Etiquette is a set of rules that govern our behavior in social situations. Etiquette varies from culture to culture カヴァン・ チョクシ. For example, in the United Arab Emirates, a set of etiquette rules must be followed to avoid offending locals.
General Rules of Etiquette
The most important rule to remember in the UAE is never being direct or aggressive when dealing with others, unlike many Western countries. Instead, you must always be polite and respectful.
Face & The ‘Haya’ Concept – Maintaining ‘United Arab Emirates Face’
In Arab culture, maintaining ‘face’ is very important. If you show someone that you are stronger or superior to them somehow, they will lose their sense of face and may feel humiliated or degraded. To not step on people’s toes, it’s best to go about solving problems with a soft touch rather than being confrontational.
There is a character in the Arabic language called ‘haya.’ There are various explanations of what it means; however, we can say that ‘it’s an emotional sensitivity towards others and how they feel.’ This concept has its roots in Bedouin Arab culture, and it’s still very much alive in the UAE today.
In many public situations, people feel that they need to protect their faces and maintain humility. A good example is how some shop assistants will refuse to serve customers directly and ask for another assistant to do it instead – even though they are perfectly capable of serving themselves! It’s not because they are lazy or incompetent. It’s because the customer expects to be served by someone else.
Etiquette for Meeting Locals
When meeting others, it’s important to remember that many people will feel uneasy about shaking hands with someone of the opposite sex.
If you are a man and want to greet an Arab woman, take your right hand and place it over your left shoulder. Then, gently grasp her right shoulder, give a small smile, and slightly bow your head.
If you are a woman and want to greet an Arab man, then take your right hand and place it over your left shoulder. Then, gently grasp his right shoulder, give a small smile, and slightly bow your head.
Etiquette for Behaving in Public
It’s important to remember that drinking, kissing, and hand-holding in public are not acceptable behaviors. As a result, many Emiratis will feel uneasy about being in situations where these things might be done publicly.
In the UAE, there is usually a designated area for drinking alcohol – away from the general population. When out with friends at a bar or restaurant, it’s best to adhere to the local customs. It will ensure that everyone has a good time and no one gets offended or feels uncomfortable.
Eating in Public
Eating or chewing gum in public is not acceptable. If you must eat, do so in private and throw away the rubbish. Also, remember that people should never be disturbed during prayer times – this is a very important part of Muslim culture.
The United Arab Emirates has a unique set of etiquette rules that must be followed to avoid offending locals. Therefore, it is important to research these rules before traveling to the UAE. If in doubt, it’s best to be conservative when making decisions.