UAE is predominantly an Islamic country. As a result, the local customs and traditions are reflective of and influenced by Islam.
People: The virtues of courteousness and politeness are valued in the UAE customs. The people are generally very hospitable. At the end of a get-together, rose water is sprinkled on guests and special incense is burnt.
Food: Houses in the emirates generally have two reception rooms (called “majlis”) – one for men and the other for women. At the time of Eid, a particular seating arrangement is adhered to which is based on hierarchical order. Eating with the right hand is expected when you’re dining with a native. A kind of sugarless coffee is an essential part of the customs of the land. Water-pipes flavored with tobacco known as “shisha” are smoked all over the land.
Dress: Women in the region wear a long black dress called “abaya” over normal garments. They also wear a scarf in public places. The traditional dress for men is “dishdasha” or “khandura” – a long white robe along with a headgear known as “gutra”.
Weddings: Weddings are special affairs in the region as in any other part of the world. The bride is expected to stay at home for at least forty days before the wedding. Her hands and feet are adorned with henna before marriage and there are traditional songs and dance by family members.
UAE is all this and more when it comes to tradition. But despite its rich cultural tapestry, the fact remains that the society stands for progress and development. It seeks to further the best of its heritage at the same time welcoming people of diverse cultures with open arms!