For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit United Arab Emirates. Liesure travel and work may take us to many places in the world. The United Arab Emirates is a small country on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf in the Middle East. Most of the country is flat, with a subtropical desert climate. The largest and perhaps most opulent city is Dubai, which is also known as one of the world's major aviation hubs.

There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about the United Arab Emirates by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.

  • Greetings: "Emirati greetings are warm and lengthy, with ample time spent in small talk and polite questions about health, well-being, family, and friends. This process is not rushed, as social connections are important and time devoted to cultivating these relationships is always valuable. Greetings typically take place between members of the same sex, as men and women socialize infrequently in Islamic societies."
  • History: The UAE is considered an ally to the United States. "After a terrorist attack in the United States killed thousands and levels the World Trade Center, the UAE immediately pledged support to the United States and froze the assets of some 62 organizations and individuals believed to be involved in funding international terrorism."
  • The People: "Arabic is the official language in the United Arab Emirates, and Persian and English are also widely spoken. As a consequence of the huge Indian population, Hindi and Urdu are commonly spoken, too. Islam is the official state religion and is practiced by 96 percent of the Emirati population. Official statistics are not recorded due to the religious affiliations of the many foreign workers, but the country adopts a position of religious tolerance toward all faiths."
  • Money: The currency is the Emirati Dirham that is subdivided into 100 Fils. Banknotes are for 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 Dirhams. The coins are for 1 Dirham and 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 Fils.
  • Holidays and Festivals--Ramadan: "During daylight hours, nobody (including tourists) may eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in a public place. Hotels cover their restaurant areas to ensure that people passing by outside cannot see anyone eating. There is no live music or entertainment, and alcohol may be difficult to obtain. Businesses reduce their working hours, but activity picks up after sunset. Shopping malls stay open late, and special family television programs air."

    Language Learners: Arabic is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from music artists from all over the world.

    Recipe Corner: For an example Emirati recipe, try tabbouleh.

    Tabbouleh is a wheat salad with lemon, herbs, and tomatoes is a typical Middle Eastern dish common in the Emirates. It is usually served as an appetizer with other small dishes.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 6

    1/2 cup (120 ml) coarse bulgur
    4 lemons, juice only
    6 cups (1.4 l) parsley, minced
    1 cup (240 ml) mint, minced
    1 lb (450 g) tomatoes, chopped
    2 onions, minced
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 1/4 cups (300 ml) olive oil
    Lettuce, for serving
    1 bunch scallions, minced
  • Soak the bulgur in cold water for 10 minutes.
  • Drain and press dry.
  • Combine bulgur with lemon juice.
  • Add herbs, tomatoes, onions, salt, and pepper.
  • Add olive oil.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 4–6 hours.
  • Serve garnished with lettuce and scallions.