How to Abide Do's and Don'ts in Dubai

This modern metropolis welcomes visitors from around the world. However, as it is also a Muslim city, there are certain things that one - can and can't do. Like any other country, there are rules to abide - They are straightforward, ensuing and respecting them is expected from both tourists and residents.


Religion plays a significant role in the culture of Dubai. There are mosques throughout the city, expect the call to prayer that can be heard at certain times of the day. It is important to be aware of Ramadan too, It is the time where Muslims are fasting, so everyone should refrain from eating and drinking in public.

DO -
  • Enjoy and take pictures in tourist attractions, parks and mall with your family or friends.
  • Respect Islam religion, culture, traditions and the ruling family.
  • Use your right hand to greet people, accept, take or give something.
  • Wear bikinis/proper swim wear at the beaches and pools only, respectable clothing elsewhere.
  • Drive if you are on tourist visa with valid international driving license.
  • Respect all women sections in public transport such as metro, bus and tram.
  • Respect the person talking you by maintaining eye contact.
DON'T -
  • Take pictures of strangers and ask locals to have picture with them.
  • Take photos of government buildings, royal palaces, embassies and consulates.
  • Cross the street if not in pedestrian lane.
  • Drink alcohol on the street. Consume in clubs only or at home if you have an alcohol license.
  • Wear revealing clothing. Specially for women - avoid showing much cleavage.
  • Kiss, hug and showing affection in public.
  • Take or bring prohibited drugs, it is subject to severe punishment.
  • Swim or be topless if you are woman.  Two piece bikini is allowed.
  • Litter in all places, the city is very strict on cleanliness.
  • Employ or work without a valid visa.
  • Engage in sexual relation other than your legally married spouse.
  • Cohabit or live together with an opposite sex that is not your spouse.
  • Cross-dress, homosexuality is illegal in Dubai.
  • Ask local Emirati for directions, ask in designated information centers instead.
  • Be loud or vulgar. Respect people's spaces in public vicinity and transport.
  • Sit on someone's lap (Only own kids are allowed to sit on parents lap)
More details can be found on the government's website HERE.

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About the Author
RAFAEL ROXAS is an OFW and Entrepreneur. He is an active digital nomad that helps individual, start-ups and SME's establish their brand. He started the projects for Filipino community PinoyHow and FilipinoWorldwide - Q&A, training and information hub.

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