The United Arab Emirates is an Arabian Peninsula country. It is settled mainly along the Arabian or Persian Gulf. The country consists of seven federating emirates. The island capital Abu Dhabi is the home of Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque which is reputed to be capable of seating 40,000 worshippers at a time!
Those are all generally known facts. But there lots of other facts that are not generally known but which you will find quite interesting. Let’s wet your appetite with a few examples. Did you know that a kiss on the nose means something in the Emirates? What does direct style of communication mean to the Emiratis? And when it comes to cross-sex interactions, what things must you avoid?
Find the answers to all these and more in the following 10 interesting facts about United Arab Emirates.
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Capital: Abu Dhabi
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham
Official Language: Arabic
Government: Absolute Monarchy (Federation of 7 hereditary monarchies)
President: Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Population: 9,581 (2015 Estimate)
Interesting Facts About United Arab Emirates
1. Greeting among Men
Greetings among men involve a light handshake while placing the left hand on the right shoulder of the person you are greeting, and exchanging kisses on the cheeks. Other interesting aspects may include a kiss on the nose and then placing your right hand on your chest as a mark of deep respect.
2. Greeting among Women
When women greet the most prominent aspect seen is what they do with the cheek. They kiss each other’s left cheek three times. Alternatively, they at least touch left cheek to left cheek three times. But in addition, they also shake hands.
3. Cross-sex Greetings
In cross-sex greetings, there is little to or no touching at all. But in very few cases, the women may extend her very covered wrist or hand for a light hand shake. However, it is always advised to wait for the woman to make the first move.
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4. Communications Style
In the Emirates, the indirect style of communication is generally preferred. It is believed that the direct style is somewhat confrontational which may lead to loss of face. They avoid such by all means. They prefer being tactful and less confrontational which the indirect style ensures.
5. Place of Personal Space
Personal space is very important in the Emirates, especially when it comes to cross-sex communication. The norm is usually a little more than an arm’s length. And when it comes to cross-sex interactions, touching is an absolute NO-NO! Interesting!
6. Eye Contacts
Eye contact is the norm in the Emirates. Emiratis don’t see anything wrong with staring. However, it is advised to avoid staring directly into the eyes of an Emiratis women. Most things that concern cross-sex require a lot of caution in the Emirates.
7. Lateness Always Expected
Punctuality is not taken seriously in the Emirates. Everyone expresses desire for things to take place as scheduled. But no one seems to actually put it in practice. It is really interesting that lateness is expected in nearly everything from business meetings to social events.
8. Women Dressing
Gender issues may be disappearing, but such is very slow indeed. Local women are usually almost totally submissive and obey whatever the leading male wishes. A woman is expected to wear a hijab and always cover her head with a scarf. But foreign women are not under any such obligation.
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9. Use of Right Hand
You are expected to eat, give, and receive anything with your right hand. This is because the left hand is viewed as unclean. Also, you are expected to point at people with the whole of the arm and avoid using a finger. Using a finger is seen as insult. Is that interesting or what?!
10. Feet Where They Ought to be
Keep your feet purely for what they were created for…moving you from place to place. You must never point at a person with your foot. And you must not allow the sole of your foot be seen by anyone. The foot is considered as the lowliest part of the body; the sole of the foot as the most unclean.
11. Ramadan Taboos
If you find yourself in the Emirates during the month of Ramadan, you must watch what you do very cautiously. Here is the interesting part: you are not allowed to eat, chew gum, smoke, and drink in public. But there is more. You are not allowed to play music in public
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