Soft Drinks are so popular in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates that they consume about 103 liters of Sodas a year, more than thrice the world average and the fifth largest consumer of softdrinks in the world! Mexico had the world’s highest soft drink consumption followed by the US, Argentina, Chile and then the UAE.
from this data you would surmised that the Iconic Pepsi Cola and Cocal Cola Companies and other softdrink companies have their flagship softdinks present everywhere in dubai like in Convenience stores, Superemarkets, Food Courts, Restaurants, Bars and even at Theme Parks like Atlantis or Wild Wadi.
Thirsty in the Desert? grab a Softrindk Now
Fondest memory: a 12 ounce (354 ml) can of Softdrinks will cost AED 3 and big 16 ounce (556 ml) plastic containers at the food stalls will cost AED 5 per order. A six pack of softdrinks like coke in supermarkets will cost AED 8.
You would never run out of choices to eat in Dubai. Actually, you would be spoiled for choices on what to eat in Dubai as it has many of the international food chains present here like mc donalds, burger king, cheesecake factory, tim horton's, starbucks, PF Changs, Paul Boulangerie to name a few and lots of international restaurants that offers Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Irish, French, Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese, Turkish, American, Filipino, Thai, Malaysian and a lot more. Dubai even has some luxe brand restos like an armani cafe in the Mall of the Emirates.
The only difference is that prok products or pork dishes of non islamic countries like the italian pizza, chinese dumplings, american ribs are replaced by beef or chicken substitutes as Dubai and the UAE is an Islamic Country After All.
Fondest memory: lots of food choices in Dubai
well if you are a ceritifed smoker, then buying a shisha water pipde is a no brainer. There are lots of different kinds of shisha designs and sizes, ranging from the one hose (or hookah) and up to 6 hoses in other kinds. it also comes in small, medium and large sizes and they cost differently. you can buy the small and medium souvenir shishas at souvenir stores and even at the Dubai Airport and the cost of a small shisha with one hose is 35 AED with 3 tobacoo flavored packets and the medium size is at 55 AED and the large ones at 65 to 80 AED. a pack of the flavored tobacco packets comes in many flavors like apple, lemon, strawberry, bubblegum, mint, grapes and more and they cost AED 20 for a 12 piece box of packets.
Fondest memory: The Shisha was invented in the 12th century they say. Here in Dubai and in the Arab World, people smoke waterpipe as part of their culture and traditions. Social smoking is done with a single or double hose hookah, and sometimes even triple or quadruple hose hookahs in the forms of parties or small get-togethers are used. When the smoker is finished, either the hose is placed back on the table signifying that it is available, or it is handed from one user to the next, folded back on itself so that the mouthpiece is not pointing at the recipient.
the cheapeast cigarettes and cigars will be at the Dubai Airport Duty Free shops off course.
Dubai has a small Cigarette Industry and most of the Cigarettes here are imported from all over the world. Dubai Imposes a 100% tax on local Cigarettes like five stars, affair, pink, etc and on the imported international brands like Marlboro, Davidoff, Winston, Parliament, Camel and more.
all of the cigarettes also have graphic pictures of bad effects of cigarettes.
Average Price of a Pack of Cigarette in supermarkets like Spinney's of Carrefour at AED 16 to 22, depending on the brand and AED 17 to 25 at convenience stores and small shops.
Fondest memory: Cigarettes here is more expensive than in other middle eastern countries but is still cheaper than buying it from the Americas or in Europe.
The whole middle east is a smoker's paradise and if some countries like in jordan or egypt, you can even smoke inside air conditioned malls and they even has ash trays inside. Smoking in Dubai is very popular but unlike in other middle eastern countries, they don;t allow smoking inside aiconditioned malls and restaurants and even in some hotel rooms. There are many public garbage bins that have ash trays and separate trays for disposing cigarette butts.
Smoking in Air Conditioned Areas do carry a fine.
Fondest memory: dubai and the middle east is a smoker's paradise, this is where the local water pipe for smoking, the shisha was born.
the only thing that is free in Dubai is when you are booked in a half day or whole day tour is free bottled water cups. whtether you booked for a city tour, shopping tour, desert safari tour, around the other emirates tour, they will give you complimentary bottled water in small cups or 355 ml plastic bottles so that you can be hydrated specially if you go here during the hot months of may to november as the temperatures can go high up to 55 degrees celsius (140 degrees fahrenheit).
so if you are on a group tour (Hop On Hop Off big bus tours included), then partake of these small comfort.
Fondest memory: free bottled water
Bottled Water is availale everywhere in Dubai as it has a harsh and arid desert climate and you need to drink a lot of fluid to keep hydrated whether your a local or a tourist. Most of the bottle water here is imported as the United Arab Emirates is an arid desert area and there is not much potable water here and although they have water desalination plants, it is not enough and they use it mainly for irrigation, recreation, bathing, bathroom.
bottled water is expensive here for obvious reasons and gasoline is much cheaper. one 500 ml of bottled water will cost AED 2.50 to 3 and 1 liter will cost AED 4 to 5.
you can buy them everywhere here.
Fondest memory: bottled water is more expensive than gasoline in dubai.
they don't serve free tap water at any restaurants here, you have to order bottled water!
