While in Rome do what the Romans do........
Well few tips i think the travellers rather tourists should know about dubai:
- Being a islamic country nudity is very intolerant so if you guys on the beaches try keeping the swim suits on.
- Alcohol is not sold everywhere, you cannot drink on the streets or carry a bottle with you outside, drink at home or clubs.
- During Ramadan time you should refrain yourself from eating and drinking in public as the holy month of fasting is going on. The restaurants are all closed till sunset for a month.
- Abusing and vulgar actions can cause you a trip to the jail.
- Being intimate and kissing in public could also get you in trouble. A kiss is ok in public but more than that could invite trouble.
- Being a muslim country pork is not served everywhere, only in five star hotels and they do mention if it is pork. But you can buy from the stores and cook it at home.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Women's Travel
Dubai is modernising each day however when in the city it is always best to dress modestly which includes casually.
Its best if ladies dont wear short skirts or tiny tops. Singlets with thick straps is fine.
In the western hotels you can pretty much wear what you want and walk around the pool area in your bathers.Add to your Trip Planner
I think this is beginning to become a part of Dubai's culture.
Example:- Our hotel controlled the Beaches temperature and every night we would get a newsletter informing of what it would be the next day!Add to your Trip Planner
Majlis is a meeting place for the man where they play domino, drink togheter coffe of tea, smoking shisa, talking and mantein the trditions alive.
In Bastakia area there is still one of this, before was only a tent, now is a big room with carpet and pillows, but also a wooden and tent veranda.
We hade the chance to occasionaly know a eau citizen in the Bastakia area thet invited me and my partner to stay with them in the Majlis....we were sitted near an ex Eau ambassador, a petroleum producer and the major eau date producer! simply people in the traditional withe cafetano asking about Switzerland, their next vacation
This is a good place to maintain alive the tradition and to get involved the tourist in the true arab culture.
A lot of them borned and grow up here but now they live in other residential area...Majlis is the way to stay togheter.Add to your Trip Planner
"Tsching tsching? WHO THERE???"
Think retro .. and the images of Jim Morrison crooning 'Break on through to the other side' smack bang centre into your head. And all along the little tambourine 'tsching' 'tsching-ing' away crazily. Well the Arabs have their own lil mojo right in the middle of Dubai.
Daff, or oriental tambourine:
Called Riq or Duff in certain places. It is impressive to see a good riq player, and to see the range of sounds and rhythm patterns that they can play. The riq is a small (approx 20cm diameter) circular percussion instrument, with an animal skin head, and many small cymbals on the sides.
Not to forget Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and Ringo Starr smashing away at their drumkits .. Here's another arabic percussion instrument designed to get your butts jiggling.
Also called Dumbek in certain places. It is a drum shaped like an hour glass. Traditionally made of clay, more recently it has been made of metal. The head is made of fish, goat or other animal skins, and has also largely been replaced by a plastic substitute. The derbakkeh provides the basic rhythm in an arabic orchestra.
Kenny G serenades his belly dancers
Well if Elvis could have his turn at playing arabic instruments, why not Kenny G. Let's just substitute the stringed instruments for wind instruments here and voila .. this is what we have -
Bamboo flute, made of an open piece of bamboo, with seven holes (one for the thumb, and 6 for other fingers). Can also come with a mouthpiece made of goat horn. Professional Nays come in sets; for example, a professional nay player will have a case full of different instruments which are tuned to play different maqams.
Made of two "twin" pipes, with a stopper going through them. The Mejwiz is a folk instrument that is often used in weddings and other social gatherings. The whole end is inserted into the mouth, and the musician uses circular breathing, in order to achieve a continuous sound. The instrument sounds very nasal, and is quite loud.
The Arabian Elvis
So now probably you're wondering if Elvis was born Arab, what kind of stringed instruments he would be using - yes? Well go on reading then ...
