Friday, May 1, 2015

The United Arab Emeritus is an Oasis of Tolerence and Peace in the MIddle East

My Impressions of the UAE: A real Cosmopolitan Place.

I have been in Dubai for some time now and likely to be here for some more time. I thought it best to share with readers my impression of the UAE and its cultural life. Firstly though the UAE (United Arab Emeritus) is a Muslim state with Islam as its state religion, yet the undercurrent is one of tolerance as epitomised by the Sufi concept of Islam.
 The state is one of the most cosmopolitan and well administered regions in the world with not a hint of religious bias or marked discrimination
The rulers of Dubai which is part of the UAE are an enlightened lot. The sagacity of the ruler Mahmud bin Maktoum is evident as he has permitted Hindu, Christian and Sikh places of worship to be constructed in Dubai. The Sikh gurudwara is the largest I have ever seen with a 24 hour free kitchen (Langar) being its hall mark with regular recitation of kitten and bani from the Guru Granth.

Similarly the Hindu and Christian places of worship are also free to practice their faiths. One wonders if the UAE can be that liberal, what makes people like the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia to broadcast the destruction of all Christian places of worship.
The liberalism is not confined to religion, but generally the overall atmosphere is one of tolerance. The Burch is not mandatory and 80% of the women do not don the Hijab. They dress as they feel. Alcohol is also not taboo, though there is no open sale. But top of the line hotels all serve liquor of all types and in case you have the money one can enjoy a peg or two of scotch or a glass of wine or beer at any time of the day. The bikini can also be worn at selected places, but one has to pay to enter such exclusive places.
The UAE has a plethora of shopping malls where women flaunt their dresses. In Dubai during the Dubai festival host of dances and solo recitals are organized, which are a real treat. There are restrictions and one of them is that visitors are permitted to stay for a stretch of only 30 days at one time. Failure to leave will entail a fine of 100 DHS per day.
The UAE is an oasis in a bigoted Muslim world and it’s a refreshing place. One hopes it remains like this.