Dubai being a cosmopolitan city, There are many international restaurants and restaurant chains in Dubai that serves a wide array of international cuisines ranging from american, chinese, indian, other middle eastern, japanese, korean, japanese, french, italian and a lot more. Being an Islamic Country, Halal is strictly followed (halal means allowed in the Islamic Dietary laws) and haram (not allowed) food like pork is not allowed in the meals, meaning if you ordered salami or bologna in italian restaurants, only beef fillings are allowed, chinese dumplings and dimsums have no pork inside (replaced by beef and chicken fillings) and definietly no pork ribs in American Restaurants.
you can still buy pork discretly at some supermarkets as they have pork products (they have a pork product license) at separate stalls but you must show proof that you are not a muslim to be able to but them.
Fondest memory: international dishes that have pork in them like salami, dimsum, meatloaf have a different taste from the original cuisine.
The United Arab Emirates maybe a small country in the middle east but The Emirate of Dubai is known as the most busy road traffic wise in the whole of the middle east as it has lots of cars and altough the legal speed limit is 100 Kilometers per hour, the allowable limit is 120 kilometers per hour. and all cars in dubai have pre-installed warning lights and alarm that beeps and flashes if your speed reaches more than 120 kilometers per hour and the proliferation of CCTV speed cameras can capture your vehicle and plate number and the speed and you will face a hefty fine if caught.
Fondest memory: all vehicles have pre-installed speed sensor cum alarm that beeps and flashes once your speed passes more than 120 kilometers per hour.
Being one of the Largest Oil Producer in the world simply has it's benefits!
The Price of Petrol (or Gasoline) in The United Arab Emirates is one of the cheapest in the world, In fact, it is the fith cheapest!
Venezuela tops the list of cheapest gasoline at $ 0.06 cents a liter or $ 0.23 a gallon!
Dubai gasoline costs $ 0.46 cents a liter (AED 1.72) or $ 1.70 a Gallon (AED 5.90)
you see, big oild producing nations heavily subsidizes gasoline prices of their countries to make their citizens happy.
prices of big bottled water is more expensive that gasoline here
Fondest memory: very cheap gasoline prices but higher price of bottled water!
such a paradox.
One thing that I have noticed and is simmply awed by it is that the United Arab Emirates, Including Dubai have well lighted Desert Roads everywhere! You will hardly get lost in the United Arab Emirates at night as these well lighted roads shine like beacons and although these luxuries will costs tons of fuel bills if it is made elsewhere, no problem for the oil and natural gas rich United Arab Emirates, heck, even the prices of gasoline here is so cheap that a bottle of mineral water is more expensive that buying a liter of unleaded gasoline.
you will notice these well lit desert roads if you are on a desert safari and is goping back to Dubai City.
Fondest memory: the well lighted desert roads of Dubai Emirate
many money exhange shops and local banks also doubles as remittance centers for the large expatriate population of Dubai. Dubai has a majority expatriate population and only 20% of the United Arab Emirates population of more than 6 millions are emiratis and a bulk of them are from India, Pakistan, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Egyptians, Sudanese and Indonesia.
the remittance centers are packed everyday of expatriates sending cold cash to their families and relatives in their countries and helps their economies to go by. the remittance centers offer competitive rates for foreign exhange and also have door to door money deliveries offered to the houses of the expatriate families via local tie ups.
Fondest memory: expatriates in Dubai are the lifeblood of the Dubai Economy and also acts as a lifeline to their families and relatives back home and also perks up the local economies in their countries via the large remittance of money.
If you don't trust Automated Teller Machines (both the money to money exhange kind and the International ATM consortiums) and don't want to use credit card and have hard currency to exhange into UAE Dirhams, then you can exhange your US Dollars, European EU's, Australian Dollars, etc, into UAE Dirhams at these money exhange shops that are numerous in in shopping malls, souks, in some hotels in and around UAE and in Dubai. most major foreign currencies can be changed in these shops and the exhange rate changes everyday.
most of these foreign exchange shops are open everyday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm except friday mornings (prayer time for muslims).
Fondest memory: since islam does not allow interest, you are not charged a commision fee for your transactions, however the exchange rate is slightly lower than in using the money to money ATM's as they offset the no commision allowed via lower exhange rates for your money to be changed into UAE dirhams as to make a profit.
If you don't have enough cash to change into UAE Dirhams in your wallet and you don't want to use your credit card that much when in Dubai, then your next option will be to withdraw money from International ATM machines in and around Dubai. Dubai has thousands of ATM's that mostly accept international ATM consortiums like Cirrus, Plus, Discover, Maestro, etc.
However, every withdrawal you make carries a surcharge of 20 AED per transaction charged to your ATM Card, whatever the amount you withdraw so be sure to withdraw one time and make it a large withdrawal (as a 500 AED withdrawal and a 3,000 AED withdrawak carries the same 20 AED surcharge). The local Dubai ATM surcharge is on top of your local bank in your country charges as a surcharge when using International ATM's.
Fondest memory: there are thousands of ATM machines in and Around Dubai where you can withdraw money.
the foreign curency exchange ATM's are different from the international ATM's in that you can exhange you US Dollar, European EU, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars and other selected currencies like the Saudi Arabian Riyal, Kuwait Dinar or the Bahraini Dinar into UAE Dirhams via a fixed exchange rate via these automated teller machines, without the additional commisions added in changing at the money exhange shops or the additional surcharges incurred via withdrawing money from the International ATM Machines.
you only put your money inside the machine (like a 100 US dollar) and press change into UAE dirhams and wait for a few seconds and viola! Instant UAE Dirhams!
the machines have engish, arabic, japanese, chinese,french, spanish languages and you just press the button to transact on what language you want and then viola.
Fondest memory: the foreign currency exchange ATM's are available at the Airport, at selected malls and banks around Dubai.
they are very convenient and you are not charged a commision fee or a surchage!