Submitted by Ben Horney on the 2022 winter session program in the United Arab Emirates sponsored by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering…
My second week in Dubai was as exciting as the first. I am slowly acclimating to the Emirati¹ culture and recognizing my place in Dubai. Here, I am a guest who is treated very well. Hospitality is common practice in all Arab countries.
My classmates, TAs, professor, and I went on a desert safari that in my opinion, epitomized the welcoming Arabian way. In summary, we first caravanned through the desert in Land Cruisers with our thoughtful drivers who made a pitstop to ensure that we could watch the sun set over the desert dunes² . Then, we made our way to a camp where the tour group showcased different cultures within the Arab world. The night consisted of performances and food. I was intrigued by the Tanoura dance (an Egyptian folk dance according to Google) and I was impressed by the food, which included shawarma and falafel.
I could go on and on about the desert safari, but I would like to get to the point: I am appreciative that Arabs are excited to share their culture! They are passionate and respectful hosts, and I would be remiss if I did not comment on their genuine behavior.
¹An Emirati is a United Arab Emirates (UAE) national. Dubai is one of the seven Emirates in the UAE.
²I read that many nationals go to the desert to escape city life and reconnect with their ancestral roots.