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a complete guide to dubai traditions and customs

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Do you know that Dubai is also known as the City of the Future? Yes, that's right, it is a widely famous name. It attained this name due to the rapid steady growth of the city. Although the city is moving forward in such a fast rate, it always finds a way to be attached to its rich tradition and customs, that they travel with the city alongside. Let us look into the traditions and the customs of this bright city. This might come handy when you travel and well, it is also quite interesting.

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People of Dubai

Here is the thing about the people. The folks from Dubai are one of the most welcoming folks on earth. They advocate their kindness to the guests of their country. It might come to you surprising, but you would be considered rude if you even slightly ignore their hospitality. Oops! Looks like we can't say no to good, can we?

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The people love and feel honored in inviting tourists to their homes. If you are a traveler to this city, you should never choose to ignore the invitation. It is a tradition that the guests of the house are first served with a cup of coffee and cardamom. You should never limit yourself with just one cup (It is a small cup). You show kindness in return by drinking more than two cups and thanking their hospitality. You can hug the men of the house before leaving but you are not allowed to hug the women of the house as it is considered rather inappropriate in Dubai.

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You can always hug your life partner, but you cannot hug another woman from the city. It doesn't just end with hugging, a public showcase of affection is considered a crime in the city. However, Dubai can be lenient on certain things. Swimsuits and Bikinis are allowed to the private beaches in Dubai and the private swimming pools of Dubai. Women cannot enjoy a topless sunbake though.

Religion in Dubai

Dubai, in no doubt, is an Islamic city. However, Dubai respects the other religions of the world. Here is a list of the religions found practicing inside the city

  1. Christianity (Both Lutheranism and Catholicism)
  2. Hinduism
  3. Buddhism
  4. Sikhism
  5. Jainism
  6. Judaism

You can find all the exotic mosques, churches, and temples inside the city. Dubai is widely known for its rich architecture. I don't even have to tell you, the world-famous Burj Khalifa and the mind-blowing Dubai mall stand as an example to the whole world. These religious places are indeed a treat to the eyes of the tourists.

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Given the fact that it is indeed an Islamic city, here are two things you must always remember,

  1. You cannot drink water or eat in public during the season of Ramadan.
  2. You must always respect the sentiments of the Muslims.

Attire of Dubai's people

It is common for the tourists to see men wearing long dresses made of light airy Kondura cotton and women wearing elegant dresses with long sleeves embroidered with gold and beads. A headscarf is always a mandatory attribute to the national dress of the men while a special veil that covers the face falls as the mandatory attribute of the national dress of the women. Apart from being an Islamic attire, the cotton texture makes it a comfortable attire to the climate of the city.

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It is not necessary that you have to be a Muslim to wear this, you always have the liberty to give this a try inside the city. When you are inside the city, you might want to consider the way you dress while traveling around. Here are some tips that will help you to get you going. You can wear T-shirts and shorts in the city. But not everywhere.

What are the exceptions? 

  • Mosques
  • Religious sites
  • Older parts of the city (like Bur-Dubai, Deira, and Karama)

What do I wear there then? 

  • Wearing loose-fitting clothes that cover arms, legs and shoulders are always preferred
  • Cross-dressing can lead to detainment by the authorities.
  • It is always advised to go with the most modest dressing you know.
  • Women are required to wear a headscarf when entering mosques.

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Before leaving the city, you might also want to check the local jewelers out. They create mesmerizing pieces of art from gold, silver, and bronze. It is so beautiful and more importantly, unique that you can't find something similar anywhere else.

Habits and Gestures

The residents of Dubai make sure that you feel the most welcomed in the city. Though their tradition is orthodoxy, they try their level best to slightly liberalize to your comfort. When they try their best isn't it our job to equally try our best to not disappoint them. Here are certain gestures and habits you should carry with your tourist bags to Dubai

  1. Do not point with your finger. It is considered rude.
  2. When you advocate a hand gesture, make sure to use the whole hand. Obscene hand gestures in public may land you in prison.
  3. Do not get drunk in public. You will be fined.
  4. When you take a picture, make sure you don't invade privacy.
  5. You cannot take a picture of a woman.
  6. Do not be the first person to raise your hand for a handshake. Women may not prefer to shake hands.
  7. Bad language in public will not be tolerated,
  8. Always use your right hand to receive food and drinks.
  9. Stand up with the others when a guest enters the place.
  10. Never point your foot towards someone.
  11. Never cross your legs. It is rude.
  12. When you are invited to a majlis, remove your shoes at the entrance.

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Music and Dance

There is nothing so original, authentic, and beautiful inside the people like the local folklore. Almost no national holiday passes without performance. The people appreciate its authenticity and find a connection on a national level to it. Music with dance is the core of every celebration in the city. The Ayyalah, the Yolla, the Liwa, the Haban, the Mated, the Harbiya, and the Nuban are the names of the traditional dances of the city. They are easy to practice and dance, and they portray companionship. Also, read Flavours of Dubai Music

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The city is no stranger to modern music as well. There are so many artists who produce brilliant modern music that has the touch of Dubai and its people to it. Jazz, blues, rock, funk, and soul, it's all in there. Make sure you practice a few steps before entering into the city.

Sport

The people of Dubai love competitions and they never miss an opportunity to become a member of one of the competitions. The city is famous for its camel races, horse races, and cockfights. They are very fond of horses and they are known for having been involved in the derivation of special breeds of horses. 

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Every year Dubai hosts Horse Racing World Cup. Yes, you heard that right. The world cup tournament of Horse Racing happens only in Dubai. This shows the chemistry the residents have with the horses they grow. They also love owls and falcons. They find it a sport in training them.

Food in Dubai

Dubai is known for its special Arabin cuisine. The food in Dubai will straight make your mouth water. The food in Dubai gives you a wholesome experience. You taste the spice, you taste sweet, you taste a wee bit bitter, you taste a little salt and your tongue experiences all these tastes in the same meal. The city is known for its compressed smacked variety in a single meal.

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You cannot leave Dubai without experiencing its Shawarma. Dubai is the most famous for its Shawarma. The city has the longest Shawarmas on the planet, one shawarma will easily fill your whole tummy. You might also want to try the city's Esh Hasarya, Matchbous, Ghuzi, Mehalabiya, Al Harees, and Stuffed Camel. You will also love the tea and the coffee here.

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Now that pretty much sums up everything you must know before landing on the ground of Dubai. Of course, we can't spoil everything for you, can we? Now it is up to you to travel and experience everything by yourself.

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