Dubai is a frivolous and a fun playground of the Persian Gulf, however, never consider it the Middle East Vegas. While this eclectic metropolis is among the most accommodating, liberal, relaxed, tolerating, permissive and non-judgmental multi-ethnic destination in the entire Middle Eastern region; you are obliged to be vigilant about your behavior to a considerable extent. This is necessary to avoid cultural, religious and personal conflicts; for the fact that what is legal in your home country, may be considered inappropriate, illegal and unacceptable here, due to legislative, cultural and religious individualities.
So, sufficiently bone-up over the local rules, regulations and norms before packing your bags to the place; because crossing the line may lead to unswerving consequences. Thus, it is important to know about the things not to do in Dubai for a safe and sound trip.
Things Not To Do in Dubai
Dubai is an idyllic hotspot for holidays, vacations and shopping; however, your fun time can be tainted, because of your unwitting behavior and it may lead to somber consequences such as fines, penalties and imprisonment (in severe cases). In fact, several foreigner visitors have been sent to jail for their unintentional behaviors that actually resulted in committing an offense under state law. Nevertheless, you don’t need to be panicked or put off your plans. You can have a real fun time just by adhering to some simple related to guidelines cultural and religious sensitivities.
Notably, if you are a visitor from a western country, then before planning your trip to Dubai you must steer clearly over the compilation of these ten most important things not to do in Dubai to avoid offending authorities and citizens and making your stay trouble free.
1. Don’t Sell, Consume or Carry Drugs
This is one of the most important aspect to muse, as all types of drugs are prohibited in UAE; even a little quantity may lead to imprisonment. Involvement found in sell, purchase, transiting or consumption of drugs could lead to four years imprisonment. Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that not all types of prescribed drugs and medicines can be carried or purchased in Dubai, and several items that we might consume for a trivial cure could be in actual illegal in Dubai. So, check your luggage to ensure you have covered things not to do in Dubai
2. Avoid Alcoholic Drinking in Public & Non-Designated Zones
In the Muslim world, Dubai is one of the most permissive state, particularly when it is about boozing. In Dubai, you are required to respect the laws and rules being unconditionally discreet and not crossing the defined lines; else you could be in serious trouble. You may buy alcohol only from licensed shops if you’re a non-Muslim. Additionally, always carry your purchase in an opaque bag that does not display the contents. Alcoholic consumption is merely allowed in designated areas such as bars, licensed restaurants, clubs and hotels or inside the home. Likewise, drink & drive are strictly prohibited; so be very careful as Dubai maintain a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol consumption. We have listed bars in Dubai nightlife activities where you can consume alcohol.
3. Avoid Homosexuality, Affection, & Sex Out of Marriage
Public affection is strictly forbidden in Dubai; even simple shrugs like kissing, hugging, and cuddling may lead to severe fines and imprisonment. This means that undertaking such acts in public are looked down upon. By legislation in Dubai, sex before marriage is also illegal. However, this does not mean that you have to be married while visiting Dubai; but you have to be very cautious in observing state laws. Likewise, homosexuality is illegal too, and may lead to severe sanctions.
4. Don’t Dress Inaptly
As mentioned above, Dubai is an Islamic region and it upholds strict regulation regarding dress patterns, which are relatively conservative than western countries. For instance national women prefer covering their heads and wear absolutely non-revealing dresses or Hijab. Therefore, when commuting in public places such as malls, restaurants, streets, etc. try to dress up respectfully while specifically avoiding super fitted, transparent and revealing dresses.
Dubai highly discourages nudity and consequently topless swimming is absolutely banned over beaches, however appropriate swim suit is allowed but only at beaches and swimming pools. Likewise, men can also do not divulge their bodies, even if they are jogging or wandering around. They have to wear T-Shirt all the time, and on beaches they are obliged to wear shorts that are of considerable length, else it will be taken in wrongful meaning. Furthermore, wearing T-shirts with offensive and disrespectful slogan is also debarred.
5. Don’t Drink or Eat Publically In Ramadan
Be aware if you are travelling to Dubai during Ramadan particularly, as it is prohibited to eat at public places from dawn to dusk. Since Muslims fast in Ramadan, it is strictly illegal to eat or drink in front of Muslims before sunset in public places. If you are a non-observer then eat or drink at your private place or in hotels or restaurants where eating or drinking is allowed by the authorities.
Likewise, don’t play out the music loud or dance during Ramadan (Note: this is prohibited normally too). Conversely, evenings in Ramadan are highly festive and you may find an extravagant food menu in Iftar (a meal that is symbolically marked to unfasten).
6. Don’t Disregard Womenfolk
Local society and culture of UAE is very reserved and secluded in general. Addressing females at random publically are strictly glowered down. Additionally, sexual harassment and disrespect of women is handled stringently. Furthermore, open friendliness with women, constant public staring and prolonged eye-contact is also considered offensive.
7. Don’t Swear or Make Insolent Gestures
Swearing, cursing and making insolent gestures are considered to be very offensive. Cursing vulgarities or indecent gestures such as showing the middle finger to someone in Dubai are illegal. Doing so might lead to penalties such as fine, hail or being deported specifically depending over the degree of authority whom you offended.
8. Don’t Insult Rulers and Religion
The entire United Arab Emirates has a tribal based system in which leaders are considered extremely respected within the society. Therefore, any type of insulting comments or criticizing remarks against leaders, flag or country are against the law and treated as an offense. While in Dubai, try not to make any comment on the rulers of Dubai.
9. Don’t Take Photos Without Permission
In Dubai taking pictures of anyone and particularly of locals without their willingness and permission is illegal and the law imposes fines and custody sanctions on the act. Therefore, be cautious while taking photos and it is better to ask before, particularly from the inhabitants.
10. Don’t Smoke in Non-Designated Zones
Although there are lots of Hookah bars, Shisha lounges and restaurant in Dubai where you can have Shisha publically, however smoking in shopping malls, shops and government building are strictly prohibited and may lead to fines and penalties. Therefore, avoid lighting a cigarette in a public place.
Related Article: Top 5 Shisha Shops in Dubai
These are some of the things not to do in Dubai to for a safe and sound trip. Now, you know things you should not do, so you might be interesting in knowing best things to do in Dubai. You can also add your experience & insight by adding comments below.