Dubai is characterized by the interaction of a large number of cultures and nationalities. However, the culture, customs and traditions of the United Arab Emirates and its people ought to be respected by adopting courtesy and avoiding certain behaviors;considered improper in the Emirate.Here are theDo’s and Don’ts while visiting Dubai.
Have a civilized fashion sense.
In a nutshell ,whilst you are out in public you should have everything from your shoulders to knees covered! You should also not wear clothing that is too tight,skimpy or transparent. In all other public places such as streets, shopping malls and restaurants, shorts and skirts shall be of appropriate length. Do not display obscene or offensive pictures and slogans on your Tee’s.Well, the sumer level UV radiations reach extreme levels in the UAE;so cover yourself up! It’s good for you!!
Did you know that the UAE Dress Code campaign was started by Asma Al Muhairi & Hanan Al Rayes.The two Emirati women initiated the campaign out of disgust at the sight of foreigners dressed in “inappropriate” attire !
Nude butts will be whipped.
Beach goers — men and women — shall wear conservative swim wear that is acceptable to Dubai’s culture. Swim wear shall not be worn outside the beach, as decent dress is the rule in the rest of the city. Nudity is strictly forbidden in every part of the city and is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.
Don’t get hanky panky in public.
Displays of affection among couples — whether married or not — in public places does not fit the local customs and culture. Holding hands for a married couple is tolerated but kissing and petting are considered an offense to public decency. Public displays of affection, as well as sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public places is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.And if you had random thoughts of a quickie in the cab;think again;we bet if you will not be doing it for a long time..a long,long time!!
Do not ever question the Monarchy’s authority.
The United Arab Emirates has a presidential, federal, and despotic monarchy.However,the rulers of this country;unlike traditional monarchists; are great leaders and visionaries.They believe in giving everything back to people and they do work hard to make living comfortable for all.They believe in fun;thus the rules are much relaxed than you had expect.If you think indifferent;keep it to self,or why not head to Saudi or Iran and see how that goes?Do not disrespect their hard work;by word or actions.
This ain’t wood stock.
Loud music and dancing are forbidden in public places like parks, beaches or residential areas and must be restricted to licensed venues only. Dancing in public is considered an offense, a disruption to the public, and can get you arrested. Respect the calm and peace in public places by avoiding loud conversations.And please do not disturb others with your loud disruptive phone talks;in theaters;conference rooms, shops and restaurants, hospitals, etc.
There is absolutely zero tolerance regarding drugs in the UAE. Never joke with this matter, as the penalties are very heavy, and can go up to the death penalty.All drugs, soft or hard, are illegal in the UAE: cannabis, heroin, crack, weed, cocaine, Ecstasy … Even the smallest amounts can be detected at the airports and can lead to heavy prison sentences; quantities no bigger than 1 milligram have already sent their holders directly to jail. Detection methods are technologically very advanced at airports and the authorities do not make distinctions in sentencing according to the amount owned. Holding, consuming, buying or selling any kind of drug — in any quantity — as well as being tested positive to any drug by the authorities in the UAE is considered a crime.The sale and trafficking of drugs most often leads to life imprisonment or to death penalty, still in force in the UAE.
Booze is overrated.
The consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Islam and is punishable by law. Due to the large diversity of cultures and nationalities present in Dubai, alcohol consumption is closely regulated. Alcohol consumption shall be confined to designated areas (i.e. licensed restaurants and venues that serve alcohol to their clients). Being caught under the effect of alcohol outside these places (even in light doses) can lead to a fine or incarceration.
The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy in terms of driving under the effect of alcohol.
Being caught driving with even the smallest dose of alcohol can lead to a fine, incarceration or deportation. Buying and selling alcohol is controlled by very strict laws. Alcohol is exclusively sold by specialized licensed stores. It can only be bought by holders of an alcohol-purchasing license (this license is only attainable by non-Muslims). Buyers shall respect the local culture by carrying their alcohol in paper bags such that it cannot be seen.
Watch before you smoke.
Smoking is not allowed in government facilities, offices, malls and shops. Smoking outside designated areas is subject to fine. There are teams of undercover ‘secret agents’ on the prowl for people smoking in non-designated areas;and those found flouting the rules will be fined Dh500.
Your medicines may land you in trouble.
Some medicines containing psychotropic substances are forbidden in the UAE. Their holders must carry a prescription from a UAE-licensed medical doctor. Visitors shall verify that their medicines are allowed in the UAE before entering the country.
Drive like humans do.If you are the Mad Max type,you are better off where you belong.
Traffic on Dubai roads is increasingly becoming a major issue for commuters. Speed limits are clearly signposted and must be respected in order to ensure the general safety of all road users.All road users shall demonstrate respect and consideration for one another. Car racing is extremely dangerous and shall be avoided. Driving below speed on fast lane is also dangerous. Most of Dubai roads are monitored by radars and fines are high.Driving fast behind other cars and flashing headlights at them as well as jumping from lane to lane and overtaking are dangerous practices that can lead to fines. Drivers and passengers must wear their safety belt. Not buckling up is subject to fine.
Children must be be seated in the backseat and buckled up.
The use of a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal. Phones must be turned off before starting the car or unless a hands-free kit or headset is available. When sirens are heard, drivers should give way as soon as possible.
You should not stop or reduce speed to look at a traffic accident out of curiosity, which can lead to traffic obstruction.
In case of involvement in a light accident, drivers shall clear the way to avoid danger and traffic obstruction. Do not park in special needs parking spaces.;that’s one step closer to a fine ticket!!
