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Country of austerity and luxury: 8 myths about life in the United Arab Emirates

Most of us are used to thinking of the United Arab Emirates as a country where everyone is surrounded by gold, and the rules of behavior are strictly regulated. However, not everything is gold that glitters, and even about the UAE there are stereotypes that do not quite correspond to reality.

1. Alcohol in the UAE

The vast majority of the UAE’s indigenous people are Sunni Muslims and strictly follow Sharia law, where it is written in black and white that alcohol is a sin and an abomination. It is not surprising that in this country the chance of meeting an Arab drinking alcohol in broad daylight is almost zero.Based on this, tourists have the impression that there are no bars or good parties in the whole country.

But do not forget that the Arab Emirates is an open and quite popular tourist destination, which means that hundreds of thousands of people of various faiths visit the country every year, and the authorities do everything to make their vacation comfortable. Accordingly, all those who do not profess Islam can easily drink drinks in the hotel bar, skip a couple of shots in the night club, visit alcohol markets and Duty Free. However, you should know that drinking alcohol in public places and on the beaches is strictly prohibited, and returning home from the bar tipsy, you should use a taxi, so as not to attract the attention of non-drinking Arabs.
2. Dress code


Some tourists seriously believe that upon arrival in the UAE, they will have to carefully choose their clothes, trying to comply with the strict laws of this Muslim state. This is a myth. Despite the fact that most Arabs constantly wear condors and abayas, there are no prohibitions on clothing in the country. Moreover, many men in the daytime prefer to wear the usual European clothes, and in the evening change into traditional ones. As for women, the long Abaya often hides designer dresses, jeans and a lot of gold jewelry.

So when you come to one of the Emirates as a tourist, you can wear any clothing, including short dresses, shorts and tops. You will not be fined or arrested. The only taboo is men with naked torsos and swimsuits outside the beach. And of course, you need to adhere to the dress code if you want to visit religious places in the country.
3. Transcendental price


Many people, going to the UAE, draw an image of a “Golden” country, where everyone bathes in luxury and does not count money. In fact, it only seems so. In the Emirates, as well as everywhere, there are very rich and poor people, and accordingly, in retail outlets there are products for any wallet.

By information, Oriental Bazaar is the first place to go for budget shopping. There you can find jeans for $ 10, and if you bargain well, pay half as much. While in Sharjah, be sure to visit the Gift Market chain of stores. There you can find almost everything – from Souvenirs to shoes and cosmetics at a price of up to 1000 rubles. Do not forget about the large shopping centers, during sales prices in them are reduced by two or even three times. In addition, you can also bargain there.

No money for restaurants? Here, popular fast food chains will come to the rescue: McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Jollibee. Well, for those who are going to cook themselves, the road to the most common supermarkets Union Coop, Geant Hypermarket, Carrefour or Lulu.
4. Display of feelings


The United Arab Emirates is a striking example of an absolute monarchy. This form of government plus strict Sharia law contributes to the fact that in the eyes of tourists, this country consists of only prohibitions. According to tourists, none of the seven Emirates can openly kiss, hug, laugh loudly and talk. In fact, there are no official prohibitions, there are just standards of decency and Muslim upbringing.

Another misconception is the ban on talking to Arab women. Flirting with them is definitely not worth it, but you can ask for help. Especially if we are talking about young modern residents. They are most often dressed in tunics, jeans and hijabs.
5. Delicious food


Oriental sweets, fruits, spices, herbs, the best oils, juicy meat, fish… it would Seem that the UAE has everything to get a gastronomic orgasm. However, European cuisine leaves its mark on the Emirates. Street food and popular fast food chains are gradually replacing restaurants of national cuisine. By information in recent years, more and more people have chosen street food to save money.
6. Women’s right


The information that women in the Arab Emirates do not have any rights is hopelessly outdated. Contrary to the strict laws of Islam, modern Arabs no longer adhere to all the age-old traditions. For example, wives have long gained the right to vote and can make important decisions on an equal basis with their husband.
In addition, Arab women often receive excellent education at the best universities in the world, but they have almost no opportunity to build a career in their homeland. For this reason, many women try to stay in Europe at the end of their studies.
7. Oil Paradise


It’s funny, but for most people who haven’t seen the inside of Emirati life, this country seems like a Paradise where everyone has oil wells, a safe with gold and high incomes. In fact, this is not the case. Oil production in this country began in the 50s and 70s. At that time, oil revenues accounted for 90 percent of the country’s total income. Now they are 30 percent, and in a few years they will drop to 5 percent.

Young people are increasingly choosing professions such as engineer, doctor, architect, Manager or technologist. Camels are mainly used to attract tourists, and expensive supercars are a privilege of the rich. There are a lot of them here, but there are just as many ordinary people who live on an average salary.
8. Heat all year round


Most tourists who plan a trip to the UAE think that summer in this country lasts all year round. This is partly true, the summer here is long, dry, with sweltering heat up to 50 degrees. Even in the winter months, the air temperature is kept at 15-20 degrees above zero. Truth at night often falls to five, and if you add to this strong desert winds and very high humidity will not be the most attractive picture. By the way, the last few years the weather “pleases” some Emirates with snow and frost. Last year, snow fell in Dubai, RAS al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain.


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