Many women do wear the abaya and it is the most natural thing to see here. It just looks and feels right to them and to those of us around them. I see them smiling and gathering at restaurants and hanging out at the malls.
Even though this is a city of showing wealth and “one-upmanship” (think, the world’s highest building, the world’s only 7-star hotel, the world’s fastest elevator, the world’s largest mall, and so on), the city is a testament to human creativity and inventiveness. Imagining that this city was just sand dunes a few years ago, then seeing it now with all of its skyscrapers and man-made marinas and islands, is just mind-boggling.
Even though Arabic is the national language, English is the unofficial language and spoken by most people, which made travel there even easier for me.
There is a “women for women” or “family only” cab service called “Pink Taxis.’ These are special taxis and the women drivers all have pink headscarves. There are also female local guides who are helpful in explaining the culture of the area.
In addition to the new amazing buildings there are also the older town with souks to explore. You can also visit Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai which has tours for non-Muslims to help provide a better understanding between cultures. There are also outdoor desert adventures nearby.