United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is truly a spectacle. From opulent skyscrapers to stretches of sand dunes, there is never a dull moment. With countless nationalities residing here, the UAE is a place where traditionalism meets modernism. The rich cultural diversity coupled with ambitious modern architecture results in some of the most exquisite cuisines, most extravagant shopping, and most dazzling nightlives. It is truly the gem of the Middle East.
Area: 77,700 km² (30,000 sq miles)
Population: 9,770,529 (2019)
Capital: Abu Dhabi
National Anthem: “Ishy Bilady”/ “Long Live My Nation”
Government type: A federal presidential elective constitutional monarchy
Languages: Arabic (majority), English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil
Religion: Islam (76%), Christianity (9%), Others (15%)
Ethnic Groups: Indian (39%), Bangladeshi (12.57%), Pakistani (11.43%), Egyptian, (10.32%), Philippine (6.48%), Indonesian (3.66%), Yemeni (2.36%), Jordanian (1.94%), Sudanese (1.53%), Sri Lankan (1.38%), Kuwaiti (0.77%) (est. 2020).
Climate: The climate of the UAE is referred to as a desert climate, with very little rainfall and generally hot or warm days all year round. December to February is the wintertime in the UAE, which is when it’s best to visit the country due to the pleasant daytime temperatures of around 23°C. Springtime lasts from March to May and is warmer but not considered very hot by local standards. The average daytime temperate is around 30° and gets progressively warmer the closer it is to June. The summer, which lasts from June to August, is very hot and sunny. Daytime temperatures range from 39°C to 42°C and can get even higher on some days. Autumn, which lasts September to November, isn’t too different from the summer, but the temperature begins to decline around October. The average temperature is around 33°C and is most pleasant in November.
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
Expat population: 7,316,073 immigrants
Taboos: You should take time to learn the cultural tendencies associated with the Middle East. In the UAE, you should take care not to come across as disrespectful. The soles of your feet or shoes should never be pointed at someone as this is considered an insult. During Ramadan, be sure to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking during the daytime, even if you’re not Muslim. Alcohol should only be consumed in licensed spaces or a private room or home. When shaking hands, making gestures, or eating, be sure to use your right hand at all times. You can shake a man’s hand, but only shake a woman’s hand if she extends her hand first.
Cultural behavior: Since the vast majority of the UAE population is expatriate, you’ll find that people in the UAE are highly diverse and come from many different ethnicities in South Asia and the Middle East. As such, they are very open to foreigners and extremely tolerant. Even though Arabic is the official language, nearly everyone speaks English, so it’s quite easy to socialize and connect with people regardless of nationality. Since Islam is the dominant religion, people will expect you to respect its principles, but non-Muslims make up a large portion of the population and have no trouble fitting in.
The people of the UAE are referred to as Emiratis or Emirati people.
Out of 189 countries, the UAE has a Human Developmental Index (HDI) positioning of 31, which is quite high. This is based on various factors such as a high life expectancy, literacy rate, gross national income (GNI), etc.
Dubai was ranked the 23rd on the list of most expensive cities in the world to live in. While the
UAE isn’t as expensive as Hong Kong or Switzerland; it can still be quite costly.