P11411: Desalination Systems -- Dubai
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Reality of Dubai

Facts About Dubai
Initials Description of Fact
UAE Lifestyle
ALS Dubai is 9 hours ahead of New York. Ex: When it is 7:00 am in NY it is 4:00 pm in Dubai
ALS Date format is: Day.Month.Year ie: December 9, 2010 is 9.12.2010
ALS/AGT First names are more formal my formal title would be Mr. Andy my dad's Dr. Harold.
ALS The currency for Dubai is dirhams and change is in fils. Change here is usually not used (rounded to nearest dirham) and only go as low as 25 fils
AGT The currency for nearby Oman is Omani Rials and change is in baisas. 1 baisa is 1/1000 of a Rial and a Rial is $2.6. Smallest denomination I saw was a 100 baisa bill. They don't have coins.
AGT UAE visit visas are only 30 days plus a ten day extension period. After this you get fined per day you are over. To renew your visa you must leave the country and without a flying somewhere or a GCC passport(to get into Saudi Arabia) you must go to Oman.
ALS Arabic numbers are different than English numbers. (ie: 5 looks like zero and 6 looks like a 7)
ALS Weekdays are Sunday-Thursday, Weekends are Friday and Saturday
ALS Dubai is EXTREMELY clean because lower class workers are CONSTANTLY cleaning
ALS Dubai is ranked as one of the safest cities in the world
ALS Don't pay taxes in Dubai
ALS Do not have to tip taxi's or servers
ALS Women can wear bikini's on the beach
DC Energy is very cheap in UAE. As a result it is rarely a consideration. Buildings are built for aesthetics rather than efficiency.
ALS FDA has approved fish pedicures over in the UAE
ALS Toilets have a bidet to clean the forbidden area
ALS Houses the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa (828 meters)
ALS Has two man made islands in the shape of palm tress known has The Palm Islands. Islands are Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Diera - (this project is put on hold)
ALS A seven star hotel, Burj Al Arab, is located on Jumeirah beach
DC A language barrier sometimes exists. Educated people and service workers nearly all speak English, but laborers are mostly Indian and frequently only speak Hindi.
DC Hardware stores similar to Home Depot or Lowes do not exist. Despite booming construction in Dubai, it is all done by corporate contractors and home repairs/upgrades are rare.
ALS Paper is type A4 so the length of notebooks and printing paper are slightly longer in height.
ALS Use the metric system (ie: most weights in the gym are in kg, temperature is in Celsius, and speed limit signs are in km/hr)
ALS Outlets are mainly Type G (used in UK) and some ungrounded Type C (used in Europe)
ALS/DC No refunds for recycling soda cans. Very little is recycled at all.
DC There is no separation of church and state.
DC Emirati people are less than 15% of the population. Indians make up over 60%.
DC Lots of people start college at 17 or 18.
DC There are few police. In order to make up Dubai has the most cameras in the world. Traffic cameras are very common and you will just receive a ticket in the mail. Most tickets are fairly expensive.
AGT culture doesn't work out much especially outdoors, running is hard as there are few roads that are runner friendly and you get a lot of weird looks
ALS Arabic is read from right to left
ALS Hookah is referred to as Shisha here and is very popular. They even have Shisha bars or lounges.
UAE Culture
ALS Prayer time to Allah is conducted 5 times/day and is not mandatory for expats. The times of prayer changes daily as it is determined by the position of the sun
AGT To greet good friends guys touch noses and girls give a kiss to the left cheek right cheek then left again
AGT Large tracts of land appear to be public and are treated poorly by locals. Beautiful places are often graffitied and have trash everywhere
Food
ALS All water is bottled, recommended NOT to drink tap water
ALS Calories on packages are represented in kilojoules (1 kJ = 239 calories)
AGT Food is slightly cheaper than in the states unless it has to be imported from the west ex cereal and tide (lox is cheap)
Transportation
ALS Prime forms of transportation for students are taxi, metro and buses
ALS Majority of vehicles consist of high end brands and are only a few years old
ALS Majority of vehicles here are also SUV's because price of gas is less than $2/gallon ($1.40 to $1.80)
DC Google maps and most online map programs do not work here.
DC Talking on cell phones while driving is illegal, but people do it all the time. Penalty are around AED5000 or jail.
DC Before traffic lights lights turn yellow they flash green.
DC Locations do not have addresses here, instead cross streets and landmarks are used.
DC Locations are often hard to get to once found because of construction and inefficient road design in Dubai.
AGT Dubai itself is almost impossible to get around in rush hour even with a GPS you must know where your going.
AGT Outside of major metropolitan areas there are few roads and navigation is easy
AGT Roads in rural areas are full of trucks. they drive on the shoulder and cars are expected to pass in the middle be wary of oncoming traffic
Restrictions
ALS Women only on Monday's at Jumeriah Beach
ALS Can't wear shorts in Sharjah (about 1 mile from our dorms)
ALS Public intoxication and displays of affection are not tolerated
Mall
ALS/DC Not recommended to shop on the weekends. Friday is the holy day so stores are closed until ~2pm. After that is the prime time for people to shop so stores are very crowded. Saturday is not recommended either.
ALS Houses an indoor ski resort in the Emirates Mall
ALS Inside the Dubai Mall rests one of the World's Largest Aquariums, with a 270 degree acrylic tunnel for people to walk through
Entertainment
ALS Can not stream anything online from TV (ie: CBS, NBC) unless using RIT VPN address
ALS Hulu, Megavideo, Pandora are all blocked in the UAE (unless using RIT VPN address)
Initials Enter description