One of the more unusual things any new expat needs to contend with in the UAE, is the ‘dry night’. From sundown the day before any religious holiday, until the following sundown, licensed venues are not allowed to serve alcohol.
While this does mean there is no drinking in public, it also means the tradition of the house party is alive and well in Dubai.
Take for instance, this Friday night just gone. Saturday was the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (peace be upon him). This meant half the weekend was ‘dry’. But rather than drying out, someone had the fantastically spontaneous idea (ok, it was me) of hosting a very liquid evening.
Surprisingly, as the word was spread around, it was interesting to hear just how many responses were along the lines of ‘wow, what a great idea, no, we didn’t have anything planned tonight!’. It was as if the whole concept of socializing had not yet been invented.
Anyway, fast forward to Saturday morning, well, afternoon, by the time we actually surfaced and there was many a sore head being reported on Facebook, as well as a mysteriously dodgy knee, sprained ankle and a busted speaker tower (ok, that was me too). Apparently my traffic light jelly shots were the cause of most guests’ chagrin, but I make no apologies for being a great hostess.
Thank you, friends, for keeping the tradition of spontaneous house parties alive! And thank you, Prophet Muhammad for being born all those hundreds of years ago.