The readers of Conde
Nast Traveller certainly thought so in 2003, when they
voted Dubai the world's safest city. The UAE prides itself on having one of
the lowest crime rates in the world, with almost no personal danger to residents
and visitors. Although the Middle East is commonly perceived to be extremely volatile,
to date there have been no terrorist incidents in the UAE. [top]
a woman. How will I be treated there?
The UAE, and Dubai in particular,
is unquestionably the most progressive Gulf country in terms of women's issues.
Women make up about 70 percent of the college and university population, and their
participation in the workforce has multiplied six-fold since the 1970s (about
25 percent currently). Emiratis continue to place a strong emphasis on traditional
family and home values, but the government actively encourages women to enter
the workforce as well. One point of interest - public harassment of women is frowned
upon so much that police will often arrest the violator and publish their photograph
in local newspapers! [top]
I have to wear a head scarf?
No. Most UAE National women wear the traditional
black abaya, a type of long enveloping robe, and the shayla, a black head scarf.
Emirati men wear the dishdasha, a white, loose-fitting garment that is comfortable
in hot weather. There is no requirement for to do so, but most Emiratis choose
to continue their cultural traditions by wearing "national costume."
Foreign residents and visitors dress in a wide variety of styles, from Indian
saris to Western business suits to T-shirts and jeans. Just use common sense and
you'll fit right in! [top]
I go, I'd like to stay a few days extra. What is there to do in the UAE?
sports. Dune bashing. Camel races. Water parks. Shopping in the Gold Souk. Archeological
sites. Horseback riding. Desert safaris. Museums. Fine dining. Carpet shopping.
Zoos. Scuba diving. Go-karts. Sand skiing. Bowling. Ice skating. Dhow tours. Golfing.
Art exhibitions. Cinema. More shopping. Sound fun? [top]
I get sick? Do I need any special immunizations?
Probably not, and no.
Remarkably, the UAE was one of only two countries with no reported cases of holiday
illnesses in a survey by the leading British travel magazine, Holiday Which? No
special immunizations are required. The climate is great, the drinking water is
safe and cleanliness standards are very high in restaurants and hotels. You're
more likely to get sick staying at home. [top]
don't speak Arabic. How will I get around?
Ma fi mushkillah! No problem!
Many people live and work here and can't speak a word of it. Although Arabic is
the official language of the UAE, English is commonly used by all of the country's
various ethnic communities. [top]
will the weather be like in March?
Warm and sunny. The average daytime
temperature in March is 29° Celsius (84° Fahrenheit). Bring a sweater
along with your sunglasses, though, since evenings may dip down below 20°C
(68° F). Rainfall is rare in the UAE, averaging only about 120 mm (4.7 inches)
per year. About a third of this, on average, falls in March. [top]