UAE: Emirati lifestyle

Life of Emiratis is a strong mix of religion, tradition and modern.

Religion is everywhere. There are mosques almost at every corner and call to prayer can be heard five times a day. 

Emiratis wear their “national dress” almost every day. It is a long white dishdasha, always impeccably clean and ironed, and gutra on their head. Women wear traditional abaya I mentioned some time ago.

They drive strong cars, most often large 4-wheel drives with dark windows or fast sport cars. Sometimes they have a personal driver, mostly women.

They usually work for the government, large national company or some international organization. More often, they head their own company on a sponsorship basis. Any international company that wants to make it in the Emirates, has to have a local sponsor or partner.

It is hard not to notice more men than women around, although women can work and drive here. This is unless you enter a shopping mall or a beauty salon. There you will find men carrying women’s bags around – with Versace written on it, not Tesco.

The evening program consists of a dinner with family or friends, barbecues in the parks, walks on the seaside promenade (in winter) or in malls (in the summer – airconditioning). The youngsters often just drive around the city in their cars, with windows down, music as loud as possible, shouting something out of the windows.

Weekends, here Friday and Saturday, are for relax, fun and family time. Friday morning is time for prayers (similar to Sunday church service). Then the brunch (breakfast combined with lunch) starts at around 11am and lasts until around 4pm.

Besides brunch, many go to the malls for shopping and entertainment, to camel or saluki (dog) races, boat trips or drive into the desert. And they, of course, do many more things I have no idea about at the moment, but I will find out. 

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