Giving Chocolates on Special Occasions in the UAE

In the Arabic world, gift giving is very important in personal and professional relatonships.. From what I have read, Islamic traditions based on the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) also encourage people to give one another gifts to maintain harmony and good relations.
One of the very special things I observed living in the Middle East was that when something good happened to someone, they often brought large arrangements of chocolates to share.
These occasions often were a child being born, graduating or sometimes just getting a high score in an exam. I worked as a director of a program in a university, so my observations are based primarily on that. It could be a colleague celebrating their child’s graduation from a university.
I do not know the origin of this tradition and did not find reference to it online, but I found it wonderful!
Typically in the USA (my birth country), when a big personal even occurs we receive gifts. With that in mind, I loved the reverse approach…when something good happens, you bring the chocolates.
The way I interpreted it was that one is giving thanks for their good fortune or blessing.
The giving of chocolate is a big industry in the UAE. There are rows of stores with chocolate spectacularly arranged on huge plates. One could spend several hundred dollars on such a display.
The displays weigh quite a bit. At my university, one of the workers would take the chocolates from office to office sharing the good news of a professor or another employee. I preferred to deliver mine in person as it gave me the opportunity to catch up with everybody.
I had the joy of doing this on two occasions. First when my twins were born and second when I was leaving the university (on a very positive note).
I was able to deliver chocolates to many departments, faculty and students. It led to many nice conversations. Indeed I am blessed.
If you do visit the Middle East, visit a chocolate shop. If not, try it where you are. I promise you will enjoy the experience as will others.

Published by jimboyce44

World Traveler, Educator, Father, Husband, Son

2 thoughts on “Giving Chocolates on Special Occasions in the UAE

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