Drivers shall stop for pedestrians and respect their rights at pedestrian crossings. Motorbike drivers shall carry a special driving license, wear their helmet and remain on car routes. They shall avoid speeding and reckless driving.
Cycling is considered a healthy and green way to circulate. Nevertheless, for their own safety, cyclists must commit to cycling paths. Not committing to cycling paths is subject to fine.
Do not Jay walk.Jay walking is penalized in Dubai and it’s mandatory that you use the designated zebra crossings when crossing the road. In a rush?You have no clue how expensive fines can get in this part of the world :).It’s for your good;so oblige.
Don’t litter the city.
If everyone decided to litter, or drop trash on the ground, this land had be covered in garbage. Spitting in public and littering waste or cigarette butts in public areas are considered an offense and are subjected to fines.
Did you know;48% litter less in the UAE than they do in their home country !!
Don’t eat and drink in public transport.
Eating and drinking on public transport is tightly policed — much to the relief of those who find having to watch, smell and hear other people eat intolerable.Smoking is completely banned.Carrying alcoholic drinks will be an offense while spitting, littering and any other act which contaminate can get fines.Destroying, damaging or tampering any devices, equipment or seats or the facilities will also be an offense by law.
Do not harass, cause inconvenience or discomfort to other users of the public transport.Do not rest your feet on the seats and do not sell or advertise goods inside the public transport facilities.A word of advise for men;do not use women’s seats or women’s only cabins.You will invite trouble!
Is your middle finger feeling delightful?
Swearing, profanities, insults and all kinds of vulgar language are strictly forbidden in Dubai and are legally reprehensible in case of complaint. All kinds of aggressive or offensive gestures are considered a public offense and are subjected to fines or imprisonment. Queuing patiently for one’s turn to be served rather than pushing in ahead of others is common courtesy. Queues must be respected patiently and not jumped over. Priority shall be given to the elderly, people with special needs and pregnant women. Spreading false news, statements or rumors and malicious propaganda that disturb public security and harm public interest are serious crimes punishable by law.
Prostitution is illegal,so are unlicensed massage parlors.
Prostitution is widespread, especially in Dubai .That said, prostitution and adultery are illegal and punishable crimes.It’s a common sight to find a barrage of cards offering unwanted massage services. Men;stay away from the temptation;it will only get you in trouble!
Sharing a hotel room?
Women are advised not to share hotel rooms with their male friends;legally wed husbands excused.Concerned with Women rights? Dubai is pretty safe for the women folks.Never once will you feel unsafe here;be it day or night.You can party all night and still return home without fear.The police are very protective about ladies and all they ask is to respect a few rules.Simply oblige!
The country is cameralicious;people are not!
Photos of people — and especially photos of women and families — in public places shall not be taken without their permission. Taking photos of people is a sensitive issue in Dubai’s local culture. Military areas, beaches,palaces, courts, Government buildings and certain bridges should be avoided.
Don’t come to beg.
Begging is forbidden in all parts of Dubai. And if you come across one;don’t be taken in by their stories, learn what to look out for to make sure you are not being conned.It appears Dh20,000 is a short change for beggars duping residents here, with several arrests in the recent months unearthing hordes of stashed cash and a high-flying lifestyle of five-star hotel stays and easy living.Selling any kind of goods or services without a license from the competent authorities is illegal.
You can’t fish without a license.
Bad news for amateur fishermen. No license, no fishing!
Fishing is a favorite pastime for many and a good leisure activity to do on a weekend morning. But, it is not a good idea to do so in a ‘no fishing’ zone. It is prohibited to catch crabs, squids, cattle fish, mussels and juvenile fishes. Residents of Dubai can apply for a yearly recreational license and from the Dubai Municipality. It is free and grants permission to fish off the coastline or from your leisure boat if you have.
Save the wild.
Hunting all kinds of wild animals or birds or threatening wildlife and biodiversity is prohibited. Camping in the desert is only allowed with a license from the competent authorities. Throwing waste and causing pollution to the desert or marine environments is subject to fine.
Some woof talk.
This is Dubai and dogs are seen not as a friendly animal.That said,we have a dog at our office and we live in harmony.The idea is to keep them trained and in strict observation at all times.Dogs are forbidden in parks and beaches; they must remain on leash in public places. Fines of up to 500,000 AED and jail sentences of up to six months will be imposed for owners who fail to control their dogs.Pet owners are responsible for fixing any damage caused by their animals. They are also responsible for cleaning up any remnants their animals leave on the pavements or any other public place. And if these regulations are not followed your pet may be confiscated and a fine of AED 2000 may be issued to you. Your pet will be returned to you with a warning; the government permits two violations.
Respect the religion.
Religious values are widely respected in the UAE. Therefore, committing blasphemy or sacrilege against any religion is considered deeply offensive. Islam being the official religion of the UAE, some simple rules shall be followed in order to show respect and avoid misunderstandings.Muslims pray five times a day. Each prayer is announced from the mosques by a call to prayer. When the call to prayer is heard, music shall be turned off in all public places and cars, and Muslims shall be allowed to perform their prayer duty. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Throughout this month, eating, drinking or smoking in public spaces during daylight is considered a public offense and is punishable by law.Any type of religious activity — Islamic or not — is forbidden without a license from the competent authorities.
Personal freedom in Dubai is guaranteed to all. However, freedom stops when it endangers people’s lives, health, security or liberty. Believe it or not,the UAE is a great place to be;a country that does not differentiate between nationalities and races. Respect for cultural differences and equal treatment of people regardless of their origins is the base of the community of Dubai where security and peace prevail.
Times,people do tend to get into trouble.Wire Stork has some great resources on UAE laws and which can be read on our website.And if you have really run into trouble;give us a shout!!