What do you need to learn about the culture of the Emirates?

  1. Facts about the United Arab Emirates
  2. Society in the UAE
  3. Holidays and national celebrations


If you’ve found a position for a job hiring in Dubai through an overseas job search in the Philippines, it’s best to know about some basic information about the country and its social norms. This can help you adapt to their culture with ease and let you feel at home right away. Here are a few important things to know about the culture of the Emirates if you want to work in the UAE:


Facts about the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates or UAE for short, is located in the Middle East, which borders the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. It is a federation of 7 emirates which were united on December 2, 1971. The 7 emirates are Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain, and its capital is Abu Dhabi and their nationality is called Emiratis.

Their currency is called Dirham and the UAE is known across the globe as one of the best countries for expatriates to work in due to its rapidly increasing economy and typically high salary opportunity.

Majority of the ethnic make-up of the UAE, standing at 59.4% are South Asians. Only 11.6% are Emirati, 10% Egyptian, 6.1% Filipinos, and the other 12.8% come from the rest of the world. Most of the locations in the UAE are of the desert climate, hot during the day and cold at night.


Society in the UAE

Arabic is the official written and spoken language in the UAE. However, English is also being widely spoken and understood in the country. Due to the large population of expats, you may be surprised with a wide variety of languages that are commonly spoken in the UAE. These languages include Chinese, Hindi, Persian, Bengali, and Urdu.

The kandura (white cloak for males) and the abaya (black cloak/gown for women) are Emirati clothing, which are important parts of their heritage. The Emirati men and women wear these clothing with pride. It’s important to know that the UAE’s beliefs and religion are predominantly Sunni Muslims.

Everything that concerns social, spiritual, and political matters are determined by Sharia law. The UAE is very tolerant when it comes to people believing and practicing other religions, so don’t be surprised if you may come across a large community of Christians, Buddhists, and Hinduists.

It is important to know that people of other faiths or religions cannot convert to Muslim. It is also forbidden by the law for Muslims to convert out of Islam and serious consequences will be received by those who actively attempt and encourage Muslims to convert to other religions. Though owning and reading the Christian bible or any other religious readings isn’t illegal, it is prohibited to hand these out to Muslims. There have been instances of people being deported out of the UAE due to handing out Christian bibles to Muslims.


Holidays and National Celebrations

If you plan on working in the Emirates, you also have to know their major celebrations and what these celebrations are about. First of all, the UAE, like the rest of the world, celebrates the first of January or the New Year. However, they do not celebrate Christmas in the Emirates. On the 30th of November, they have a holiday called the Commemoration Day.

The Commemoration Day is a holiday that honors the people who have given or dedicated their lives for the UAE. December 2 is the celebration of their National Day; a day which celebrates the union of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. This is a 2-day long celebration. The following holidays that we are about to discuss are those which fall under various dates and are based on the Islamic Lunar Calendar.

During the Day of Arafah, the pilgrims will make their way to the Mount Arafah, the mountain wherein the Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon. The final day of the Hajj pilgrimage is called the Eid al-Adha. They celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, called Mawlid. This is observed during the third month of the Islamic Calendar. Finally, their New Year or Hijri, is celebrated at the beginning of the Islamic lunar calendar.


Key Takeaway

Here are a few basic reminders to remember about the UAE. You can finally feel at ease with your overseas job search in the Philippines when you’re ready to take on your new position for your job hiring in Dubai. The final important characteristic you must have is the ability to adapt to a variety of situations. This is only a basic introduction to the culture of the UAE. The wide diversity you may come across in the UAE may change as time goes by. Good luck on your new venture in the UAE!