Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Emirati Idiosyncrasies

As I go about my daily business, I notice some interesting and somewhat peculiar styles/habits among the locals in Abu Dhabi...

The Unibrow:
The unibrow appears to be something of a fashion statement among Emirati women... Basically, they don't pluck or wax the hair between their eyebrows and have a straight, thick line of hair on their foreheads.

In western culture it is often associated with grumpiness but I guess it's a beauty thing here...

Sporting Sunglasses Indoors and at Night:
A number of guys (and some girls too) like wearing their shades indoors. I've seen people at malls, banks, grocery stores and even the cinema. Apart from looking "cool" factor, I guess it makes it easier to squint at members of the opposite sex without appearing too obvious...   

Hijabi Fashionistas:
Lots of girls observing hijab have started leaving out some of their bangs... these are fashionably styled and sometimes streaked or sprinkled with glitter. Women here also wear a ton of make-up! I guess when you have nothing else to occupy your time and can't do a lot with your hair and daddy/husband is paying the bills, make-up is the way to go... 

Filipino Maids:
Almost every Emirati family with little kids employs a Filipino maid. These women serve as nannies, cooks, housekeepers, baby-sitters and care-givers. Some families have personal maids for each kid! The poor maid wipes the kids mouths when they dribble ice cream over their chins and get yelled at if the kids misbehave while Mommy dearest goes shopping at Paris Gallery.
Smoker's Corner:
There's a store called Smoker's Corner... nuff said!

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