It is not easy to fit in as a local in a country where 180 different nationalities live together. But we are here to help!

Here’s our guide to talk, eat, drive and behave like a local in UAE (and by local we mean Emiratis and expats):

1. Speak perfect English when you are with a friend. Switch to broken English when speaking to a taxi driver:

“You come five o’clock no late! Enta fi ma’aloum?”

2. Use your blinding high beams as a way to tell the driver in front of you: “get out of my way dude! Can’t you see I’m in a hurry?”


3. And if they don’t move away then use the hard shoulder to get ahead…

I mean, isn’t it there for that reason?

4. Park your car as close as possible to the entrance of the mall


And if you can’t find a parking… just give it to the valet!

5. Fall in love with Friday brunches, burger sliders and hippy breakfast cafes


And always be on the hunt for the perfect eggs Benedict.

6. God forbid you spend a day without drinking chai karak

7. Confuse people with how many kisses you should give them when you greet them:


Three the Lebanese way? Or two the Syrian way? Or five on the same cheek the Emirati way? Or just a hand shake the western way?

8. Become very excited when it rains and post as many photos and videos about it on social media as you can...


but also complain about how people drive like crazy when it rains.

9. Learn how to quickly recognize what JTL, JBR, JVC, DMC or WTC stand for and where to find each one of them on your GPS.

10. You are not a true UAE local until you have cried at least once in a du office while trying to sort out your bill


11. Your iPod must contain an eclectic song mix from Hussein Al Jassmi, Ranbir Kapoor and Jay Z

12. Your masculinity/femininity must not feel bruised if you are greeted with a "hello ma’am sir" by a Costa barista