Traveling to Dubai for the first time? You’ll come across some of the most magnificent natural and human-made structures in the world. You will come across one of the most hospitable people anywhere on earth. You will also get to taste amazing Middle Eastern food, experience a culture unlike any other and have the time of your life.
However, there are rules to every place depending on the local culture and values. Following these rules is very important and shows that you are a sensible person who would not disrespect others’ cultures. Here are a few rules for tourists visiting Dubai.
1. Do not drink alcohol in public
You will find alcohol in Dubai with licensed vendors. If you like to drink its 100% legal but having it in public spaces is prohibited. You can have alcoholic drinks in private spaces like hotel rooms, bars and restaurants. If you are caught having alcohol in public, you will have to deal with a lot of trouble. On top of that, it is very disrespectful to intentionally break the laws of the land.
2. Dress modestly
Dubai is one of the most fashionable cities in the world and there are many things you can wear when heading out. There is no restriction to dressing up but you should not dress too skimpily. For women, it means avoiding short skirts, anything that reveals your cleavage, covering your shoulders and not wearing anything that reveals your underwear. The same rules apply to men as well.
It is important to know that cross-dressing is illegal in Dubai. Do not cross dress when you are out and about in Dubai to avoid trouble with the locals or the authorities. Remember that you are in a foreign land and must respect their laws.
3. Be careful about what you take pictures of
There are rules against photography in many important historical and religious places, no matter where you are in the world. The same goes for Dubai, where it is sometimes illegal to take pictures of places that have national or religious value. If you are unsure about it, asking someone is completely fine.
On the other hand, you should avoid taking pictures of local women without their permission. You should also avoid physical contact (like shaking hands or tapping on the shoulders) with women you do not know or have just known. While it is common for men to greet each other with hugs, it is completely different for women.
4. Remove footwear before entering religious spaces
It is a common practice across many cultures to remove footwear before entering a holy place. Keep this in mind when you are traveling to a mosque or even other buildings that are considered holy by the locals.
5. Do not carry drugs
Carrying drugs will land you into severe trouble in Dubai. If you have a prescribed drug, remember to carry the original prescription. You can be jailed even for poppy seeds since they are the raw material for opium.
6. Traveling during Ramadan
Traveling to Dubai during and at the end of Ramadan can be a beautiful experience with all the feasts that take place after completing the fast. However, you will not get alcohol anywhere, even in bars, during the holy month of Ramadan. You should also eat in public spaces with curtains during the month of Ramadan, no matter which religion you follow.
Traveling to Dubai is incredibly fun when you know what to do and what to avoid. With these few things in mind, you can have a great trip to Dubai and the rest of the UAE.