Greeting someone in Abu Dhabi
Greetings can be protracted affairs as an Arab
may enquire after you and your family's health.
The polite reply is that all is well, thanks be
to God. It is usual to use 'Sayed' (Mr) or 'Sayeda'
(Mrs) followed by the first name. The name should
always be prefixed with the honorific title when
conducting business. The Bedouin custom of offering
food and shelter to strangers in the deserts is
preserved today by the coffee ceremony. Business
often starts with a tiny cup of cardamon-flavoured
coffee poured from the traditional metal pot or
dallah. To indicate that you have had enough,
guests must wiggle the cup from side to side.
Any service charge on a restaurant bill usually
goes to the restaurant rather then the waiter,
therefore, even if tips arent expected,
they are very much appreciated.
Abu Dhabi dress code
Clothing should be conservative and smart. Women
should avoid wearing revealing clothing, especially
in rural areas, and go for loose clothing such
as loose-cut trousers and long dresses.
The United Arab Emirates is the most liberal part
of the Persian Gulf, however still very conservative
by Western standards. This means that great offence
would be shown by wearing revealing clothing or
in any way showing disrespect in Mosques or other