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Friday afternoon crowds
(United Arab Emirates: Dubai)

March 2003
United Arab Emirates: Dubai: Friday afternoon crowds

Friday is by far the most vibrant day of the week in Dubai. In the morning, the call to prayer seems a little louder and longer than it does on other days, and the streets are quiet. But after noon prayer, everyone comes outside. Some shops are closed, but every restaurant is open, every spare chair and table parked on the sidewalk to accommodate all the dining, chatting, and coffee-sipping that won't fit inside. The crowds spill off the sidewalks and into the streets, leaving traffic to weave along a single lane. Parks and the waterfront are teeming as well, full of workers packing a week's worth of pent-up relaxation into their one day off.

And as always, one demographic is eerily off-balance: For each woman walking around, there are about 50 men.

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