Copy of question re switched 230 volt Middle eastern outlets

For info: Quote ..................
"Am visiting the middle East and am told that wiring practices are 'per UK'. All house voltages nominal 230 volt at 50 hertz etc.
In my relatives 'villa' (two storey concrete block parged with cement and three big air conditioners on each floor!) the AC s are hard-wired to 230 volts. The AC outlets are the single socket variety which accept the 'usual UK' 13 amp fused plug.
Outlets are not as plentiful as in North American practice so the use of 'power bars' (often of dubious quality) is common. Some, ("From the republic", as locals will say) power bars, supposedly rated for say 15 amps seem to use the equivalent of AWG 18 wire! One, I looked at, didn't even have an earth conductor (deception?).
All/most outlets are switched with built-in small rocker type switch, each switch having a small neon indicator inside. As is normal in UK practice the switch is on when pressed 'down' (as opposed to North American 'up').
The sockets are mounted with ground/earth pin upwards (never sideways). Occasionally but not in this house one will see a double socket outlet plate but again each outlet has its own switch.
The dearth of outlets and some appliances which use non UK plugs (e.g. Schuko?) leads to the use of various adapters again often of dubious quality which I doubt would be approved for sale/use in the UK?
This is in comparison to our 37 year old home in Canada where our kitchen has six double/duplex 115 volt outlets on several radial circuits. Also the 230/115 volt electric cooking stove has its own 'individually wired' 50 amp socket; we have never used adaptors.
We understand the principle of the ring main although not used (AFIK) in our part of Canada. All domestic circuits seem to be radials. Wiring and fusing 15 amp for lighting, 20 amp for outlets, with limits on how many outlets on 'a run' and the use of either individual GFIs (Ground Fault Interrupters) i.e. RCDs, to protect outlets in outside/damp locations etc. With 30 amp for clothes dryers/water heaters etc.
Switches for lighting or incidentals such as bathroom fan but rarely for outlets (unless they are for table lamps etc.) in which case one may get one half of a duplex outlet switched (for lamps) and the other continuous (for radio, TV etc). that should not lose its power and thereby reset!
Question: Is/are switched outlets normal (UK) practice? If so why is each outlet switched? Curious.
PS: Unlike North American domestic practice which domestically are 3 wire 115-0-115 (i.e. 230 between two ends of the single phase) there are three phases coming into each individual residence in a compound of a couple of hundred. AFI can tell nothing here is connected phase- to-phase (that would be 400+ volts!). All loads are 230 volt and are balanced and distributed via the 3 phase circuit breaker panel (CU) ".
...... end quote.

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