Dubai Local Customs

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Best Rated Local Customs in Dubai

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    Some Arabic words that may help...

    by JessH Updated Sep 16, 2008

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    English is widely spoken around Dubai, even in the souks (although it may be difficult to understand the traders with their strong accents and own versions of the English language... ;-)
    but here are some Arabic words you will probably hear very often and that are good to know: (I will write them phonetically)

    Marhaba = Hello.
    the correct response to this is: Marhabtain.
    Asalamwalaikum = Hello ("I greet you with peace")
    the correct response to this is: Walaikum-asalam.
    Ismi (Jessica) = My name is (Jessica).
    Shuhkran = Thank you.
    Shu? = What?
    Min fadlak (to man) = please.
    Min fadlik (to woman) = please.
    Maas-salaamah = good bye.
    Naam = yes.
    La = no.
    Sadiqi = my friend (male)
    Shwaye Shwaye! = slow down / be patient / wait! (click on picture to see the hand-sign that goes along with this expression)

    An expression you will hear very often (especially in connection with inquiries made about timing, i.e. meeting tomorrow, arrival of someone/something, etc.) is INSH'ALLAH: It basically means 'If God so will' but is used by most as "If I feel like it, maybe yes, maybe no." So if you ask your taxi driver if he will wait for you and he says Insh'allah... don't count on it ;-)

    The numbers from 1-10 in Arabic:
    One: Wahid.
    Two: Ethnan.
    Three: Thalatheh.
    Four: Arbaah.
    Five: khammsah.
    Six: settah.
    Seven: saba-ah.
    Eight: th-maniah.
    Nine: tiss-ah.
    Ten: ash-rah.

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    Understanding Islam

    by JessH Updated Sep 14, 2010

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    About more than just forbidden pork & alcohol...

    In recent years, Islam has received a bad reputation throughout the Western world... first the world was afraid of the Communists, then the Nazis, then the Russians and now it's the Muslim's turn.

    After having lived in the UAE for 12 years now (and after my mother having converted to Islam approx. 9 years ago: not through marriage, but by free will) I have learned one thing: There is a HUGE difference between ISLAM and MUSLIMS:
    The teachings of Islam are no better or no worse than the teachings of the bible; basically you are told to be a good person and do no harm. But many people who call themselves Muslims have far distanced themselves from the original teachings: They have either 'taken it to the next level' and have become extreme in their religious & political views, or they have become complete and utter hypocrites- drinking alcohol, visiting prostitutes, not fasting during Ramadhan, etc.
    Dubai is filled with the latter, as any visitor will quickly notice (ladies, just have a look in the public toilets what the Arabic girls are wearing UNDER their black "Abayas"... mini-skirts and the likes)

    But surely, this is the case with many religions. How many people do you know that attend church on Sundays, and then on Monday cheat someone in business, cheat on their wife, etc.?
    I believe we only find the hypocrites in Islam 'worse' because we do not understand how strict" or "easy-going" Islam really is.

    So my tip: Educate yourself about Islam and Muslims in the modern world.
    In Dubai, even non-Muslims are allowed to tour the Jumeirah Mosque (normally non-Muslims are never allowed to enter a mosque)
    Contact the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for more info, and open your eyes to what our perception and prejudices of Islam are (because of many 'bad' Muslims) and what the teachings really are about.

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    When nature calls in Arabia...

    by JessH Updated May 13, 2008

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    When nature calls and you visit the little girls' or little boys' room, you will notice a miniature shower-device hanging on the wall next to the toilet bowl.
    This is very common in many Arabic/Muslim countries.

    It's known as a "Sharddaf",
    or in plain English: a bum-washer ;-)

    It's a more flexible version of a bidee and is used to wash after relieving yourself.
    Muslims generally prefer to wash rather than using toilet paper, and I believe it also has something to do with the requirement of performing "Wudoo" (ritual washing/abulution) before prayer time.

    Unfortunately, many people use this small device far too liberally, with little or no sense of aim or direction resulting in partial flooding of many toilet stalls. It's quite disgusting to say the least, having to roll-up your trousers before entering the cubicle... so be aware and don't fall.

