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12 Things Only Dubaian People Can Understand

12 Things Only Dubaian People Can Understand

Dubai needs no introduction. It is the pivotal point of business for the whole of the Middle East. More importantly, this city is famously known for its modern high-rises, the dazzling night life, the grand shopping experiences, the 830-meter-tall tower known as Burj Khalifa, and the man-made islands—Atlantis, The Palm Hotel and Resort—, amongst other famous things.

I have never been to Dubai before, and honestly, I would love to visit the “America” of the Middle East. That is, whenever my partner and I save ample of money to make a trip there. The advantage for us is that my brother and sister-in-law live there. So, whatever information I know about Dubai is from them, along with information that I’ve gathered from other sources. So, here is a list of 12 things only people from Dubai can relate to, and for the rest of us, we can try to read and imagine that we relate, too!

1. You know it is a tax-free city.

This is one of the best things about Dubai—you can go mad shopping! You can indulge in scrumptious meals, and you can visit those fancy places that you have always wanted to visit. All because it is a tax-free city!

2. You also know it is one of the most expensive cities, too.

So what if your city is tax free? What about the sky-high rents that you have to pay? Or, lets say, the tolls in the middle of your inner-city commute? All the clothes, the jewellery, and the fancy restaurants will certainly put a dent in your wallet.

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3. You enter a mall and you are lost for the entire day.

I am not going to say they’re a “waste of time.” The malls are huge, with so many activities and things to do that you can’t really keep track of time. Especially if you visit the mall on a weekend for a brunch. You can easily spend the whole day eating, shopping (or window shopping), relaxing, watching the kids in the playzone, getting hungry, and finally deciding to eat dinner there as well. Your entire day spent inside a mall! Didn’t think it could happen, did you?

4. You never eat a simple meal.

Talking about brunch, your meal in Dubai can never be a simple meal. It has to be a grand meal. Even if you order fish and chips, the quantity they’ll give for a single person is enough for two adults to finish off. Most of the time, brunch, lunch, and dinner are all buffet-style, eat-what-you-can endeavours.

5. You have used a gold ATM booth.

I mean, seriously. They have Gold to go: The gold ATM. This is one rich city!

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    6. You see muscle cars EVERYWHERE.

    If you think gold-to-go booths indicate how rich people from Dubai are, wait till you hit the road. Everyone, and I mean everyone, invests their wealth in buying muscle cars. The roads are literally covered with names like BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Cadillac, Ferrari, Porsche, Nissan Infinity, Bentley, and Lamborghini—to name a few. Talk about luxurious travel!

    And, guess what cars the police drive?

    Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF, limited edition of Aston Martin One-77, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, Ford Mustang GT, Bentley Continental GT, Hummer H-3, Audi R-8—these are few names from the big list.

    Bottom line: it’s not only the civilians who drive fancy cars, the whole city seems to be breathing ludicrous vehicles.

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    7. You get lost while driving.

    The roads change every day. In the morning, you drove across the bridge, and by the evening, you have to take an alternative route because that bridge has closed down. Therefore, the constant route changes lead to severe traffic jams. Dubai sees horrible traffic jams. But the plus point is, you get to check out all the fancy cars stuck on the road.

    8. Your camel is your favorite pet.

    They have chocolates made out of camel milk. They take their camels out for walks just like we take our pets out for walks. They even park their camels in the parking lots beside all the deluxe wheels.

    9. You don’t know your postal address.

    Sounds crazy but it’s true. Especially for us, the “foreigners,” who would like to DHL a gift parcel to our beloved family members living there. The addresses Dubaians know are their office addresses—that’s where we all send our gifts. No zip code, no street addresses, no post office box!

    10. Your simple hotel is our luxurious one.

    A very simple hotel in Dubai looks like a hotel stripped from a fairy tale. Starting from the chandeliers, to the designer tables and chairs, sofas, to the lush carpets, even the beds and bathrooms are insanely lavish. They represent the rich Middle Eastern flavor in every step you take. So, just imagine what Burj Khalifa would be like? Or any other superstar hotel in the city?

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    11. You know that sand storms are just a part of life.

    You can hardly see much nature in Dubai, thanks to the constant building of high rises. They do have artificial greens, but they can’t really replace the beauty of nature. What they do have from nature is the sudden sand storms. These storms are so frequent that they are now considered to be part of every Dubaian’s life.

    12. You have a very hot city.

    I really mean it. I don’t know what you make out of it, but when I say hot, I actually mean the blazing sun laughing down at you. You may not have humidity, but you do have scorching heat reaching somewhere around 40 degrees plus. No wonder all the buildings, the cars, malls, restaurants, and offices are air conditioned. And because of the intense heat, even the cold water turns hot.

    Despite having some negative points, Dubai is a beautiful city with bustling night life, endless entertainment, vast options for fine dining, luxurious experiences in any hotel, and shopping to satisfy anyone. You just need to make sure you have a constant cashflow to really enjoy it.

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    Sumaiya Kabir

    Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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