Emirati Hospitality The origins of Emirati hospitality
The origins of Emirati hospitality lie in Bedouin traditions and the needs of the nomadic tribes who traveled the deserts of the region.
• Direct eye contact is offensive between a woman and man who are not relatives but are a sign of trust in a business transaction
• It is disrespectful for a guest to decline hospitality
• When men greet each other – physical touch such as handshake and nose-rubbing demonstrates trust, friendship and respect between men.
• When women greet each other – physical touch also demonstrates friendship between women and indicates that trust and respect is offered, so handshaking and cheek kissing are commonplace.
• The greeting between men and women - there is little to no touching between men and women during greetings in public.
• Traditionally, a guest will have three cups .
• The guest shakes the finjan side to side when they have had enough gahwa The serving of Arabic coffee on arrival of a guest finjan Tiny, handle-less coffee cups dallah Large Arabic coffee pot with a long spout Bukhoor A perfumed incense passed around the guests to freshen up their hands and face
• Dates hold an important place in Arabian heritage and provide the main source of nutrition in desert communities
• Dates are part of the coffee ritual as a treat offered to guests and a symbol of Emirati generosity
• The Liwa Date Festival in July promotes and celebrates the symbolic and historic role the date palm plays in Emirati culture
• A tented meeting place where hospitality was offered and family and business discussions took place
• Originally, people were seated on mats but as the majlis became established in homes tekay (Arabic cushions) were introduced and rooms became more formally decorated
• Oud and Bukhoor are used in the incense burner but can be combined with other ingredients to produce fragrances. • Arabic perfume uses a range of oils such as rose, jasmine, lilies, sandalwood, musk and citrus fruits. Arabic perfume typically does not contain alcohol.
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