    Oh, and another piece of advice: if you decide to use the sharddaf, make sure you are holding the nozzle the right way around... I've seen many unknowing tourists coming out of the toilets with very wet clothes!

    --> NOTE: In the past, most Arabs and also Asians were used to squatting over a "traditional" toilet. You can still find these toilets in some of the older shopping malls and even in Dubai airport (!). They are nothing more than a tiled hole in the ground, with the aforementioned sharddaf for washing. But don't panic: there are never more than 1 or 2 cubicles with these "holes" and all other cubicles consist of the comfortable, modern, shiny and white porcelain thrones ;-)

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    "Smoke IN the water..." - Sheesha

    by JessH Updated May 24, 2009

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    Sheesha (also known as "Hookah" or "Hubbly-bubbly"):
    The traditional oriental tobacco pipe with a long flexible tube connected to a container where the smoke is cooled by passing through water.

    Sheesha is tobacco mixed with molasses and various of fruit flavours. Some of the most popular flavours are Apple, Double-Apple, Strawberry, Banana, Grape, etc. My favourite is Mint (the smoke stays nice & cool.)

    On top of the sticky & compacted tobacco mixture, a sheet of aluminium foil is placed. Then a few holes are punched through the foil & the glowing hot coals are placed on top.

    When your sheesha "runs out" while you're smoking, you usually get a kind of scratchy, fruity coughing reflex in the back of your throat. Whenever you smoke for more than about half an hour you will usually have to add some fresh coal to keep your smoke thick & flavourful. If you're just not getting much white smoke, your coals probably aren't hot enough.

    There are numerous sheesha cafes (small street cafes & in 5* hotels) where people gather to smoke & drink coffee or tea. Smoking sheesha can last 2 hours or more and is a very social occasion. The price of a sheesha varies according to the flavour & the prices are different in every cafe/restaurant. (the cheapest being Dhs 20.-)

    You can buy your own sheesha in most shopping malls, with prices & quality ranging from cheap & cheerful to expensive, hand-decorated crystal glass & gold finish!
    There's also a great selection of shishas in the Karama shopping strip, where they are sold with their very own padded carrying case! Tobacco can be bought in these shops, and also in many supermarkets.

    I have 2 sheeshas at home, and love sitting in the garden with some friends. (the smoke also keeps the mosquitoes away!)
    Some of my favourite Sheesha haunts?
    > Kan Zaman by the Heritage Village.
    > Elements at Wafi City Mall.

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    Newspapers in the UAE (censored, but interesting)

    by JessH Updated Apr 15, 2009

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    The Gulf News today
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    Gulf News is the UAE's leading English newspaper, with a daily circulation of 91,000 copies.
    Founded in 1978 as tabloid format newspaper and was re-launched as a broadsheet in 1985 under the present management, and has grown steadily ever since.

    You can pick up a copy at any supermarket, petrol station or grocery store for Dhs 2.- The newspaper will surely also be available in your hotel.

    Their online edition was launched on the 1st September 1996. It allows them to broadcast regional news internationally, receiving more than 300,000 hits daily.

    There's a daily tabloid section with schedules of special dining offers, new store openings & interviews on hot-topics in the UAE. On Wednesdays, the newspaper includes the "Entertainment Weekly", with all television & cinema programs. And on Fridays, there's the "Friday Magazine", with info on restaurants, night clubs, recipes, travel, etc.

    Even under the UAE's strict media censorship, the Gulf News tends to do a good job (as good as they're allowed) of covering local & international happenings.
    I've seen a big improvement in the past years & we all hope that one day the UAE will realise that "hiding" their problems from residents & visitors alike will not help them in the future...


    Another good website in tabloid format, which may remind you a bit of "The Sun" in the UK, or the "Bild Zeitung" in Germany is the 7 Days newspaper.

