Well-known for having some of the most extravagant cities in the world, life in the UAE certainly won't disappoint. From the city-sized mall in Dubai to the supercar-equipped police force, there's nowhere else in the world that's quite like it.
The UAE is also a diverse society. The population is predominantly Muslim, but the country is tolerant of other religions and in many cities, Dubai especially, expats make up a large percentage of the population. Combined with the abundance of modern amenities, you will find living in the cities quite familiar.
Culture and tourism
For such a forward-looking country, a suprising number of traditional features survive just below the surface. The culture of the UAE is rooted in Arabian culture although it has also picked up influences from other cultures such as Persia, India and East Africa. Many elements from these are incorporated into the modern building projects and maintained in the country's many museums.
You'll also find there is plenty to do and it's not all shopping and skyscrapers. Most cities in the country boast a thriving nightlife and wherever you're based you'll never be far from one of its spectacular beaches. You might also be happy to hear that, unlike some other Islamic countries, alcohol is available in most (though not all) areas of the country.
Sport and leisure
Motor sport, especially Formula One, is popular in the UAE and, as with nearly everything in the country, they have gone all in. The Yas Marina Circuit, the track that hosts the final race of the F1 calendar, is one of the most technologically advanced circuits in the world costing an estimated $1 billion and features a luxury resort hotel suspended over the race circuit.
Other popular sports in the country include football, where the local teams are long-time regional champions, and cricket, largely thanks to the expat populations from countries like the UK and Australia
Food and drink
Whatever your favourite dish is, chances are you'll find it in the UAE. There is a huge variety of cuisine in the country, from French to Chinese to local Emirati cuisine, and local grocery stores and supermarkets stock everything you would expect from UK supermarkets.
Local Emirati cuisine is a fusion of many regional flavours, and in any Middle Eastern themed eatery you'll likely find the nation's staples of lamb, goat, fish, beef and rice. Other local specialities include hummus, warak enub (stuffed cine leaves) and falafel. One thing you won't find on most menus, however, is pork, since this is forbidden in Muslim culture.
So long as you're not a Muslim, you can buy and drink alcohol in the UAE, apart from the region of the Sharjah, in designated areas. Usually these areas are found in bars or restaurants attached to hotels. Under UAE law you wll also need a licence to purchase and consume alcohol, which can be obtained from specially licenced shops.