When visiting a country in the Middle East like Dubai, tourists should be prepared for several culture shocks. As an Arab nation, the United Arab Emirates has traditions and rituals that have been done for thousands of years. People should be sensitive to these practices so as not to offend residents or break the law. Here are several shocking activities and exercises to know about.
Dubai in the month of Ramadan
Ramadan is a month-long holiday where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. For Filipinos or other nationalities who do not practice Islam faith, this can be a new or culturally shocking experience. People are prohibited from drinking liquor, eating, or even swallowing their saliva during fasting hours. You might be surprised to find restaurants not serving alcohol even to tourists. Muslims also pray at least five times a day during the time of Ramadan. Be respectful to worshipping Muslims, or authorities might apprehend you.
Dubai is still home to conservative people
Although Dubai is more liberated compared to its Arab neighbors, you should also be mindful of what you’re wearing. Many mosques in the city do not allow non-Christians to enter. You might also be required to remove your shoes or slippers before entering. Do not talk while inside the mosque. Women should be careful about what they’re wearing and avoid very skimpy clothes like skirts, halters, and shorts. Avoid cursing or using profane gestures while in the city.
Dubai is home to ultra-rich people
Dubai is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, so many tourists will be shocked to find police officers driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis. They say that these are for chasing wealthy traffic violators who are driving fast sports cars. You will also find many unique decorations and embellishments placed by auto or homeowners on their property. There are diamond-studded racing cars, gold doorknobs, and Swarovski crystal chandeliers in many places around the city.
Dubai’s tap water isn’t portable
Tap water, even if boiled, is not supposed to be drinkable in Dubai. You will notice sand deposits even in minute amounts in your glass. Instead, drink from bottled and filtered water to stay safe. Many homeowners install water filters to clean their water. You don’t have to go outdoors and realize how precious water is in this country. In summer months, tap water could even be hotter than your conventional hot water from home kettle!
Dubai folks rely a lot on home deliveries
Many companies, like restaurants, grocery stores, and even auto shops, have delivery services. Many Dubai residents prefer having the things they buy delivered straight to their doorstep. You will easily find vans from various establishments sending goods with bold and big telephone numbers on the side. And why not, if it’s too hot outdoor during summer or colder months offer discomfort, delivery services are a very welcome alternative, even if you have to shell out a fee for the service.
These are just some of the many culture shocks you will witness in Dubai. Talk to locals to find more surprises.