The mega-engineering projects in Dubai fascinate me (as you can tell from the quantity of posts on the topic), and if you're like me you might be curious about what it's like to live in the UAE. The Emirates Network site has numerous articles, not all government-friendly, and here are a few interesting excerpts.
Becoming A Citizen Becoming a citizen of a western country can take between three to five years, while becoming a citizen of the UAE, similar to all the GCC countries, is practically impossible even if you have stayed there for fifty years.
Transportation In the west, the modes of transportation very from walking, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, cars, buses, subways, and trains. In the United Arab Emirates, the most used means of transport is by car. One of the factors for this is because of the weather. Biking is rarely seen as you are not allowed to ride on sidewalks and the streets don't have sufficient regions which could be used to ride safely. Transport by train is not possible and most likely will not be any time soon. In Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, you will find public buses.
Stopped by the Police In the United Arab Emirates when you are pulled over by the police, you need to get out of your car and speak to them. It is the opposite from what happens elsewhere.
Public Affection It is not permitted for individuals to kiss publically, and you will not find any nude beaches or communities in the United Arab Emirates.
Walking At Night Young males, and occationaly young females, found wondering the streets at night are sometimes picked up by the police and spend a night in jail. This is done to reduce the amount of crimes that happen at night and after the night in jail, they are released the next morning after being finger printed.
Secondly we will talk about work timings. For many people, work is life. That this means is that for many people working from 8am to 1pm and again from 4pm to 8pm, there is not much time to do other things. Many people driving to work spend 2 to 4 hours in traffic getting to and from work. And at the end of it all, the whole day is spend either going to work, at work, or coming from work, which leaves very little time for anything else but eating, and sleeping. So if you get a chance to work a straight shift, that is the best way to go.
Thirdly we will discuss nationality and appearance. In the UAE, where you come from also affects the salary you get. For example, there was an American working the exact same job as an Indian and the American received Dhs. 3,000 (US$ 822) while the Indian received Dhs. 1,500 (US $411). The nationality and appearance factor will normally start from your resume, as many companies require you to send a picture with your resume. After that when you come down for a interview, many people, though highly qualified, don't get the job because of their looks. I know this is discrimination, but it happens in the UAE.