Seven wonders from the UAE, which you can take with you
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The Arab Emirates is not a blooming paradise, but a severe desert with several large oases and a populated coastal strip. In the natural environment, only dates are grown here, and from animals only camels are comfortable.
It would seem that you can bring from the UAE, except for dates? But if you look closely, the list is long and extremely interesting. By tradition, start our story with delicious gifts.
The most popular gift for Russian tourists from the UAE is sweet dates. In the Arab Emirates, more than a hundred varieties are cultivated for every taste and purse. The climate of the Arabian Peninsula is ideal for the date palm, and the Emirate dates are considered to be among the best in the world.
Dates should be bought carefully, as in the stores on the shelves next to the first-class dates from the UAE and Saudi Arabia are cheap varieties from Iran. Iranian dates do not make sense at home, they are available in Russia even at lower prices.
Emirate dates are expensive, if compared with Tunisian or Iranian. The price is from 30 dirhams per kilogram. The current currency exchange rate is on our page " Dirham UAE ".
We recommend the following varieties: Majdool, Fard, Sheesh, Khalas, Barhi.
On how to choose dates in the UAE, what to look for when buying and interesting facts read in our article "The dates in the United Arab Emirates ."
The dates in the UAE are sold everywhere - in the markets, in supermarkets and souvenir shops. There are even boutiques of dates and confectionery products from them. The most famous is Bateel, famous for his chocolate covered dates with almonds inside. The photo above is made in the boutique of Bateel, click on the photo to enlarge.
Camel milk and products from it
For hundreds of years, the people of Arabia have eaten dates and camel milk. And nowadays, in UAE aboriginals, camel's milk is no less popular than cow's milk. In the world over the past 20 years, the popularity of camel's milk has increased, because it is considered more healthy.
For Russian tourists camel milk is interesting because it is very difficult to try it in Russia. Bringing it from the UAE can be a problem. Pasteurization of camel milk was invented relatively recently, not every supermarket now can find milk with a long shelf life, and fresh has a shelf life of only 5 days.
The price per liter is 15-17 dirhams. Buy better in supermarkets.
Chocolate Al Nassma with camel milk became one of the business cards of the UAE (in the photo on the left, click on the photo to enlarge). These sweets cost not cheap - about 100 dirhams for a tile of 100 grams. We recommend the most popular kind of such chocolate in the form of camels.
Dairy products are also interesting. From camel milk do yogurts, cottage cheese, butter. Relatively recently (in 2013) from camel milk learned to make hard cheeses. The price of camel cheese is 40 dirhams for a package of 200 grams.
The most famous brand of camel milk and products in the UAE is Camelicious, we recommend their products first.
Read more in our article " Camel Milk in the UAE ".
Incense bahur and perfume from butter ud
These are gifts saturated with the spirit of the Arab Emirates, both at the same time in a literal and figurative sense.
Bahur is an incense made of agar wood that burns houses in special censers of "mabkhar". In the UAE, countless varieties of bakhur are sold. Each manufacturer creates its own unique flavors. Bakhur is sold in bulk, in round tablets or briquettes similar to chocolate. In the photo below, click on the photo to enlarge.
The price of bahur is about 20 dirhams for a package of 40 grams. Buy better in perfume markets, where the range is wider than in stores.
The price of a mahkhara chicken is 30 dirhams, depending on the material of the product and decor, which can even be made of gold with precious stones.
Ud is an agarwood oil. On the basis of this oil, expensive perfumes with unique flavors are made. The most famous brand of perfume in the UAE is called Ajmal Perfumes, it is recommended to look for it first. You can also buy scented candles with butter ud and oil in packages of 3 milliliters.
The price of perfume is from 400 dirhams to infinity. We advise you to buy in specialized stores.
Read the details in our article " Bakhur incense and perfume ud ".
Arabs from the Persian Gulf do not eat camel meat every day, it is prepared only on holidays. For this reason, it is not possible to buy camel meat in every store, and prices "bite".
We consider this gift very doubtful. The meat of a camel tastes like beef, there are no unique beneficial properties. We recommend simply to try a dish of camel meat in a restaurant, get your portion of impressions and stop at this.
To bring the meat of a camel is quite difficult. Fresh meat can not be missed at the Russian customs, it can deteriorate during transportation. You can take frozen meat, it will not spoil.
If you decide, it's better to take cans if you find them in the supermarket.
The price is from 60 to 200 dirhams per kilogram.
Coffee and coffee
Have not thought, why the most widespread grade of coffee in the world is called "Arabica"? This fact shows how much coffee has absorbed the culture of the Arabs of the Persian Gulf.
In fact, Arabica comes from Ethiopia, and in the UAE, coffee does not grow, except for special plantations in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah . But it was the Arabs who first appreciated the drink and began to trade coffee.
The national coffee pot "dalla" became one of the symbols of the culture of the Persian Gulf. It is depicted on the coin 1 dirham of the UAE, which shows its significance for the traditions and history of the Arab Emirates . Another dall coffee pot is called a "Baghdad bowler" or "kettle of the bay".
This is a very colorful gift, but it is more suitable for decor. It is inconvenient to boil coffee in it, if compared with modern Turks. In the UAE, thermos bottles stylized as dalla pots are sold, and this gift is beautiful and practical. If you find such a thermos, be sure to take it.
Price - from 20 dirhams and above, depending on the material, there are coffee pots from silver and gold.
Coffee in the United Arab Emirates is brought from Ethiopia and Yemen. Coffee has always been imported, and was considered a symbol of wealth. At reception of visitors always it is accepted to make coffee. Buy this coffee tourist does not make much sense, Ethiopian coffee can be bought in Russia even cheaper.
Traditional Arabian dagger, easily recognizable by a large curved scabbard. The dagger itself is curved, but not so much. Very colorful gift, but!
Attention! Khanjar is a cold steel, its importation into the territory of Russia is prohibited. If you carry it in the usual way, then you risk going under the check at the customs and then you will lose not only the big man, but you will pay a fine. You act at your own peril and risk.
In fact, these souvenir daggers can not be called serious weapons, most often they are made of copper or brass. Hanzhar was often used not as a weapon, but showed the status of the owner. The royal people of Oman and other emirates had silver and gold candlesticks, special glamor were the ivory monks.
The price is from 40 dirhams. Look for candlesticks in souvenir shops. You can look at the process of its manufacture and even participate in the Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi .
Bezar - Arab mixture of spices
Arab Emirates can not boast of any national spice, but here there is a national mixture of seasonings. The mixture bezar is very interesting to taste, it is present in many dishes of Arabic cuisine .
Ingredients: cumin, coriander, fenugreek, dill, chilli, cucumber, cinnamon. Of course, you can cook bezar yourself, it will be cheaper, but it's easier to buy ready.
Look for a bezar in supermarkets or in special spice markets (Spice Souk), which are in every emirate.
In the UAE, they like all kinds of oriental sweets - baklava, lukum, halva, nougat, sherbet, basbus, omm ali. We recommend to try Lukaim - flour balls covered with honey and sesame. The most colorful Arab dessert is called "Assadat al-Bubar", it is sweetened porridge porridge, tasty only when warm.
Russians have positive emotions caused by "chibab with dates" - this is a flat cake made from flour with a small addition of spices. This cake is folded in half, inside put stuffing from dates. It turns out sweet cheburek, in the photo on the left.
Halva, baklava, nougat, sherbet and lukum for gifts will suit perfectly, they have a long shelf life.
In the emirate of Dubai , Dubai Mall has the world's largest sweetshop. If you have a rest in Dubai, do not forget to go there. We described this in detail in the article " Candylicious Shop ".
Electronics, fashion items and accessories
In the UAE, almost all goods can be bought cheaper than in Russia. Here, the minimum customs duties are only 5%, there is no VAT and the minimum VAT is only 5%.
We do not guarantee that you can buy an iPhone or a fashion bag in the first store, and the item will be cheaper than in Russia. Traders in the UAE have a lower input price for goods than Russian ones, but they make a trading margin at their own discretion. Buy cheaper you can always, you just need to know where.
Read the details in our article " Shopping in the UAE ".
More than half of the emirate souvenirs are camels in different forms. Magnets of all kinds and sizes, plush toys, figurines made of ceramics and wood, cups with the image or in the form of a camel and so on. Here, everything that can be produced by artisan Madin Chainov (a comic name from the phrase "made in China") can be sold.
Very popular with tourists are magnets with pictures of famous sights - Burj Khalifa , Burj Al Arab, Dubai fountains and others.
Prices: magnet - from 5 to 20 dirhams, statuettes - from 5 to 50 dirhams, plush toys - from 20 to 200 dirhams.
On the example of prices for magnets it is clear that souvenirs and gifts in the Arab Emirates are expensive. We advise you to carefully plan the budget of your trip to the UAE, read our article " How much money to take to the United Arab Emirates ".
Foreign tourists are in demand T-shirts with the inscriptions "I love Dubai" and "I love UAE". We do not approve of this. If you first came to the UAE, is it right to admit to love on a first date?
Very interesting souvenirs - glass mock-ups of sights. Especially in Dubai, there are often mock-ups of Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. In Abu Dhabi, the best-selling mock-up of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque .
Prices for glass models - from 60 dirhams and above. Pay attention, the thing is fragile, when transporting in a suitcase, cover with clothing or take in hand luggage.
A few more tips
- Many traders in the UAE take dollars and euros, but the rate is extremely unprofitable. We recommend changing money for dirhams, read our article " Currency exchange in the UAE ".
- Do not buy anything in the first days of the holiday. Visit the shops, see the range and prices. When you already understand the prices, you can go to the store for shopping.
- Even if you find a store with alcohol, do not buy alcohol to bring home. Prices for alcohol in the United Arab Emirates are overstated because of the huge import duty of 50%. Wait for DutyFree airport, there assortment will not be worse. Read our article " Alcohol in the UAE - prices and laws ."
- First of all, go not to souvenir shops, but to the nearest supermarket. Dates, sweets and spices in the supermarket are cheaper.
- Large shopping centers, for example, Dubai Mall or Yas Mall - these are interesting places to walk, see, snack. But the prices in large shopping centers are too high.
- Before buying something, please read our article " What can not be exported from the UAE ."
Successful purchases in the UAE, and read our interesting articles about this country ( links below ).
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Read about the UAE on our website