Middle Eastern Culture (Do's & Don'ts)!

With less than two weeks until our trek to Dubai & Egypt here are a few helpful facts and tips to know before traveling.

Food

Authentic cuisine is known to be spicy and consists of primarily Asian and Middle Eastern dishes often served with beef, chicken or lamb. The most common prepared meat is camel which has become a staple at traditional restaurants. In tourist areas, American eateries have grown in popularity for those less adventurous.


Money

The official currency of Dubai is The Dirham (Arab Emirate Dirham) and in Egypt is The Egyptian Pound.  Most shopping and tourist centers accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. However, ATMs are plentiful and dispense cash in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 denominations (there are some which dispense gold bars). The XE Currency Converter is a useful tool that keeps track of fluctuations between the US Dollar and foreign currencies so you will know the value of your money while traveling abroad.


Money

The official currency of Dubai is The Dirham (Arab Emirate Dirham) and in Egypt is The Egyptian Pound.  Most shopping and tourist centers accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. However, ATMs are plentiful and dispense cash in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 denominations (there are some which dispense gold bars). The XE Currency Converter is a useful tool that keeps track of fluctuations between the US Dollar and foreign currencies so you will know the value of your money while traveling abroad.


Religion & Rules

Islam is the official religion of The Middle East. As foreigners, it is expected to respect the Islamic culture and laws. Here are a few which apply to to all travelers:

  • Public affection among couples such as kissing is seen as offensive

  • Do not take pictures of people without permission

  • Public drinking is not allowed

  • Although there are no laws on clothing for tourists, some restaurants or stores may ask you to wear clothing with little skin shown

Time

Dubai is 9 hours ahead of the eastern time zone whereas Egypt is 6 hours ahead of eastern time. While many shops operate 24 hours, normal business hours are 9am-1pm and 4pm-9pm. Please note that all shops are closed between 11:30am-1:30pm on Friday's in observation of the Islamic day of rest.


Transportation

Dubai offers a variety of public transit options. Visitors can conveniently travel to most tourist areas via bus, metro, monorail, tram and water shuttle in addition to taxi and private car services.  It is important to note that there are designated options for women and children only. However, it is suggested that tourists do not travel via public transportation in Egypt. Please be mindful to travel accordingly.


Click on the below links for additional information:

#TheDesert #EBSTblog #Dubai #Egypt #Culture #Religion