Emirati children are of course not that different from children the world over but it is obvious to the visitor they have internalised from an early age the Arab virtues of politeness and hospitality towards strangers. What is also really striking is how the boys manage to keep their traditional white "dishdasha" or "thobe", the long sleeved ankle-length garment they traditionally wear, so spotlessly clean.
Nowadays the schools in the Emirates are completely up to date and children in traditional Arab dress (their school uniform) can be seen at computers, symbolising how the traditional and the new can live side by side in contemporary Arabia. Boys and girls are taught together at preschool level, but here are no co-educational primary or secondary public schools; boys and girls are taught separately. There are however, some private schools that admit both boys and girls, especially the international schools. Primary education is compulsory from the age of 5.