How to behave in the UAE

Many people worry about overstepping the mark and worry so much that they don’t have a good time. Others who come to the UAE have a blatant disregard for the culture. There’s also common sense about what you should do on holiday. We cover the do's and don’ts in the UAE.
How to behave in the UAE
Do's and Dont's in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Editors choice

Drugs in the UAE

Drugs - Don't even think about getting involved with drugs. Penalties are severe, and with any proof in your bloodstream, even before you were in the UAE constitutes an offence of trafficking.   

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How much money do you need in the UAE?

Funds - Bring enough funds, for your stay and return. Although you can use credit cards, and withdraw from ATMs, bank transfers can take about a week. Use a proper teller to transfer your money rather than on the streets.

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Respect local laws and customs

Respect local laws and customs. Dress in a modest way, covering at least the tops of arms and legs, and not tight clothes. Although, in practice, anything goes, it's best to respect the culture of the land that you are visiting. Don't behave in a manner that might insult Musl…

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Pornography in the UAE

Customs - Don't bring pornography to the UAE. Videos and books are often checked and may be retained by customs officials.

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Driving for Tourists

Driving - on a visit visa, you can drive on an international driving licence, but this changes is you are a resident. Don't drink and drive, ever. You'll go to jail. If you have an accident, remain with your car, in the exact place where the accident happened

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Cohabitation in the UAE

Sex outside of marriage is illegal and so sharing a room could land you in jail. In practice this doesn’t necessarily happen unless you are suspected of something else, and it will be thrown in as a charge.  To get respect in public, you may want to refer to “my wife” or “my …

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Homosexuality in the UAE

Homosexuality – it is against the law in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so keep it undercover.  

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Taking Photographs in the UAE

Photographs - Don't take pictures of governmental or military organisations. If you want to take pictures of the locals, make sure you ask first, especially with women.   

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Recent Articles

Kissing in public in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Sex on the beach is certainly not the thing to do, and you shouldn’t really kiss in public, especially if you are not married.  Holding hands is tolerated, but don’t during Ramadan.  The UAE is not really the place to have a smooch in public.  Public displays of affection are frowned upon. 

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Travel insurance in the UAE

Travel Insurance - Make sure you are fully covered for medical treatment. Although pharmacies provide medicines quite accessibly, treatment, hospitalisation and evacuation can add up to a large amount. Only emergency treatment is free. Make sure you are covered for unexpected…

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Keep your documents safe

Make sure you do keep a copy of all your important documents in a separate place and perhaps online. Without the proper documentation, and in a worst case scenario of something being stolen, it will be a nightmare to dodge the red tape without proper information.  

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Muslim Holidays

Muslim Holidays  - be aware when the Muslim holidays are. Don't eat in Public during the day during Ramadan  

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Overstaying your visa in the UAE

Overstaying - Don't overstay your visa period, as you will be charged per day.  

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Carry ID

ID – Do carry some sort of ID with you, with a photo on it - if you get into a spot of bother, it will probably help you if you are upfront about who you are. Paperwork moves quicker.  

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Sunbathing in Dubai

Sunbathing – women should never sunbathe topless, even in private hotels – it is illegal.  

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Dress code in the UAE

Respect local laws and customs. Dress in a modest way, covering at least the tops of arms and legs, and not tight clothes. Although, in practice, anything goes, it's best to respect the culture of the land that you are visiting. Don't behave in a manner that might insult Musl…

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Bringing alcohol to Dubai

Non Muslims can bring in alcohol to the UAE for their own consumption, but you should drink that alcohol within your hotel room or home. Apart from that, you can drink at licensed restaurants and bars which are usually attached to hotels.  Don’t be drunk in public and don’t ever drink and drive.

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