Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is strategically located at the crossroads of East and West, and the traditional trading routes from Asia and the Far East to Europe and further afield are even more significant today than they were hundreds of years ago. Nestled at the very heart of the Islamic world, the country is unique in its embrace of the Western world. Here you can see the contrasts of the nomadic Bedouin people, and the opulence and splendor of the Sheiks, set against a backdrop of Western lifestyles. Explore Condé Nast Insider Tips for Dubai
Off the Beaten Track
Desert Safari: Futuristic architecture in Dubai gives way to desert sands and no visit is complete without a foray into the desert to experience a thrilling 4 X 4 dune ride. While you're there, try dune and wadi sand skiing and a camel ride or enjoy a desert feast complete with belly and sword dancing. Venture deeper into the desert and you may encounter wild foxes, gazelles and eagles, and of course, a Bedouin camp.
Body language is extremely important in the United Arab Emirates. Arabs place their hand on their heart to show genuine respect and humility. Oftentimes, this is accompanied by a bow meaning "thank you." Scratching the chin or beard is a sign that serious thought is in progress. Wait before speaking. If your host hugs you, its a sign of trust and if he/she continues to hold your hand after a handshake, its a sign of friendship. Refusing to touch you may indicate that you are untrustworthy or unclean, and if your host bites his right finger, it is a sign of utter contempt. This action is often accompanied by muttering a curse A semi-clenched hand placed on the stomach indicates that you are thought to be a liar while the finger on the nose means agreement with whatever undertaking you have discussed. And you may have been "flipped the bird" if the fingers of the left hand are clasped together while touching the right forefinger.