Photo from Places You'll Pray project

10 Things You’ll Love about Moving to a Muslim Country from America

The United Arab Emirates, better known as Dubai, is a rapidly growing country. Dubai is like the America of the Middle East. There are people here from more than 75 different countries, so moving here wasn’t such a culture shock.

English can get you by pretty much anywhere, plus they had all my favorite restaurants and shops.  What is uniquely different is that this is a Muslim-ruled country.  Here are 10 things I love about living here.

1. Prayer Rooms Everywhere

Photo from Places You'll Pray project
Photo from Places You’ll Pray project

Gone are the days where I have to search for a place to pray or plan my day after or between prayers.


I am no longer limited to the vegetarian section of the menu. Bring on the steaks, the burgers, and the gelatin!

3. Adhan recited for every prayer


The beautiful sounds of adhan surround you five times a day. Even while you’re in a restaurant or the mall, the music turns off and the mall is filled with the call of prayer.

4. Ramadan timings

Muslims get shorter working hours for Ramadan; you’ll be home by 3 every day for a month!

5. Ladies Beaches & Gyms


There are ladies clubs in almost all the Emirates that give access to female-only pools, gyms, and beaches. Plus some water parks have days set out for ladies only!

6. Everyone says “Salam Alaikum.”

And Mash’allah, and Alhamdulillah and Insh’allah:

7. Bathrooms with hoses

No more lotas, old water bottles, or asking for plastic cups. All bathrooms come with an attached water hose for your tahara needs.


8. Fridays are off for Jummah

Weekends are Fridays and Saturdays!

9. Eid & Hajj Holidays

No longer need to request the time off, Eid is a national holiday.

10. Abayas

Abayas are so amazing.  Move over sweatshirts, my new favorite lazy girl outfits are abayas. I mean, I could be wearing my pajamas underneath and no one would have a clue! Plus they’re loose, popular in the area, and still stylish.

I do miss the breezy, always comfortable California weather the desert can’t give me. But while I’m here, I’ll definitely be enjoying these perks. It’s definitely an experience — be it living here, or just coming for a visit.