Cultural shock in the Arab Emirates.
Education in the UAE
Many travel agencies and universities, sending people abroad on holiday or training, do not talk about all the pitfalls that exist in another country. No one is not ready for a "culture shock" that awaits everyone.
We describe in this article what you should be ready for. They say: adapt yourself to the customs and manners of those you live among or are closely associated with. And indeed, if you are coming overseas, you have to respect the customs and behavior of local residents.
Unfortunately, many people arrive to a foreign country and behave the same way as they do in their motherland. And then they are surprised when locals show their indignation: many foreigners were expelled from public places, they were fined, or even put on a few days in jail.
Universities in the UAE in the first year of training prepare international students, not only in a professional, but also culturally. Professors talk about the rules and customs of the country, how to behave and how not to. The key thing is to respect for people.
You can greet people with words or a handshaking. It is not necessary to compress the person´s wrist very hard, or grasping it with both hands. Very religious men do not touch women. Therefore, it will be enough to greet verbally.
Women sometimes exchange kisses on the cheeks, but only if they are close friends or relatives. It is very obscenely to gesticulate actively (especially with a cigarette), and very loud talking or mad words are forbidden. The expression of anger and threats in a public place can lead to a prison term of up to 7 years.
If you visit a mosque - you need to take off your shoes at the entrance, do not approach those who pray or avoid bypass them in front. Do not show a special attention to women, especially if they are in the company of men. It is prohibited to take pictures of local people, military installations, government buildings and palaces of sheikhs.
Alcohol and drugs
People who receive education in the UAE, especially Russians, are warned not to drink alcohol in the street, to be drunk in a public place and to drive being under alcohol - it can lead to big problems - even a deportation from the country.
The UAE is a Muslim country, the Koran forbids drinking alcohol. But for foreigners sale of alcohol is permitted, although it is under the strict control of the government. The only emirate where it is impossible to buy any alcohol is Sharjah.
For taking drugs you will be jailed for 5 years, and importation and distribution of drugs leads to the death penalty.
Products in the country are of a high quality. But there are some kinds of food, spices and drinks that can cause stomach upset. So you should be careful with unfamiliar foods and dishes, and we do not recommend to drink tap water.
All universities in the UAE hold special sessions, where professors tell about the culture of the country, dishes, drinks and customs. This interesting lectures help students to learn more about Emirates and history of this wonderful place.
It is bad to look at a person when he or she eats. Do not eat while walking or standing. Break bread with hands, but for the rest of dishes there are conventional cutlery. Some people eat at home with hands.It is not accepted to do on public. Do not refuse to drink coffee if offered it is not polite. And the main thing: take or pass food, money, things only with the right hand.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Be careful and smart, it is necessary to have a photocopy of your documents when ever you go. Many police officers work in plain clothes.
The Emirates are known for its high service. Airport staff, employees of hotels, shopping centers and entertainment places are always at your service. As a rule, tips are included in the account of each cafes and restaurants. If not, you should leave 10-15% of the total order. The porters receive a tip of 5-10 dirhams. Taxi drivers do not charge tips.