Dubai Local Customs

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Most Recent Local Customs in Dubai

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    Souks

    by solopes Updated Dec 27, 2013
    Dubai

    In Muslim countries life concentrates around the commercial areas, traditionally named souks. Dubai, in its dual image is no exception - modernity lives in giant malls, but the spirit of the people is still present in the old souks.

    Smaller than many other (Hurrah, something small in Dubai!) the ambiance is real and bargaining stills rules. Spices, clothes or gold, each one has its area.

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    Atlantis Aquaventure Souvenir Drinking Cups

    by machomikemd Written Jul 24, 2013
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    If you are planning to spend a day swimming at the Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park, you can have the option of buying these Plastic Aquaventure Drinking Cups for 40 AED a piece (included is the free softdrink which you can fill up at any aquaventure dining establishments) or if you want a better deal, then get the Platinum day pass at Aquaventure Atlantisd for AED 335 and included in this is the entrance fee, towel rentals, locker rentals, free meals with drinks and the souvenir cup. As you will save a lot since the regular day pass (210 AED) only includes the entrance and not the locker rental (add 40 AED), Towel Rental (add 30 AED), Meals with Drinks (add 45 AED) and the souvenir cups (40add AED).

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    Burj Khalifa Tower Fridge Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Jul 24, 2013
    the night panoramic view fridge magnet
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    This will be my tips and pictures on buying the Burj Khalifa Tower Fridge Magnets, I will have separate tips and pictures on buying the Generic Dubai and Atlantis Fridge Magnets.

    I noticed that there are more varieties of Fridge Magnets that are being sold in Dubai than the shot glasses. I was having a hard time searching for the shot glasses, maybe because in a way that shot glasses are related to alcoholic beverage intake hence is limited as Dubai is an Islamic City. Even here at the Burj Khalifa Tower, You cannot find shot glasses.

    The Fridge Magnets being sold at The Burj Khalifa Tower comes in just the magnetite version. You can buy these Fridge Magnets in the 124th floor Observatory Souvenir Shop or at the Ground Level Souvenir Shop, just before the exit of the AT THE TOP Burj Khalifa Observatory Exit. There are just two kinds of fridge magnets, the Night View and the Day View of the Burk Khalifa Tower.

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    Atlantis Resort Fridge Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Jul 24, 2013
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    This will be my tips and picture on buying the Atlantis Resort and Hotel Fridge Magnets, I will have separate tips and pictures on buying the Generic Dubai and Burj Khalifa Fridge Magnets.

    I noticed that there are more varieties of Fridge Magnets that are being sold in Dubai than the shot glasses. I was having a hard time searching for the shot glasses, maybe because in a way that shot glasses are related to alcoholic beverage intake hence is limited as Dubai is an Islamic City. Even at the Atlantis Resort and Hotel and their Aquaventure Waterpark, You cannot find shot glasses.

    The Fridge Magnets being sold at Atlantis Hotel comes in both magnetite and plastic magnetized version and they have the atlantis resort silhouette at night or day view and panoramic view varieties. cost of both kinds are AED 15 per piece. The souvenir shop is located at the side entrance of the atlantis hotel.

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    Dubai Ref (Fridge) Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Jul 24, 2013
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    This will be my tips and picture on buying the Dubai Fridge Magnets, I will have separate tips and pictures on buying the Atlantis and Burj Khalifa Fridge Magnets.

    I noticed that there are more varieties of Fridge Magnets that are being sold in Dubai than the shot glasses. I was having a hard time searching for the shot glasses, maybe because in a way that shot glasses are related to alcoholic beverage intake hence is limited as Dubai is an Islamic City.

    By now, everyone knows that I'm an avid collector of shot glasses and fridge magnets and having been on a 1 week excursion to Dubai and Abu Dhabi is no exception. You can buy Fridge Magnets in assorted designs like having the iconic Burj Al Arab in the logo or the Dhow as the logo or the You can buy these shot glasses at souvenir shops around dubai, like in the souks of deira,, souk al madinat in jumeirah, dubai museum souvenir stall, souvenir stalls at the malls and at the Dubai Intermational Airport. Price of a piece of Dubai Fridge Magnets ranges from AED 10 to AED 20, depending on the design and also depending on your haggling skills, if buying at the souvenir stalls.

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    Dubai Shot Glass

    by machomikemd Written Jul 24, 2013
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    By now, everyonew knows that I'm an avid collector of shot glasses and fridge magnets and having been on a 1 week excursion to Dubai and Abu Dhabi is no exception. You can buy Shot Glasses in assorted designs like having the iconic Burj Al Arab in the logo or the Dhow as the logo or the Burj Khalifa and a lot more on the logo. You can buy these shot glasses at souvenir shops around dubai, like in the souks of deira, souvenir stalls at the malls and at the Dubai Intetnational Airport. Price of a piece of shot glass ranges from AED 15 to AED 25, depending on the design and also depending on your haggling skills, if buying at the souvenir stalls.

