Countries in the Middle East and North African region have a lot in common- a standard Arabic language, collective historical experiences, and shared cultural and religious dynamics. At the same time, each country has its own set of unique characteristics- whether it be interesting food, funny road signs, quirky traditions, or unspoken social cues. Here is a compilation of just a few things that truly make UAE a unique place:
- You describe any temperature lower than 40C as “a good day to go outside”.
- Papa Roti is not your Italian uncle. It’s the tastiest bun and tea joint in the country! Good luck trying to explain this delicious bun concoction to your friends who live overseas!
- Hearing the person next to you order “Tea with gold dust sprinkled on top” is not shocking. It actually exists!
- Dates. All things dates. Soft dates, hard dates. Sweet dates, pickled dates. Yellow dates, brown dates, black dates. Dates Dates Dates.
- It is common to see buildings defy your notions of “normal” architecture. Major cities in UAE are filled with architectural anomalies, including wavy buildings, tilted hotels, and pencil thin towers!
- Karak Chai is your go-to hot drink. A delicious combination of tea, milk, and cardamom, this cup of tea is like no other!
- Camel-racing and falcon-holding are on your to-do list for when relatives or friends come visit you
- You can pull up to your favorite bakery or juice store, order from the comfort of your car, and have your favorite sandwich or smoothie served right to your window.
- You can listen to English, Tagalog, Hindi, or Arabic music on the local radio stations. A truly unique melting pot of cultures and languages!
Do you live in UAE? What do you think makes it so unique?