnets, they also have my favorite shot glasses! plus a lot more of souvenir knick knacks. but the prices here are more expensive that the regular abu dhabi souvenirs as this is a theme park after all!

    Price of a fridge magnet will cost AED 45 to 65, depending on the design

    ferrari world stores are open from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm everyday

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Ferrari World Shot Glass

    by machomikemd Written Aug 14, 2013
    4 more images

    this will be my pictures of my ferrari world Shot Glass

    I must have a separate Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Fridge Magnet besides the regular Abu Dhbai Fridge magnets as thewy have different themes. you can buy an assortmetn of Ferrari World Souvenir Items at the various ferrari world souvenir stores lining the ferrari world indoor park in yas island (28 kilometers east of downtown abu dhabi) and besides the fridge magnets, they also have my favorite shot glasses! plus a lot more of souvenir knick knacks. but the prices here are more expensive that the regular abu dhabi souvenirs as this is a theme park after all!

    Price of a shot glass will cost AED 45 to 55, depending on the design

    ferrari world stores are open from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm everyday

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

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Abu Dhabi Local Customs

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