Do’s and Don’ts in Dubai

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New place, new rules and new customs. Keep a check on your activities with these 12 handy do’s and don’ts in Dubai that lets you travel like a free bird.

Did you know dancing in public is considered provocative in the emirate, or cross-dressing isn’t acceptable, or pointing finger to someone is an offensive gesture here? An Islamic city with roughly 85% foreign population, Dubai has certain rules and traditions that must be followed when you are in the regime. Its jaw-dropping skyline, delicious cuisine and No.1 entertainment options invite millions of visitors every year, and one of the reasons to travel here is experiencing an Arab lifestyle.

Dubai Visa allows you to enter a different cultural background where you have hospitable service, courteous people and some unique laws. Compiling all, here are some recommended do’s and don’ts in Dubai-

1.Dress sensibly and appropriately
• Women are accepted to wear loose-fitting clothes, skirts not above knees, and shoulders covered in public. A light scarf can come handy everywhere, from malls to mosques.
• Men should put on jeans or trousers paired with tees or shirts of long sleeves.
• Swimwear and bikinis are for private beaches and private swimming pools. Grab a kaftan which is great if you are strolling from the beach to the hotel, as bikinis are not liked to be seen in the hotels.
• In mosques, you have strict rules of donning a dress that secures your sleeves as well as legs.
• You might find foreigners in tight and revealing clothes, which is rarely punishable but turns away from Emirati culture.

2.Be aware of the holidays and the opening and closing time
Friday is the most celebrated day in Islam and hence, you would find most of the stores and restaurants opening in the later leg of the day while many of them will remain closed. So, before you get out of the hotel to sightseeing, check the respective timings.

3.Drink tap water
You might frown at this thought but Dubai’s tap water is absolutely clean and safe to drink. Plus it is free! If not, the luxury hotels will handover imported bottles at an exorbitant rate, so, you can ask them for local bottled water.

4.PDA at minimal
Public displays of affection is a big no in Dubai. There have been cases where the tourists aren’t aware of the circumstances and have been caught in the intimate act in open. Holding hands for the married couple is still tolerable but stay on the safer side and avoid these gestures for your trip.

5.Revise your prescription
Drugs can take you for a long trip to jail in Dubai. There is absolutely no pardoning if seized with any kind of drugs. Consult your doctor and check all the medicine that you have. Do your homework on where you are carrying all the legal pharmaceuticals with you before.

6.Follow the custom in Ramadan
If you have got the chance to explore the culture of Dubai during the Ramadan month, abide by the rules. Smoking, drinking and even eating in public during the daylight is forbidden. There are some separate rooms in a few restaurants that are opened for gratifying your hunger without breaking the law. Be respectful to the Islam tradition and participate in the festival of peace.

7.Stick to Islamic rules
• First and foremost, do not hurt the sentiments of the Arabian culture, this could be the worst things in an Islamic country.
• Doing any work such as eating, or accepting drinks or food, or greeting anyone from left hand is rude. Islam considers the right hands as pious because the left hand is used for body hygiene.
• Do not offer pork and alcoholic beverages to the Muslim guests.
• If you enter someone’s home, take your shoes off at the door, and avoid showing the soles of your feet.
• It is important to stand up for new guests, older people or high-ranking authorities while sitting in gathering or discussing business.
• Men are expected to stand when any woman enters the room.

8.Do not drink alcohol in public
Well, you can’t have alcohol at every shop and bar. Only the licensed venues, bars and restaurants associated with hotels can serve liquor to the expats and residents. The legal age for drinking in Dubai is 21. It is therefore important to get a licence, else you can be arrested if found drunk. It is illegal and prohibited to drink on street and public places. Needless to say, drunk driving experiences zero tolerance in the country.

9.Do not click pictures without permission
This goes without saying, but do not interfere in the personal space of locals by clicking their pictures randomly without permission. Be courteous and polite if you really need a picture, anyway the chances are really less of people saying yes.

10.Do not take pictures of government buildings
You can surely admire the modern structure, cosmopolitan skyscraper and lavish malls by capturing their elegance. But due to security reasons, your camera is not allowed in government buildings.

11.Do not shake hands with the opposite sex
…Until they are willing and have offered to shake hands with you. This common gesture of shaking hands, giving stares, ogling, glaring, shouting, touching, stalking women could land you in trouble. Displaying obscene finger gestures should be avoided. Also, don’t point a finger towards anybody, rather use your whole hands instead.

12.Do not post unsolicited pictures on social media
Uploading posts that violate the Islamic law, or alienate the Emirati or push the general law boundaries or pictures of a local incident like fire or storm damage can be considered as crimes.

Perhaps, these are a lot of new things for you to acknowledge about Dubai. Your trip is going to be more safe and fun now.

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