specialties include hoummus (chickpea and sesame paste), tabbouleh
(bulghur wheat with mint and parsley), ghuzi (roast lamb with
rice and nuts), warak enab (stuffed vine leaves) and koussa
mashi (stuffed courgettes). Makbous (spicy lamb with rice)
and seafood with spicy rice are also popular. Fruits and vegetables
are widely available as is excellent local fish. Hotels serve
European and Arab food and there many Chinese, Indian and
other restaurants. Frozen foods from all over the world can
be found in supermarkets.
With the exception of Sharjah emirate, the consumption of
alcohol by non-Muslims is allowed. It is illegal to drink
alcohol in public or buy it for a UAE citizen. Ayran, a refreshing
yogurt drink or strong black coffee is served on many occasions.
There are many nightclubs in the major centers. Entertainment
ranges from Arabic singers and dancers to international pop
stars. Bars can be found in all top hotels and range from
upscale cocktail lounges to English-style pubs. Some hotels
have discos. Traditional dances are performed on public holidays
and most large towns have cinemas showing English language
Customs duties are low and luxury items are cheaper than in
most other countries. The Dubai duty-free shop is one of the
least expensive in the world. Souks sell traditional leather
goods, gold, brass and silverware.
09:00-21:00 seven days a week. On Fridays shops close for
prayers from 11:30-13:30.
The following is a list of major festivals and other special
events celebrated in the United Arab Emirates during 2005:
|Jan 15-Feb 15
||Dubai Shopping Festival
|Feb. - Mar
||Dubai Tennis Open
||Dubai Desert Classic (golf tournament)
||Emirates World Series: Dubai Cup (horse
||UAE National Sailing Championships,
||Dubai Summer Surprises (shopping festival)
||National Day Festival
||Dubai Rugby Sevens
Muslim laws should be observed. Men should dress formally and women
are expected to dress modestly for most occasions. Smoking is the
same as in Europe and in most cases it is obvious where not to smoke.
During Ramadan it is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public.
Most hotels, restaurants and clubs add service charges to the bill
and tipping is not necessary. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped.