Today we went to Zayed park. Like most of Dubai it’s still under construction. Also it was about 110’F and noon when we visited hence the lack of other humans about.
After we went to the shopping mall to people watch. On the first floor of the mall are several traditional clothing stores, racks and racks of burkas and the mens’ robes, long shirts and pants. Only about half the traditional clothing is off the rack, bolts of fabric were stacked in each shop for custom clothing.
Upstairs were the stores and restaurants you see at any mall in the world. More of the upscale and less of the downscale but it easily could’ve been a US mall.
The crowd at the mall was about half women today, most in traditional wear. I can’t take photos so I’ll do my best to describe them.
The men wear all white, long pants with a long white shirt or just a long white robe. They too cover their hair with a long scarf. When they eat they take the tails of the scarf and place them on top of their heads. Keeps them out of dinner I expect. The men all wear sandels on their feet. Their robes tend to be sheer enough to make out their undershirts beneath.
The women all wear black. The burkas are like what your grandmother would call a house coat. Long sleeved, floor length with a covered opening down the front. Many are very shear, most are not. Some have rhinestones and embroidery on them, most do not. The African women only button them down to just below their chest and when they walk their colored skirts show through the opening.
The UAE women keep them closed down to the floor. Most wear slippers under the burka, but there were quite a few 4″ spike heels under them as well. Most women had long dresses beneath, a few wore jeans.
About half the women do not cover their faces. Of the remaining, half cover their nose and lower face with a scarf that hooks onto each side of the head scarf. Often they have their head scarfs covering most of their foreheads as well so there is only a narrow slit for their eyes. When eating they either remove the face covering or slightly lift it and eat underneath.
More women had their faces covered today. They have a very sheer veil they drop down over their face and face covering when they first enter the mall. It’s very much like the lace coverings we still wore to church in the 1960s but no lace, just sheer fabric.
The local women are shorter on average than US women, I’m 5’2″ and tall side here. They are also very much curvier than US women. It is unusual to see an obese person, here but the few that are are more often female than male. The men avg about 5’10” here, most are quite thin.
Every one here seems very friendly, you can see the women’s eyes crinkle when they smile back at you.
All in all it’s a pleasant place but there’s little to do with ones self here. Flying out tomorrow 930 am local time, land at IAH around dinner time after 17 hours in the air.