United Arab Emirates enjoys a diverse and multi cultural heritage. Emiratis have a rich tradition in welcoming all other nationalities since the early 1900’s. Today’s UAE is home to diverse nationalities. And people from across the globe can be found in all seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
Today, the native values, heritage and culture which have evolved over centuries, continue to thrive notwithstanding the modern look, infrastructure, facilities and the moderately liberal lifestyle.
Islam being the predominant religion in UAE the local customs and traditions of UAE is influenced to a great extent by this religion. However it does not make UAE a closed society. It seeks to promote the best in its traditions and customs so that the nation becomes vibrant and attractive to all the people. Although 96% of the population follow Islam it is tolerant to other religious communities.
Politeness and courteous behavior is very much visible while dealing with guest of any kind.
As part of the local UAE custom the men wear the dishdasha or khandura, a white full-length shirt-dress. It is worn with a white or red-checkered headdress known as a gutra. Women in UAE wear the black abaya, a long black robe that covers their normal clothes and they also wear a headscarf in the public. However the tourists and foreigners living in the UAE and followers of other religions can wear any cloth that they like including bikinis in the beach. But in public places they are expected to respect the local custom and tradition of UAE and maintain modesty in public appearance.
The UAE in general and Ras Al Khaimah in particular is well known for its folklore, folk music, folk dance and other traditional and popular art forms which embody and reflect the social, ethical and aesthetic values of the community. Traditional dances for example are meaningful movements played rhythmically to symbolize the common ideas and likes of a certain community.
Although Arabic is the official language of the country communicating in English is not a problem in UAE. Even sign board of business establishments and restaurants appear in both the language. Thus the tolerant culture of UAE is reflected in all the local customs and tradition of UAE.