Two Weeks in Dubai: Random Things Learned
Just over two weeks in Dubai.
I am still looking for work. I suspect it will take a little bit of time for me to find the job I’m looking for.
I have my Master’s degree in Counseling and am licensed in both Maryland and Massachusetts. In the States you are not allowed to call yourself a Psychologist, unless you have a doctorate, even though you do the same work in therapy as a Psychologist does (you’re just excluded from doing psych testing). Here in Dubai you can be a Clinical Psychologist with a Master’s. So, that will be my title: Clinical Psychologist.
Also, today I just started looking into doing some acting work.
Life here is very similar to life in the States, in many ways. The United Arab Emirates is a lose federation of seven states (or emirates) on the Persian Gulf. Though, technically, it is an Islamic nation (I guess), it is very modern and liberal in comparison with its neighbors Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, etc. Though you see women who choose to cover themselves completely, you also see women dress in typical American or European style– bikinis are abundant on the beach.
However, some of the regular streets look more run-down than the average American city street. The amount of dust in a desert city contributes sometimes to a “dirty” look to the American eye. Also, it’s taken me this long to realize– there are no homeless people here on the city streets.
Some differences with the States are very apparent. Instead of a church on every corner, there is a mosque on every corner. The call to prayer over the loud speaker in the mall is different. Having a prayer room in the mall is different. There are no liquor stores and the only places that are allowed to serve alcohol are restaurants that are in hotels. Though there are restaurants like Chili’s and Uno’s, they do not have bars and you cannot have your favorite beer or mixed drink with dinner.
Pornography websites are blocked by the government– as are other sites they deem objectionable or against the values of the nation. Movies are censored for nudity– which, believe it or not, never affects the plot. It is almost like nudity does not have to exist in movies at all! Weird.
Other differences are not so apparent, but they exist. For example, it is against the law to flirt overly with or say crude things to women– many call it “Eve Teasing.” If you accidentally kill someone (say, a pedestrian with your car), like manslaughter, you are required to pay “blood money” to the family of the victim in restitution (usually, I hear, around $80,000 US) and may have to remain in prison until it is paid.
So, that’s just a recap of some things I’ve observed and learned after two weeks here.
I wonder what another two weeks will bring!