The Oud's rich low tone makes it the ideal instrument for long Tarab evenings. It is a pear-shaped lute with a short fretless neck. It can be plucked with the fingers or with a feather. The Oud is essential to small ensembles, as well as to the classical "takht". It is also the instrument of choice to accompany male soloists.
The word "Qanun" translates to "law". The instrument however consists of 50(?) strings strung on a metallic table, in a way reminescent of the Santour in Iranian music. The strings however, are plucked instead of "hammered", in a way that produces a very nasal sound. The musician straps metal plucks onto his/her left and right indexes, and sits the instrument on their lap or on a small table. The Qanoun provides the fast attack as well as some of the high harmonics in an orchestra.
The Saz (turkish instrument) or Buzuk:
A "saz" is a lute with a long neck. There are different sizes of it. Largest is the divan sazi. Smallest is cura sazi. The instrument has a pear shaped body. Sometimes saz is refered as 'baglama'. This name is more descriptive. It literally means 'to tie'; referring to the instrument's tied frets. The istrument is tuned in many different ways depending on region or mood/occasion. There are many situations for saz playing. Usually, a poet-musician will sing while playing it. There are also duo performances where each musician will take turn playing and singing. This is improvisonal. It is also an instrument that is commonly used to back up folk singers. You might actually see about a dozen players playing at the same time.
One thing that amazes most people coming to Dubai is just how many roundabouts there are - it seems like every corner is one.
The thing about UAE-roundabouts is that they are really nicely decorated - each having a theme, with a statue or some sort of structure in the middle.
Roundabouts can be scary for people who are not used to them - here are some basic tips:
- Traffic in the roundabout has the right of way. Incoming vehicles have to yield.
- While driving within the circle, leave the left signal on. Only when exiting put on the right signal, so that incoming traffic knows what your intentions are.
- Theoreticallly, pedestrians have the right of way, but this is Dubai, and pedestrians are usually aware that they have to fend for their own life.Add to your Trip Planner
The Music and Dance of the Emirates
Music and dance play an important role in every society - this holds true for the UAE: the most famous dance is Al Ayaala, a war dance which praises the virues of courage and bravery in battle. It is performed to a drumbeat and the men carry swords.
Al Nahma is a famous song of the sea, sung without musical instruments. It is performed on board ships to encourage pearl divers and express their longing and compassion for their families.
Local traders brought the Lewa dance back from Africa. This dance has a fast tempo, which is provided by large drums.
Folklore dances were performed on special occasions such as weddings, when pearl diving boats set out or returned, and at religious festivals. The biography of the Prophet Mohammed is narrated in the Al Maalid, which is accompanied by drumbeats and movement.
We learned all this at a special cultural exhibit in the Wafi mall, but more information and exhibits are in the Dubai museum.
On a visit to the Global Village, Ash was lucky to observe a dance performance, in which the men carried some sort of walking sticks or old wooden rifles over their heads and twirled them around while they skipped in circles or long lines.
The women performed in traditional garments and wore their hair long (no covering) and kept tirelessly twisting and twirling their necks around, so that their hair flowed towards the ground and spun around at the same time.
Sometimes there were little girls and boys who also participated in the dance, and sometimes it included a few youngsters out to impress some local and expat women folk who were watching from the sides, always smiling and twirling to the tune.Add to your Trip Planner
The Weapons of the Emirates
The Bedouin admire, above all, courage, strength, and bravery. A man would wear his dagger at all times and keep his rifle beside him while he slept.
There were several types of traditional weaponry, which included swords such as the Bu Falaj and Al Kattara, daggers with handles of animal horn or ivory, an Al Bishek (a sharp steel knife) and Al Yazer (a strong stick with an iron axe mounted on the end). Swords and daggers were greatly valued and were often decorated with engraved silver or gold.
Rifles (including Umm Fatila and Samaa) were used for defence and hunting and at the end of the Nineteenth century; Dubai was famous for manufacturing daggers, swords, gunpowder, bullets and the trade of weapons.