    A lot of the news are quite ridiculous & exagerrated, but many residents (including myself) nonetheless find that this is a publication that is always on the borderline of being shut-down by UAE censors... it publishes the stories other papers are afraid of... it's refreshing! Check it out: http://www.7Days.ae/

    UPDATE: Since 2008 another newspaper has evolved (based in Abu Dhabi) called THE NATIONAL. I find their coverage very well-written, and they tend to pick-up on many regional topics and items that are important for everyday life as a resident of the UAE.

    You can read their online version here: http://www.thenational.ae/

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    "Wudoo" in Islam - it's not black magic!

    by JessH Updated Jan 30, 2008

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    Abulution room before prayer (Dubai)
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    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!)

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    A Meal with Muslims - eating manners

    by JessH Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Muslims eat with their right hand
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    If you should be invited to a traditional Arabic meal together with Muslim hosts, there's a few simple cultural & religious guildelines 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.
    Either sit with your legs crossed, or one leg propped-up & one tucked under, or both on your side, etc. It is considered extremely rude to point the soles of your feet towards anyone in the Muslim religion & Arabic culture.
    I can imagine that this probably stems from the Bedouin days, when after a hard day's work or travelling the feet would be covered in dirt.

    2) If cutlery is not provided, you eat with your hands; your right hand, to be precise!
    Now, I know that this can be tricky for "unskilled" Westerners - basically, the "least messy" way is to take small pieces of Arabic bread & to wrap your rice, meat, fish, etc. into small parcles.

    The left hand is used by a person to clean up filth, wash himself after the bathroom, etc. The right hand is used for clean practices like eating, grooming & shaking hands.
    Understandably, if you reach for food with your left hand, your Arab hosts/companions may feel extremely repulsed & offended!
    It is not permissible to eat with the left hand (even if you are left-handed, you'll just have to try your best!).

    Prophet Mohammed (PBUH = Peace be upon Him) said: "If one of you eats, he should eat with his right hand. And if he drinks, he should drink with his right hand. For indeed, Satan eats & drinks with his left hand."
    No one should give preference to his left hand unless that person has lost the use of his right hand or suffers from some genuine affliction.

    3) You will also notice that most Muslims quietly say "Bismillah" (the name of God) to themselves. In this way, they ask Allah to bless the food they are about to eat.

    4) You will be offered Arabic tea or coffee. When you've emptied your cup and don't wish for a refill, turn the cup upside down.

    Bon appetit! And enjoy your meal!

    *
    (Of course, it should be understood without saying that during casual dinner conversation, the topics of religion and politics should be avoided. These are always slightly controversial subjects, especially in Middle Eastern culture.)

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    Behaviour towards Arabic women

    by JessH Updated Jan 30, 2008

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    Woman wearing traditional Burka (UAE postcard)
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    Here are a few pointers on the mentality & religious aspects of dealing with Arabic women (and men):

    > Women can shake an Arabic woman's hand, but men should not attempt this. The lady may offer to shake hands, do so, but leave the decision up to her as many Muslim ladies do not want to be touched by other men in even the most harmless manner. Vice-versa, some Arabic men will refuse shaking hands with a Western woman. Do not feel offended by this.

    > Do not take pictures of Arabic ladies. They can get quite upset about this (this one applies especially to you ladies: if you are in the washrooms, at a ladies-beach or beauty salon where they uncover themselves - they don't want pictures of themselves shown to other men)

    > Beware of the mighty Abaya!
    The Abaya is the black dress the ladies wear. The head scarf is called Shehla. Some ladies also wear a face-mask, called a Burka. Many ladies (especially the older generation) think the abaya gives them special rights & will quite happily step onto the road, trusting that traffic will stop for her! Also, some local ladies will try to push ahead in a queue.

    > Men, please note that institutions such as banks, exchange houses, etc. often have Ladies Sections, where women can sit seperately & have their own queue. Do not sit or stand there, or you will be asked to move by a security guard. If there is no ladies queue, you will notice that the counter clerks will usually call the woman forward to be served first, and men should let her pass. (one of the few reasons I like this country; going to the bank only takes me 5 min!)

    > When meeting an Arabic man, men should not ask: "how is your wife?". This may be perceived as intrusive. Rather ask "how is your family?". Women may ask about the wife with no problems.