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    Buying A Keffiyeh

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 24, 2013
    jordanian style keffiyeh with agal
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    This will be my buying a keffiyeh tips.

    you can buy the Iconic Keffiyeh headgear of the middle east here in dubai from the souvenir shops, at the souks in deira, at the souvenir shops in hatta before the desert safari. Then can be paired with the Black double cord head gear, called the AGAL. One good thing about the keffiyeh is that it can be used by both men and women as a head gear or a scarf and is a good daily use item, cheaper than the pashmina scarf that ladies use.

    prices depends of the type of material used, plain cotton will be the cheapest at 30 to 35 AED, mixed cotton and wool are more expensive at 40 to 50 AED, depending on your haggling skills. you can buy a variety of colors too. When paired with and AGAL head gear, the cost will be 35 to 40 AED for cotton keffiyeh and 50-55 for mixed wool and cotton keffiyeh.

    The keffiyeh is a traditional arab head gear that can be used as a scarf too.The Keffiyeh provides protection from direct sun exposure, as well to protect the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand and nowaday's is also use a a piece of fashion and also as souvenirs for tourists.

    There are different colors and patterns for the keffiyeh and different materials too.

    Fondest memory: you can buy different kinds of keffiyeh for use at the desert safari or as a souvenir.

    according to wikipedia:

    The keffiyeh, especially the all-white version, can also be called a ghutrah, particularly in Arabian Peninsula (where the skullcap is called keffiyeh), but is also known in some areas as shemagh or ḥaṭṭah:
    Ordinary keffiyeh: a piece of white/orange/black cloth made from wool and cotton worn primarily by the Palestinians.
    Shemagh: a piece of cloth, usually made of cotton or flax and decorated with many colors but usually by red and white worn primarily by the Jordanians.
    Ghutrah: a piece of white cloth made of cotton mild, worn in western Iraq and by the Arabs in the Gulf states.

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    Agal (The Arab Head Rest)

    by machomikemd Written Jul 24, 2013

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    Althought the iconic keffiyeh can be worn as a head gear in itself, here in The Arabian Peninsula, it is more popular to Wear the Keffiyeh with the corresponding Agal (the Black Head Rest) that acts as a means to hold the keffiyeh in place, specially when there are strong winds in the desert, to keep the keffiyeh from flying off.

    Although the Agal is just a plain black cord used to cover the keffiyeh, it has different style and additonal bling for the high ranking arabs in society as you will see that the Agal of the Members of the Arab Royalty has a more eloborate types of Agal.

    you can buy an Agal separate from a keffiyeh or as a pair and an agal will cost AED 10 per piece.

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    Different Kinds of Keffiyeh

    by machomikemd Written Jul 23, 2013
    the arabian keffiyeh
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    This is my different kinds of keffiyeh tips with more pictures.

    The keffiyeh is a traditional arab head gear that can be used as a scarf too.The Keffiyeh provides protection from direct sun exposure, as well to protect the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand and nowaday's is also use a a piece of fashion and also as souvenirs for tourists.

    There are different colors and patterns for the keffiyeh and different materials too.

    Fondest memory: you can buy different kinds of keffiyeh for use at the desert safari or as a souvenir.

    according to wikipedia:

    The keffiyeh, especially the all-white version, can also be called a ghutrah, particularly in Arabian Peninsula (where the skullcap is called keffiyeh), but is also known in some areas as shemagh or ḥaṭṭah:
    Ordinary keffiyeh: a piece of white/orange/black cloth made from wool and cotton worn primarily by the Palestinians.
    Shemagh: a piece of cloth, usually made of cotton or flax and decorated with many colors but usually by red and white worn primarily by the Jordanians.
    Ghutrah: a piece of white cloth made of cotton mild, worn in western Iraq and by the Arabs in the Gulf states.

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    Limonana (lemonade with mint leaves)

    by machomikemd Written Jul 23, 2013
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    Limonana is a kind of lemonade using fresh lemon juice with lots of blended mint leaves. It can be made like a juice, or blended in a blender as a smoothie or even as a sorbet. Limonana actually originated in Jordan and Israel in the 1990's and due to it's taste and uniqueness, caught on and became popular in other areas of the middle east and you can even find it at restaurants and bars here in Dubai. It can also be spiked with alcohol in licensed bars here in Dubai as made into a cocktail drink.

    Price of a glass of Limonana is 18 AED per glass.