We learned all this at a special cultural exhibit in the Wafi mall, but more information and exhibits are in the Dubai museum.Add to your Trip Planner
A little lesson in language!
If you are worried about not speaking Arabic - don't fret! Everything in Dubai is in both English and Arabic - from traffic-signs to restaurant menus. Everybody also speaks English - more or less....
Here are the a few Arabic phrases that might come in handy:
Sabah el khair - sabah el noor / Good morning, good evening
shukran - Thank you!
yaallla yaallla!! -- lets go lets go!!!!! (said to a camel when trying to get him to overtake a ferari)
ana bahebek habibti - i love u dear (said to the women found in Thank God Its Thursday (TGIT) - if you're a man that is )
KEM FILOOS (at all the malls when u wanna know the price of something) .. and if he answers with a barrage of words .. then give back MAIIFHAM ARABI or MAFI ARABI ( I dont understand Arabic) ..
inta fi magnoon - u are CRAZY !!! (not to be said to anyone .. this is just for knowledge)
yaaa salaam .... (grinning with all ur teeth at this moment like the arabs do - when seeing a good looking woman .. then run and hide before the cops come!)
in the cab:
alatoool - straight
LAH !!!! NOOOOOOO
AIWA .. or NAAAM .. yesRelated to:
- Road Trip
Modesty works best here
Dubai is one of the most liberal cities in the Middle East but I still think it's good to respect the customs of the locals.
For women :swim suits are allowed on beaches and skimpy clothes in night clubs but it would be best not to flaunt in places such as shopping malls, restaurants or even while just walking around.
For men: shorts are allowed but do refrain from going without a shirt in public.
I personally feel that it is best to blend in a crowd than have people stare at you.Add to your Trip Planner
What arabian women wear...
According to CIA data in United Arabic Emirates the 96% of population is muslim. So it is easy find women wear with the classic muslim clothes called Abaya.
In particular abaya is a loose, usually black robe worn by Muslim women, especially in Arabic-speaking regions, covering the body from head to toe and often worn with a headscarf and veil.
Then you can often find islamic boutique full of abaya.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Arts and Culture
What you wear
This is a Muslim country.Even though you are free to wear what you want here. The government is very flexible on wha religion you are practicing. One thing do keep in mind to wear modestly when you are out of the city. Especially when you visit the countryside and montains. Respect the locals as you how you want to be respected. We are in their land, okay..
And if you wish to visit the mosque, you should cover hour head.Add to your Trip Planner
Heads up! A few "do's"
1) Keep the soles of your feet/shoes tucked away or aimed downwards. It is considered offensive to expose the bottoms of your feet to another person.
2) Stay indoors while drinking any alcoholic beverage. In addition to being a serious sin in Islam to drink alcohol, it is also unlawful to drink in public, such as on a beach or in the street.
3) If your visit coincides with Ramadhan, smoke, drink (even water) and eat only in private or enclosed areas, and never in the presence of someone who is fasting. Once the sun sets, you may indulge. This also includes gum chewing and chewing tobacco. All restaurants are closed in the daytime hours.
4) Be careful of where you aim your camera. You must not take photos of government installations, military or otherwise; and avoid taking pictures of local Arab women unless you have thier consent.
5) Use only your right hand to greet people, hand money to a merchant, or eat. The left hand is reserved for cleansing the private parts and is considered unsanitary.Add to your Trip Planner
Probably the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Service was amazing including your own personal...more
The Palm Jumeirah, Crescent Road West, PO Box 27722
Good for: Couples
I had heard from several friends here in Dubai that Al Maha Resort and Spa was the ultimate in...more
Explore the World
- Pulau Harimau Hotels
- Burnaby Hotels
- Gaspé Hotels
- Mabalacat Hotels
- Swillington Hotels
- Shenandoah National Park