    In general, you will notice that Muslim society is cleary gender-seperated.
    Book about cross-cultural considerations in the Gulf is "Don't they know it's Friday?" by Jeremy Williams.

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    Arabic Wedding... if you're invited, don't miss it

    by JessH Updated Jul 23, 2007

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    Arabic weddings are traditionally very different from the way they are celebrated in the Western world, although many new "customs" have sneaked their way into even the most traditional of ceremonies: cakes, white dresses, wedding rings, etc. can nowadays also be found under the black veils of their society.

    The wedding has 2 seperate parties: 1 for the men and 1 for the women. Muslim life is strongly gender-seperated, and even the union of man & woman makes no exception.

    So if you ever have the chance to be invited to an Arabic wedding, take it! It's a wonderful & very "exotic" experience, rather different to Western ideals & ceremonies.

    TIP: You can tell which families are gearing-up for a wedding within the family, as the houses are decorated with chains and chains of bright lightbulbs (visible behind the little girl in my picture).

    In my picture, you can see men & women sitting together only because they are part of the same family and we were celebrating during a lunch prior to the actual wedding itself. The women were singing and playing the tamborines, while the young men played the "Tabla" drums...

    My mother & I were once fortunate enough to be invited to an Arabic wedding at a friend's place. We sat on the floor, played with the children, played the drums and listened to the women sing traditional songs of joy for the bride & groom.

    TIP: How to eat a meal with Muslims

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    Funky air-waves during the heat-waves... 104.8FM

    by JessH Updated May 13, 2008

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    104.8 - Channel 4FM - Dubai, UAE
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    Channel 4FM is the 2nd English radio channel in the UAE, launched by Ajman Independant Studios.

    Tune into 104.8FM wherever you are:
    Within the UAE you can listen to the shows live on their website
    Throughout the week, the DJs keep us entertained with various shows for listening at home, in your office, your car or providing funky weekend music for your house party! Quite often these "local celebrities" will appear in nightclubs for special nights & lend their musical & entertainment skill for a night or two.

    Also, listen out for updates on special promotions at various restaurants, and what's happening at the numerous night clubs! There are also numerous competitions to win anything from cinema tickets, to free dinners, to VIP tables in nightclubs, to concert tickets & even holidays! (in May 2007 I won a dinner for 2 in a fancy restaurant... culinary VT Tip will, of course, follow ;-)

    One of my favourite shows is *Total Request Lunch* and also *Neal & Vicky in the morning* are also pretty entertaining. And on this station, you'll also hear our friend Josh Anderson "working his magic" ;-)

    It's also amusing to listen to the Western radio DJ's desperately trying to be funny & slightly "naughty", without being suspended for breaking the UAE's media-censorship laws... In fact, you'll notice that all songs played on UAE radio are heavily censored. Swear words, sex, drugs, guns, and certain slang for certain body parts are all cut-out of the song... which makes most Hip Hop & Rap Songs sound like the CD is skipping, gap after gap after gap! Why do they even bother playing Missy Elliot, M&M, etc.?

    A very useful number to call with information on the roads of the UAE is:
    Traffic & Travel Jam-Line: 050-746 1048.

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    "What's yer fruity tipple, mate?"

    by JessH Updated Apr 15, 2009

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    Fresh Juice is cheap & popular in the Gulf
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    Dubai may be an expensive city, but there are still a few amenities and little pleasures of life that are cheaper than in Europe / UK / USA, etc. Something all of my visitors and new work colleagues have always marvelled at is the incredible availability & quality of fresh fruit juices all around town.

    Especially in unlicenced restaurants (restaurants that don't serve alcohol) you'll open your menu and be astonished by the variety of fresh fruit juices on offer. Usually you'll get your juice in a 500 - 750ml glass and depending on the venue, it will cost between only 10 and 15 Dirhams! (1 US$ = 3.67 Dhs)

    NOTE: If you're trying to be properly healthy, ask your waiter to bring you the fresh juice "without sugar and without syrup." Some restaurants will add sugar syrup to sweeten the juice... but that's not the point of healthy juice now is it?!

