United Arab Emirates

Some Dos and Donts in the United Arab Emirates

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Travelling to The UAE aka Dubai for the first time soon ?, I’ll be giving you some little tips of dos and donts on travel to the UAE .

The United Arab Emirates is a country in the Middle east it is an Arabian Peninsula nation settled mainly along the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. The country is a federation of 7 emirates. Abu Dhabi, the island capital, is home to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with crystal chandeliers and room for 40,000 worshipers. Dubai is the site of ultramodern Burj Khalifa tower, enormous shopping centers and extravagant entertainment attractions. Are you yet to book for flight and room reservation why don’t you click on the link Check for available flights and rooms in UAE I’m sure you’ll get great deals. Just a Side note my favorite place to stay in The UAE is Ras -Al kimah, I will gist you about that some other time.

Dress Code: Emirati dress conservatively in traditional dress and can be offended when people dress inappropriately or not in accordance with Islamic values. In public places such as shopping malls, restaurants and parks, you are encouraged to dress appropriately. Clothing should NOT be transparent, indecently exposed parts of the body or display offensive pictures or slogans. Be careful as well if you are tattooed with what could be deemed offensive images or slogans, if in doubt cover up.  Be aware that if you enter one of these areas dressed inappropriately you could, albeit unlikely, be asked to leave (most of the larger shopping malls display signs warning respectable clothing should be worn). Any form of nudity is strictly forbidden. Swimwear should not be worn in any other area outside the beach, water parks, or swimming pools. Bear in mind that just because you see someone else doing something such as topless bathing does not mean that it is right.

It is preferable for both men and women to have their shoulders and knees covered and for women not to reveal too much when not on the beach or at a hotel.  

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Over the Counter or Doctor Prescribed Medications:

The UAE has very strict drug/medication laws and even certain over the counter medicines especially those with codeine are forbidden, even for personal use unless with a specific doctor’s prescription about the period of use.  Checking the banned substances list from the your embassy will be helpful for peace of mind.

If you are using doctor prescribed drugs such as painkillers or antidepressants it is advisable to carry a doctor’s note. (A general open letter is NOT sufficient, the letter must cover the period of travel, and describe the illness and the relative medicines prescribed for that illness.) If you are taking prescription drugs into the UAE you may need to seek prior agreement from their authorities.

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Smoking – E Cigarettes and Vaping  – Smoking is forbidden in government areas, offices and shopping malls. however, there are many designated areas where smoking is allowed. E Cigarettes and Vaping are banned in The UAE, you may well find your devices are confiscated at the airport upon arriving in Dubai.

Dancing  Dubai has bars and nightclubs, but the Foreign Office says you should not dance in public. “Dancing is allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs,” the advice says. The Dubai Code of Conduct says dancing and loud music is forbidden in public places, such as beaches, parks and residential areas .

Sexual Relationships outside of marriage are illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in your own country. Cohabiting, including in hotels, is also illegal, however most Dubai hotels don’t enforce “Only Married Couples” rule. Luxury hotels, which often cater to foreigners, are especially relaxed, so chances are you won’t have trouble booking a room. At check-in, you’ll be required to show your passport, but having different surnames won’t raise any eyebrows. In Dubai, married women often keep their surnames. Once you’ve checked into a hotel, refer to each other as “Husband” and “Wife” rather than saying “my boyfriend” or “my fiance.” This could help prevent potential problems.

Alcohol Consumption:

We do love our alcohol but alcohol Consumption is allowed only by Non-Muslims in licensed restaurants, bars, clubs, private venues, and at home (for residents who have acquired an alcohol licence).  Tourists are not allowed to purchase alcohol in general stores and supermarkets etc., alcohol in these stores are for residents who have obtained the required liquor license to purchase alcohol for consumption in their own personal use at homes.

It is against the law to drink alcohol whilst walking in the street or to be drunk in a public place.  It is an offence to carry alcohol in your car if you do not have the special alcohol licence. If you come to the attention of the police you may be arrested, even though you may have purchased the alcohol legally. Alcohol can only be consumed by individuals aged 21 and above. Alcohol is not available in Sharjah .


The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards drinking and driving. You can be charged and imprisoned if you are caught with even the smallest amount of alcohol in your system; If your going to drink walk, get a cab or use the metro. tailgating, speeding above the speed limit, racing, lane jumping ,using a mobile phone while driving,eating/drinking while driving are all against the law.  There are many speed cameras on the roads and motorways.  Fines in The UAE are heavy.  If you are caught  you may also face the possibility of having your car impounded.  Wearing a seat-belt is mandatory.

Taking Photos of random strangers especially Emirati is frowned on and could cause problems don’t do that .

Holding Hands for married couples is tolerated but kissing and hugging are considered offences against public decency. Public Display of Affection is generally not tolerated.

Above all , do not be scared of travelling to The UAE, its really a lovely place to travel to. My next post will be about places and fun things to do on a budget when in The UAE .

If you have questions do ask via the comment section, I will be sure to answer you to the best of my ability almost immediately .

To check for hotel rooms and flight to The UAE click timbu.com

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