A soulful melting pot of cultures - United Arab Emirates

Special feature United Arab Emirates: A soulful melting pot of cultures

A soulful melting pot of cultures
Whatever the misconceptions travellers may have about Dubai as a soul-less city, we can now confirm that this is nothing more than a myth. Dubai is one of the seven Emirates; however the Emirati population makes up less than 10% of the city's population. The rest of the population consists of expatriates from all four corners of the globe. During the two weeks we spent in the city, we encountered people of over thirty different nationalities ranging from Lebanese to Burmese, from Pakistani to Afghani, Kenyan to Indian...Dubai is a fruit salad of cultures all living side by side relatively peacefully. Dubai has learned to accommodate each culture so that every citizen can preserve their own traditions and culture. As the working day ends and the sun lowers, the Creek area bustles with worshippers from all over the city. The energy in the rush of people eager to find themselves at the creek temple, Gudwara or Mosque prevails as the seagulls do their last rounds above the greying creek. All these nationalities come to Dubai for the work opportunities it has to offer; some people find better jobs than others. Working and living conditions do vary, the 'locals' will tell you... The job sectors are often segregated according to nationalities; for example, Lebanese are often found in hotels, Pakistanis are often found on construction sites and at the city's huge fish market - one to visit after 6pm! Full of friendly and respectful Pakistani and Indian fishermen, the market is lively and cheerful. The sharks being severed under the street lamps in the car park however, is a less festive affair.

Text: Rooksana Hossenally.

Image: Stéphanie Poli

A Middle Eastern Venice


Practical information

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  • £300 Flight budget to United Arab Emirates
  • 7h  Flight duration to United Arab Emirates
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    Winter: +3h
    Jet lag
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  • UAE dirham Currency
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