    Here's a list of the fresh juices you'll most surely come across in any Arabic restaurant:

    > Pineapple Juice ("Ananas" in Arabic; the same word as in German!)
    > Orange Juice
    > Grapefruit Juice
    > Watermelon Juice
    > Pomegranate Juice
    > Strawberry Juice
    > fresh Lemon Juice with Soda & Mint (very refreshing)

    TIP: For that extra special "flavour of Arabia", ask your waiter to add a dash of Rosewater in your juice.

    TIP: Some restaurants will also ad some fresh mint leaves to your juice / freshly made lemonade.

    If you're not a fan of pulp, then I'm sorry to say that these juices aren't for you. Usually they are very thick (see photo) with plenty of fruit pieces inside.

    Every restaurant will also offer "Fruit Cocktails" with mixed combinations of fruit, sometimes adding some "laban" (butter milk) or ice cream.

    TIP: Drink Pineapple Juice with or after your meal. It is high in the enzyme bromelain, which aids digestion & has been shown to promote weight loss...

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    "Fancy a date, my sweetie?"

    by JessH Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Dates on the palm tree
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    The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) has been cultivated in the Emirates for thousands of years. Not only the fruit itself, but also the leaves & trunks of the tree were used for basket making and house & boat building.

    You can eat dates fresh & juicy (harvest time is summer: July/August), or after they've been dried in the sun and have developed even more concentrated fruit sugar. The latter is the most common (I also don't like the taste and squidgy-soft consistency of fresh dates... yuch!)

    You can buy dates at the souks and in most supermarkets. You will see dates from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE. Some are filled with almonds or walnuts (my favourite!) and some are even coated in chocolate!
    TIP UPDATE 2008: Dates are available in all differents sizes, flavours and qualities. Good-value dates are available in most supermarkets. For something special, I like to buy some "luxury dates" at Bateel, in pretty boxes they make a perfect gift!
    In Dubai, Bateel has outlets in the Bur Juman Mall, the Town Centre Mall and also in Deira City Centre Mall.
    During the Holy Month of Ramadhan, Muslims generally break their fast by eating dates. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is reported to have said: "If anyone of you is fasting, let him break his fast with dates. In case he does not have them, then with water."

    Dates are said to be rich in natural fibres, oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc and magnesium. Strangely enough though, they are one of the few types of fruit that do not contain any vitamin C.
    Although healthy, be careful when it comes to your waste line! Fresh dates contain about 20 calories each. But dried dates, as with all dried fruits, contain far more calories than their fresh counterparts.

    Because dates contain high traces of magnesium, zinc, etc. they are said to also be good for... well... a man's libido. My mother is a tour guide and tells her tourists these and other facts about dates. Funnily, she has quite often heard the wives of elderly men whisper: "Bill, go a buy a couple of packs of dates!" Hilarious!

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    Funky air-waves during the heat-waves... 92FM

    by JessH Updated Sep 16, 2008

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    Catboy & Geordiebird of Dubai 92FM
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    Part of the Arabian Radio Network (ARN), Dubai 92 (92FM) was the first English radio channel in the UAE.

    It has since re-invented itself with a far younger, hipper and bolder face to appeal to the huge young expat community in Dubai.

    The channel holds regular quizzes, promotions, prize-competitions, as well as a traffic hotline, special coverage of overseas events (MTV Video Music Awards in August 2005) and of course, great music!

    Also, listen out for updates on special promotions at various restaurants, and what's happening at the numerous night clubs!

    In the morning from 6am onwards, I always listen to Catboy & Geordiebird to keep me entertained on my way to work... he's kind of a local celebrity and they've been dubbed the "Posh & Becks of UAE Radio".

    It's also amusing to listen to the Western radio DJ's desperately trying to be funny & slightly "naughty", without being suspended for breaking the UAE's media-censorship laws... In fact, you'll notice that all songs played on UAE radio are heavily censored. Swear words, sex, drugs, guns, and certain slang for certain body parts are all cut-out of the song... which makes most Hip Hop & Rap Songs sound like the CD is skipping, gap after gap after gap! Why do they even bother playing Missy Elliot, M&M, etc.?