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    How to Smoke at Shisha/Hookah Water Pipe

    by machomikemd Written Jul 22, 2013

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    The Shisha/Hookah Waterpipe is the reason while the middle east continous to be a strong bastion for smoking in the world. The Shisha is not only a means to enjoy a filtered tobacco smoke but is also a cultural thing for arabs as the shisha can have multiple pipes hence one water pipe can be shared between friends and relatives during parties, weddings, religious festivals, birthdays, etc and one packet of the flavored tobacco packets can last up to 40 minutes to one hour. 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.

    here is the way to smoke a shisha according to wikipedia:

    The jar at the bottom of the hookah is filled with water sufficient to submerge a few centimeters of the body tube, which is sealed tightly to it. Deeper water will only increase the inhalation force needed to use it. Tobacco is placed inside the bowl at the top of the hookah. Often the bowl is covered with perforated tin foil or a metal screen and coal placed on top. The foil or screen separates the coal and the tobacco, which minimizes inhalation of coal ash with the smoke and reduces the temperature the tobacco is exposed to, in order to prevent burning the tobacco directly.

    When one inhales through the hose, air is pulled through the charcoal and into the bowl holding the tobacco. The hot air, heated by the charcoal vaporizes (not burns) the tobacco, thus producing smoke, which is passed down through the body tube that extends into the water in the jar. It bubbles up through the water, losing heat, and fills the top part of the jar, to which the hose is attached. When a smoker inhales from the hose, smoke passes into the lungs, and the change in pressure in the jar pulls more air through the charcoal, continuing the process.

    If the hookah has been lit and smoked but has not been inhaled for an extended period, the smoke inside the water jar may be regarded as "stale" and undesirable. Stale smoke may be exhausted through the purge valve, if present. This one-way valve is opened by the positive pressure created from gently blowing into the hose. It will not function on a multiple-hose hookah unless all other hoses are plugged. Sometimes one-way valves are put in the hose sockets to avoid the need to manually plug hoses.

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    Local Snacks

    by machomikemd Written Jul 20, 2013

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    like in any country in the world, Dubai loves junk foods and snack foods and both the local emiratis and the majority expatriate population enjoy these snacks as well plus the hordes of tourists that come to dubai, inculding us hehehe.

    many of the international snack and junk food brands have a prescence in dubai like frito lay, the producer of tostitos, cheetos and frito-lay potato chips and various international snack companies and ethnic snack foods that cater to the large expatriate worker population.

    you can buy all the snacks you want like potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, nachos, wafers and more at the convenience stores, supermarkets, mini supermarkets, tourist shops and even at the tourist attractions around. and don't forget the vending machines too.

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    Date Palm Fruit

    by machomikemd Written Jul 20, 2013

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    I love Dried Date Palm Fruits sine I was a child and always buy them in supermarkets and in my recent middle east jaunt, i have sampled a lot of them from egypt, saudi arabia, israel, palestine, jordan, syrian and UAE kind. The UAE is the world's fifth largest producer of palm date fruit which can be eaten fresh or dried and evan covered in chocolate coating.

    But fresh Date Palm is also a good snack as it taste like a cross between grapes and breadfruit. A good thing about date palms is that they grow here in the arid desert and you spot their towering tree palms which are like mini greeneries along a sea of desert sand. You can buy fresh date palm fruits at the supermarkets and the mini markets and at the souks of Deira. a 300 gram pack of fresh palm fruit costs AED 25.

    according to wikipedia:

    Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around Iraq, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make date wine, and ate them at harvest. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. (Alvarez-Mon 2006).

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    Fruit Juices

    by machomikemd Written Jul 20, 2013

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    Althought The United Arab EMirates doesn't grow a lot of citrus fruits due to the desert climate and they import most of their requirements and also import a lot of tropical fruits from south asia and the other parts of the middle east, fresh fruit juices are very popular here and many of the local emiratis and the foreign expatriates buy and drink fruit juices and there are many kinds available from orange juice, pineapple juice, apple juice, lemonade, tropical mix fruit juices, coconut water and a lot more.

    you can buy them everywhere, at supermarkets, convenience stores, mini-stores and at malls. prices of a small 355 ml bottle is at 4 AED, big 2 liter bottles at 18 AED

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    Hamour (middle eastern Grouper Fish)

    by machomikemd Written Jul 20, 2013

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    hamour fried with sweet sauce
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    Hamour is the middle eastern specie of fish of the grouper (lapu lapu), which is a popular southeast asian and east asian fish prized for it's sweetness and is perfect for fish fillets too. Hamour (or the middle eastern grouper) is the most popular fish in the Arabian and Persian Region and the local emiratis and other arabs have a variety of dishes that incorporates this fish as the main ingredient. examples are the hamour fish kebabs, hamour stew, sweet and sour hamour, fried rice with hamour, fried hamour and more.

    you can buy assorted hamour based dishes all around the UAE and dubai and at the food courts; local and middle eastern restaurants and prices depends on the kind you order.

    it tastes as sweet and soft as it's south east asian cousin, the grouper.

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Dubai Local Customs

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