DOs and DON’Ts in Dubai (or in the UAE)
It’s been a long while since I first landed the UAE and in 2018 we’ve moved to Dubai.
I’m sharing a few basic dos and don’ts here in Dubai and for the all other emirates (overall UAE)
- Do dress modestly, particularly in conservative areas and public places.
- Swimwear is acceptable, but make sure you are in the appropriate place such as the beach and the swimming pool. Do cover-up in other public places.
- Don’t do Cross-dressing, this can lead to jail.
- Shorts and T-shirts are accepted but if you will visit a mosque or church, please wear a modest one, no sleeveless and above the knee skirts. Women will usually be required to wear a headscarf when entering mosques.
- No drinking alcohol in public. Being drunk is unacceptable and may result in a fine, jail time or worse.
- No Drunk driving, it has zero tolerance in the UAE.
- Taking photos in the beautiful places in Dubai is ok except for mosques and government buildings. When taking a selfie, ensure that no one behind you will be captures especially women. Take permission if it is ok for other people to be taken photos with.
- PDA or Public displays of affection should be minimal – holding hands is acceptable but kissing and hugging in public is not.
- Respect each and every one, no noise and obscene acts should be done.
- When riding the metro make sure that you are in the right cabin especially for men. This will cause a 200/- AED fine. No eating and drinking inside the metro.
- Don’t use “finger pointing” especially in public and in addressing the people. Any obscene hand gestures in public may land you in prison.
Invitations and interactions
- Males and females may sometimes be escorted to different sections.
- When greeting a member of the opposite sex who is Muslim, it is important not to offer to shake hands unless they extend their hand first – both men and women (more commonly women) may prefer not to shake hands with the opposite sex due to religious reasons. Keep a distance at least one meter away.
- It is customary to accept food and drink with your right hand; this is also the hand you should eat with.
- If you are hosting Muslim guests, do not offer them alcoholic beverages or pork.
- Fund-raising for charity and other ways of collecting money must be done the NGOs and government agencies only.
- During Ramadan, non-fasting residents or visitors are expected to follow certain etiquette rules which can be seen here.
- The following are also considered illegal: use or possession of drugs, cohabitation, sex outside of marriage, having a baby out of wedlock, adultery and homosexuality.