Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No pictures, please

I got a new camera for Christmas and was trying it out yesterday when I remembered an important piece of information I haven’t yet shared with you: whenever you take pictures of locals in the United Arab Emirates, be extremely careful.
Emiratis are usually very friendly and warm, but some of them – especially women – may consider it inappropriate or offensive to have their picture taken by a stranger.
It is actually kind of weird. Think about it. Would you like to have a crazy tourist take your picture out of the blue while you are minding your own business? Probably not…
I am not saying you can’t do it. I am just saying you should be very tactful. Do it from a distance, without too much close-up on the faces, or respectfully approach the locals and ask if it’s ok for you to take their picture. In most cases they will be ok with it. I bet they will even say 'Jaben' (cheese) just for fun if you ask for it!

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