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Dubai – Tips For The First Time Visitor

18 October 2017 TRAVEL


By: Natasha Archary

Bedouin on a camel in the desert

Despite its strong Arabic foundation, Dubai has a rich and diverse history and the UAE is fascinating if you scratch the surface of all that gold. Weren’t expecting that were you?

Well, beneath the extravagant surface, Dubai is still a very culturally strong city and the following are the most important guidelines for tourists to follow:

Guidelines for tourists

  • Show respect during the holy month of Ramadaan

This doesn’t affect the Kaya FM listener tour as Ramadaan is long past but for future reference it is not permissible to eat or drink in public during Ramadaan until sun-set.

  • Dress modestly

No, you will not need a burkini when visiting the white sand beaches in Dubai but you are expected to dress modestly and there’s a strict no nudity policy – so save your skinny dipping for another time.

  • No PDA

Yes, we all heard about the couple whom were arrested for public indecency and while they were arrested for trying to have sex in public there’s also a zero tolerance for kissing in public as well. Reserve your smooching for the confines of your hotel room.

Restrain yourself

  • Don’t consume alcohol in public

Not too difficult to abide by as most hotels, restaurants are licensed and this means you can still enjoy your afternoon sundowners and wine.

  • Ask permission before taking pictures

We all want to take pictures while we’re on holiday of everything we eat, the people, clothing, landmarks etc but in Dubai you need to be mindful that it is disrespectful to take pictures of women without permission and this goes for places of worship as well. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the mosques that allows visitors the opportunity to take pictures but there are a few places of worship that has a no polaroid policy.

  • Do you tip?

Tipping is not necessarily frowned upon in Dubai but it’s also not mandatory and whilst most restaurants add a tip to your bill, drivers as an example do not expect a tip.

Do you tip in Dubai?

  • Watch your tongue

It is culturally unacceptable to use foul language in Dubai, especially in public and in the presence of women and children so you may need to censor your curse-words whilst there.

  • Keep right

The use of your left hand to eat food, drink or greet is not acceptable as with many cultures around the world, the left hand is reserved for personal hygiene.

It is considered rude to eat with your left hand in Dubai

  • When it’s hot, it’s HOT

It is a desert after all, and temperatures can reach highs of 50 degrees Celsius so pack light, breathable clothing to keep you comfortable during the day when you’re out sightseeing.

  • Watch your belongings

Dubai has a relatively low crime rate so much so that one tends to get complacent after a while, however petty, opportunistic crime happens everywhere. Use the same precautions you would use in any big city.

Behind all the glitz and glamour, Dubai is a city with strong cultural ties, which we will explore, in a later post. It is however possible to have fun and enjoy the scenic beauty that awaits you in magical Dubai.


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