Aug 20, 2011

13 (Weird) Things People Don’t Know About Dubai

Yea yea I know..most of these things are Duh if you lived in UAE/Dubai; but this article is specifically for those who have never been to Dubai but want to know more about it.The article is a bit lengthy, if your time is that important to the survival of the human race, feel free to just skim the headlines.If you enjoy or find this useful encourage me to write more (Twitter.com/aeo_)

Camel Meat Sandwich
1.Camel Burgers
People have a lot of presuppositions relating camels and the Middle East. I am afraid this is going to be a  big let down because Camels are not as common as people think; most of the people living here never even rode one or tried the awesome Camel meat Burgers.. mainly because there is only a handful of restaurants that specialize in Camel meat.

2.Prostitution/Hooker Streets
Despite the strict rules about displaying public affection and dress codes; prostitution is very widespread in Dubai.There are a few streets famous for having prostitutes, I won't name them.. Anyway it IS illegal and you can still get jailed/fined/deported for a lot less than that. For instance making out in public (or even in private)if you are not married to the girl. Also you are not allowed to live with someone from the opposite sex unless you are married to the person.

Ramadan mass Iftar meals from Mosques. 
3.Ramadan
It's very interesting experiencing the Holy month of Ramadan in Dubai, few notes about Ramadan. For those who do not know what Ramadan is, it's a holy month for Muslims where people refrain from eating/drinking during daylight hours.
-Companies are legally obliged to reduce working days by two hours during Ramadan for muslim AND non-muslim workers. Pretty cool.
-It is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours. It's not highly enforced but if somebody saw you eating and called the cops, you will be fined heavily.
-Mosques offer free Iftar meals to basically anyone during the month, also pretty cool especially that you do not have to be a muslim to take advantage of that !

-No matter in which part of Dubai you are in, you will hear calls to prayer at least five times a day. Even in shopping malls, the calls to prayer are put out over the speakers, to remind Muslims that it is time to pray.

Nissan GTR - Just a Police Car in  AbuDhabi, Dubai Civil Defence Cars are Corvettes ! 

4.Driving & Cars
-Speeding is Dubai’s national sport, Seriously! You will understand when you come here.
-Dubai has one of the best road networks in the world in terms of quality..However,

-Driving can be very very scary at times. Just to compare: 
UAE has six times more deaths from road traffic accidents per year than the USA & Europe. SIX TIMES! and here is an exert from a study done on this traffic accidents in the UAE:

"Careless driving is identified as the most important factor in RTAs over the period of study, accounting for over 35% of all incidents, while excessive speed was the second most common cause." (Link to the study)
-There is no exotic car/super car/conceptual car that is hard to find in Dubai (Video-Super Cars in Dubai).
-It is very normal for some people to get stuck in traffic congestion for hours every single day they go to work.

That piece of metal with the number one is worth millions in Dubai, no joke.

5.Taxes
There are ‘No Taxes’ in Dubai but it’s more of a marketing thing because you end up paying shitloads of government fees and whatnot for everything that you do. A more accurate statement would be "less taxes than North America and Europe".

Traffic is a killer in Dubai (Photo of celebrations after the 2009 Gulf Cup win via Gulfnews)

6.Racism
I dont think there is any country that has zero racism but in UAE its much worst, as much as people hate to admit it, your passport pretty much determines your salary. It goes something like this:
High Salary: North-American/European
Mid-range: Arabic, East-Asia
Low-range: South Asia
So a German doing the same job as a person from Nepal could be paid twice as much.

7.Weather
-Sunshine for 350+ days a year
-Summer (may-august) is very harsh, you can't go out till the afternoon because the temperatures
 are above 40C (thats 100+ Fahrenheit 90% of the summer days)
-For the rest of the year, the weather is amazing ! oh yea and we get less than 20cm  of rain per YEAR.

Palm Jumeirah - one of the bigass space Tattoos we have.

8.Addresses
Or lack thereof, there is NO proper address system, no house/street numbers... everything is done by description and locations are relative to landmarks or famous streets
What about deliveries or online purshaches? same thing, that's the main reason why shopping online is not as common in UAE.



9.Population
-
Well, the population doubled since 1995, and 80% of the population are foreigners.
-When do you get UAE Citizenship, if you were:
Born here ? nop
Lived here for past 10 years ? nop
20 years? nop
married a local girl ? nop
married a local guy? maybe

30 years, owner of big business and I know shitloads of important people? if you really want it, yes.


After Dubai Metro was opened in 2010


10.Construction
-The Craziest/Biggest Buildings are in Dubai.
-Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world also broke 15 other world records.

11.Internet
-Facebook penetration rate in UAE is more than 45%  which is almost same as the USA. That rate is highest among the Arab countries and one of the highest in the world.
-At some point Skype,Hi5 and Flickr were blocked throughout UAE, not sure if they still are.
Just another day

12.Education
UAE has one of the highest youth literacy rates in the world (97% for boys, 93% for girls)


Burj Dubai; Because we can.


13.Celebrities in Dubai
It's easy to find the celebrities in Dubai because there are only a handful of places where they visit and live in, some of the places: The Palm Islands, Dubai Marina, Dubai Mall, Burj Dubai and Burj Al Arab. If you really have nothing to do then pass by all those places and keep your eyes open and I guarentee in a few days you will find some famous peeps.
A photo of Ronaldinho drinking something is interesting because he is famous
Sheikh Mohammad making sure Tom Cruise is having a good time, part of his duties as Vice President.


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