Previously, we’ve talked about what travelers should expect when visiting the country for the first time. In an earlier post, we discussed 20 things first-time tourists should know about the UAE, which pretty much sums up what most visitors need to know.
This article, however, focuses on living in (and not just visiting) Dubai. If you have just arrived in this emirate or if you are planning to work here for quite a while — you need to adapt to its culture and environment. Read on for some tips on how to adjust to living in Dubai.
How to Adjust to Living in Dubai
#1 – Learn about the culture and practices of Dubai.
As part of a Muslim country, the emirate of Dubai adheres to the religion’s beliefs and practices. Hence, you should always be aware of major Islamic events, such as the Ramadan. This is a 30-day period when Muslims fast during the day and eat only after the sun sets.
While you are not expected to fast, you should be sensitive to your Muslim colleagues at work. It is wise to refrain from eating or drinking in front of them. This is just one way of showing that you are aware of their religious beliefs and practices.
#2 – Be respectful at all times.
Speaking of beliefs, one key to adjusting well in Dubai is to be respectful. Their religion prohibits Muslims from eating pork and drinking alcohol, for instance. You will not be able to buy these from most markets and restaurants, unless they are licensed.
For unmarried couples, it is also best to avoid public displays of affection like hugging and kissing. This is because Islam restricts physical relationships to married couples only. Even if you are non-Muslims, you should still avoid getting attention when out in public.
#3 – Be flexible and open.
Dubai has a diverse and multi-cultural society, with people coming from all over the world. At work, you will have colleagues with different races and cultures, as well as various ways of doing things. In any case, it is best to be flexible and open at all times.
#4 – Join new social circles.
You will meet many fellow Filipinos, but do not limit your social circles to Pinoys only. It would be fun to have friends from India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other nationalities. You have much to gain from learning about their cultures, languages, and beliefs.
#5 – Stay in touch with your family and friends.
Of course, while you are adjusting to your new life in Dubai, you should remain connected to your family and friends back home. There may be times when you feel homesick at work or you cannot go out with colleagues. During these moments, it helps to hear a familiar voice on the phone or make a video call to a close friend in the Philippines.
Being a newcomer to Dubai may seem like an overwhelming situation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By keeping in mind these tips on how to adjust, living in the emirate will soon be an exciting and meaningful experience.