A smartphone app with emojis created specifically for the UAE has been launched.
Instead of generic smiley faces, hand signals and heart-shaped symbols, Dubai Emoji features famous landmarks, cultural symbols and Arabic phrases.
It was created by American expatriate Derrick Branford as a way of "giving back to Dubai”.
"Most of the locals I spoke to wanted Arab hand gestures, the anti-evil eye and the sports teams, and CrossFit emoji, as that's what's popular here,” said Mr Branford.
"The main priority was to make sure I represented the city as a whole, without replicating anything which already existed. I wanted to give back something that was fun and a celebration of Dubai, as we all want to celebrate Dubai for the life it gives us.”
The app features 70 symbols including a dokha pipe, yolla dance, Dubai Expo 2020, aviator sunglasses, dates and tea.
Emirati Saeed bin Sulaiman downloaded the US$1.99 (Dh7.5) app on the first day of its release on Tuesday.
He said many symbols have deep cultural significance, with one of the hand gestures, for example, commonly known as the sign for waiting among Emiratis. "It's what our mums did to us when we were out in front of other people, but we knew when she did that we were in so much trouble when we got home,” he said.
Other emojis such as football team badges are already proving popular. "I've already used almost all of the signs,” said Mr bin Sulaiman.
Faris Al Hammadi, also Emirati, said: "This gives us an identity. Some of the current mainstream emojis are perhaps against our culture but this is actually for us. Culturally we relate to it – the hand movements, the clothing. I think it's going to be wonderful.”
Dubai Emoji can be downloaded from the Apple App Store.