Dubai is considered one of the most lenient and multi-ethnic places in UAE, but you do need to conduct yourself in a certain way. What is considered OK in your home country may be a punishable offence in Dubai. So it’s a good idea to be aware of the rules and regulations before travelling there. Here is a list of things to watch out for:
1. Drinking in public
Foreign nationals can drink alcohol in the house if they obtain the required license. You can also drink at hotels which have a license, but do remember that being drunk while in the public space is not a good idea. You can also be fined for it.
2. No drugs
Dubai has a no-tolerance policy towards drug possession and trade. Even certain prescribed medicines are considered illegal. There have also been cases when people have flown in to Dubai and have tested positive for marijuana which they took before the flight.
3. Don’t dance on the road
Shrill music and showing off your dance moves on the roads is something not to try in Dubai. Reserve your moonwalk for the dance floor.
Be careful when taking photos. It is considered impolite to click photos of residents there, particularly women.
5. No PDA
Express love for that special one within the confines of your room. Some time back, a British couple was sent to jail for having sex on the beach (not the popular drink). However, even less intimate displays of affection can land you in trouble.
6. Mind your language
Don’t abuse in public as vulgar language can definitely land you in trouble. Also making derogatory comments about Islam can land you in jail. Avoid making negative comments about the ruling class.
7. Keep your clothes on
On the beach or in the swimming pool, wearing suitable swimwear is allowed, but women must not go topless. Also men should have their T-shirts on when on the streets or even while working out in the park.
Dubai has a great sense of style with the best designer labels available, but you should avoid flashing too much skin in public.
9. LGBT issues
Cross dressing and having sexual relations outside of a conventional heterosexual wedding is illegal here.
10. Eating during Ramadan
You should not eat, drink or smoke publicly during Ramadan, when fasting is on from morning to evening.
11. The ‘Left Hand’
One should not greet people with a left hand shake, open doors with it or give people things with your left hand. And what if you’re a lefty? Well, we suggest you start practising with your right hand!