The United Arab Emirates embraces Arab hospitality and is considered one of the best countries to live or study in because of its safe, clean, and multicultural environment, its enlightened and progressive policies, and most of all because of the friendly and welcoming nature of its people as well as the abundant potential job opportunities arising with the country’s high tide in economy.
The ever Sunny Dubai, located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, is the most populous city in the UAE and is one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Over the past few decades, Dubai has emerged as a global city and business hub of the Middle East and South Asia. It is also a major transport hub for passengers and cargo. The city has become symbolic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Being voted deservedly to host the EXPO 2020, Dubai has turned into a destination point more than ever before. Dubai, a modern metropolitan that is home to expatriates from 195 countries, hospitably provides countless opportunities for almost any kind of positive activity.
The Islamic dress code is not compulsory, but prohibitions on wearing “indecent clothing” or revealing too much skin are aspects of the UAE to which Dubai’s visitors are expected to conform, and are encoded in Dubai’s criminal law. The UAE has enforced anti-indecency prohibitions in all public places.
Arabic is the national and official language of the United Arab Emirates. The Gulf dialect of Arabic is spoken natively by the Emirati people. English is used as a second language. Other major languages spoken in Dubai due to immigration are Hindi–Urdu (or Hindustani), Persian, Malayalam, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Sindhi, Balochi, Tulu, Tamil, Kannada, Tagalog, and Chinese, to name a few.
Article 7 of the UAE’s Provisional Constitution declares Islam as the official state religion of the UAE. Dubai also has large Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and other religious communities residing in the city. Non-Muslim groups can own their own houses of worship, where they can practice their religion freely, by requesting a land grant and permission to build a compound.
One of the world’s fastest growing economies, Dubai’s gross domestic product is projected at USD 107.1 billion, with a growth rate of 6.1% in 2014. Although a number of core elements of Dubai’s trading infrastructure were built on the back of the oil industry, revenues from oil and natural gas currently account for less than 5% of the emirate’s revenues. Dubai is also a hub for service industries such as information technology and finance, with industry-specific free zones throughout the city.
Dubai’s lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping, but also on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions. As of 2013, Dubai was the 7th most visited city of the world based on air traffic and the fastest growing, increasing by a 10.7% rate.
The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very prominent. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques which are scattered around the country. Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise between Friday’s holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of Saturday-Sunday.
Arabic food is very popular and is available everywhere in the city, from the small shawarma diners to the posh restaurants in Dubai’s hotels. Fast food, South Asian, Chinese, and Iranian cuisines are also very popular and are widely available. The sale and consumption of pork, though legal, is regulated and is sold only to non-Muslims, in designated areas of supermarkets and airports. Similarly, the sale of alcoholic beverages is regulated. A liquor permit is required to purchase alcohol only by non-Muslims. Shisha (hubble-bubble) and qahwa (coffee) boutiques are also ubiquitous in Dubai.