    Kary Perry's "I kissed a girl" - for instance - has been banned from radio stations in the UAE, as it is "not compatible with the UAE's religious, ethical and moral values and it promotes scandaleous behaviour"... Whatever.

    Listeners within the UAE can log onto their website & listen to the shows live online...

    UPDATE Sept. 2008: Their SMS / instant text message number is 4009.

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    The UAE's most famous fish species... delicious!

    by JessH Updated May 24, 2009

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    Hammour at my local supermarket (Dubai, UAE)

    When you order fish in the UAE's restaurants, you'll notice that even the fish 'n' chips are commonly made with "Hammour"...

    Hammour is the most prominent, well-known & versatile fish in the Arabian Gulf waters.
    Hammour is the Arabic word for Grouper:

    This fish is heavily spotted & reddish-brown over olive-brown with bars & blotches of deeper ochre. It has large powerful jaws and a long dorsal fin with 10 spinous rays. It is found around reefs, wrecks and offshore structures where it feeds on other fish, cuttlefish and crustaceans. It can live to 22 years and can grow to about 170 cm / 70 inches long.

    It's a delicious fish, with a taste that is not too strong but just strong enough to not be completely overpowered by accompanying sauces or a batter. I generally like hammour, but mostly I prefer "stronger-tasting" fish like Barracuda, Swordfish or a nice Red Snapper... Unfortunately due to its popularity it is now grossly over-fished and stocks in the Gulf are dwindling fast. Hopefully the authorities will prevent the sale of juvenile fish to preserve the species' future.

    The fish is available at the local fish markets in the UAE including supermarkets and the fish & vegetable market near the Gold Souk.

    Visiting the market to buy fresh seafood and fish is an integral part of local culture for both Local Arabs and expatriates; and it shouldn't be missed by tourists, either! (when you see it lying on the ice at the markets, you'll notice that it's quite a malicious-looking bugger! hahaha!)

    For a list of various Arabic dishes, click here: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/1411c2

    TIP: If you don't want to wander around the Fish Market (especially in summer!) visit one of the Carrefour Hypermarkets: their fresh fish selection is superb!

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    National Dress and Dress Code In U.A.E.

    by 37SingleMaleInDubai1 Updated Apr 25, 2008

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    National Dress of a female citizen of U.A.E.
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    Dress Code


    The dress code is much the same as in your own country. Shorts, skirts, and short-sleeved shirts are quite acceptable, but with a sense of modesty and common sense. Revealing or tight fitting clothes should be avoided.

    The national dress for men is the dishdasha or khandura, an ankle length robe, usually white. Dishdashas are usually worn with a white or red-checkered headcloth (gutra) and a twisted black rope-like coil (agal) which holds the gutra in place; under the headdress is a skull cap (gafia).

    In public, most national women wear a black abaya, a long loose black robe that covers their normal clothes, plus a head scarf, called a shayla. Some women also wear a thin black veil covering their face, while some older women wear a small mask made of fabric known as a burkha, which covers the nose, brow and cheekbones.

    Also good to read :-)

    What can be worn by a female could be anything from shirts and tops to skirts and shorts to saris and kimonos. Much less is worn on the beach these days although going around in one's birthday suit is strictly a no-no. Dubai respects other cultures and has a relatively more liberal dress code but it also recommends modesty that is in keeping with being part of a Muslim country.

    Dubai is a tourist-friendly emirate, the second largest among the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Tourists are welcome and made to feel at home -- Western clothes, continental food, sauna, pool, Star TV et al. You could wear anything from full-sleeved to half-sleeved to mega-sleeved to sleeveless tops (but please keep your tops on) and nobody could care less. While trousers, long skirts, knee-length skirts, minis, micro-minis, micro-micros and shorts are all the done wear, restrict the bikinis to the beaches, or you could land yourself in some trouble. (The Jumeirah Beach is a fun place and so is Mamzar Park, which has both real and artificial beaches.)

    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Work Abroad

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