Dubai Local Customs

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Dubai Local Customs

  • Clothing & behaviour

    This really shouldn't need saying, but unfortunately it is because of the behaviour of not only tourists but also some expatriate residents.Because people have abused the relaxed, liberal attitude of the authorities by behaving and dressing inappropriately, there is now an official campaign to enforce the rules and laws.Police are out in force...

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  • Tipping

    We regularly get Forum questions about tipping in just about every country. In Dubai it's entirely optional, and staff do not expect a tip.I never tip my hairdresser or tailor. I give a tip in restaurants only for exceptional service. Then I give cash to the staff member and never have it added to the credit card bill as I'm sure the staff won't be...

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  • Blocked websites

    In UAE they censor some websites that are thought to be used by groups who oppose the rulers of or website they believe is against ethicals,the country and it can be very hard to get on to some webpages, gaywebsites.but they are mostly blocked.

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  • UAE currency

    The local currency is DIRHAM (Dhs.), which is divided into 100 FILS. It is also referred to as AED (Arab Emirate Dirham).Bills come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 1000 units.Coins are in 1 Dhs, 50 fils, 25 fils. Because 5 and 10 fils coins are not widely available, you often will not receive the exact change.The Dirham has been stable at an...

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  • Carry a prescription!

    When travelling to or through the UAE, any medicines that you may be carrying you should have a prescription for as many as banned here for containing codine etc. If you have a prescription from your GP then it will be permissable if you do not then you may face jail time! Recently for residents they introduced a ban on the contraceptive pill...

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  • Ramadan

    The holy month of Ramadan is a time when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. No food or drink and no smoking is permitted.Non-Muslims must respect the fast and also are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours. It's also more important than usual to wear appropriate, non-revealing clothing.Hotels have a restaurant...

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  • do's and don'ts

    1. Public Displays of affection are frowned upon.2. Don't drink alcohol in public places.3. Obscene gestures could land you in jail.4. Don't take pictures of Emirates especially women and government buildings.5. Some medications are illegal in the UAE. Check with the local authorities if the medications you have are legal.

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  • Ramadan

    Yes, we all know the muslim society does fast during the month of ramadan.Should we stay away from Dubai in this month? No.In the Tourist hotels it is ok to eat and drink in public.But not in any other public places, like in shopping malls.The foud courts there are closed till sunset.Yes, Starbucks tooo...

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  • Coffee / Gahwa

    Arab traditions also play an important role in Emirati people's life. These age-old traditions have evolved over the past years and are highly regarded. They include generosity and hospitality, which every Saudi family offers to strangers, friends, and family. The simplest expression of hospitality is coffee – its preparation alone is an intricate...

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  • ~ The Holy Month of Ramadan ~

    Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar and the holiest of the four holy months. It begins with the sighting of the new moon after which all physically mature and healthy Muslims are obliged to abstain from all food, drink, gum chewing, any kind of tobacco use, and any kind of sexual contact between dawn and sunset.Bars and clubs...

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  • UAE & 'dress code'

    So many people are asking how they should dress up while in the UAE. Well, it is important not to overreact to the warning that it is a Muslim country. Yes, you have to respect the culture, especially during Ramadan, BUT it doens't mean that you cann't wear shorts, sleavless shirts, tight tops and mini-dresses. Just don't make it to the extreme and...

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  • While in Rome do what the Romans...

    Well few tips i think the travellers rather tourists should know about dubai:- Being a islamic country nudity is very intolerant so if you guys on the beaches try keeping the swim suits on.- Alcohol is not sold everywhere, you cannot drink on the streets or carry a bottle with you outside, drink at home or clubs.- During Ramadan time you should...

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  • Dress Code

    Dubai is modernising each day however when in the city it is always best to dress modestly which includes casually.Its best if ladies dont wear short skirts or tiny tops. Singlets with thick straps is fine.In the western hotels you can pretty much wear what you want and walk around the pool area in your bathers.

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  • Luxury

    I think this is beginning to become a part of Dubai's culture.Example:- Our hotel controlled the Beaches temperature and every night we would get a newsletter informing of what it would be the next day!

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  • Majlis!

    Majlis is a meeting place for the man where they play domino, drink togheter coffe of tea, smoking shisa, talking and mantein the trditions alive.In Bastakia area there is still one of this, before was only a tent, now is a big room with carpet and pillows, but also a wooden and tent veranda.We hade the chance to occasionaly know a eau citizen in...

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  • A villa!

    The villa here are made of concrete and black glasses, with all the acomodation inside!This is a normal size villa, but u can fidn more big than this with a tipical arab style!

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  • The Camel

    Although we did not visit a camel farm - ran out of time - this is the closet i came to a camel on my visit.

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  • "Tsching tsching? WHO THERE???"

    Think retro .. and the images of Jim Morrison crooning 'Break on through to the other side' smack bang centre into your head. And all along the little tambourine 'tsching' 'tsching-ing' away crazily. Well the Arabs have their own lil mojo right in the middle of Dubai.Daff, or oriental tambourine:Called Riq or Duff in certain places. It is...

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  • Kenny G serenades his belly dancers

    Well if Elvis could have his turn at playing arabic instruments, why not Kenny G. Let's just substitute the stringed instruments for wind instruments here and voila .. this is what we have - The Nay:Bamboo flute, made of an open piece of bamboo, with seven holes (one for the thumb, and 6 for other fingers). Can also come with a mouthpiece made of...

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  • The Arabian Elvis

    So now probably you're wondering if Elvis was born Arab, what kind of stringed instruments he would be using - yes? Well go on reading then ...The Oud:The Oud's rich low tone makes it the ideal instrument for long Tarab evenings. It is a pear-shaped lute with a short fretless neck. It can be plucked with the fingers or with a feather. The Oud is...

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  • Roundabouts

    One thing that amazes most people coming to Dubai is just how many roundabouts there are - it seems like every corner is one. The thing about UAE-roundabouts is that they are really nicely decorated - each having a theme, with a statue or some sort of structure in the middle. Roundabouts can be scary for people who are not used to them - here are...

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  • The Music and Dance of the Emirates

    Music and dance play an important role in every society - this holds true for the UAE: the most famous dance is Al Ayaala, a war dance which praises the virues of courage and bravery in battle. It is performed to a drumbeat and the men carry swords.Al Nahma is a famous song of the sea, sung without musical instruments. It is performed on board...

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  • The Weapons of the Emirates

    The Bedouin admire, above all, courage, strength, and bravery. A man would wear his dagger at all times and keep his rifle beside him while he slept.There were several types of traditional weaponry, which included swords such as the Bu Falaj and Al Kattara, daggers with handles of animal horn or ivory, an Al Bishek (a sharp steel knife) and Al...

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  • A little lesson in language!

    If you are worried about not speaking Arabic - don't fret! Everything in Dubai is in both English and Arabic - from traffic-signs to restaurant menus. Everybody also speaks English - more or less.... Here are the a few Arabic phrases that might come in handy:Sabah el khair - sabah el noor / Good morning, good eveningshukran - Thank you!yaallla...

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  • Modesty works best here

    Dubai is one of the most liberal cities in the Middle East but I still think it's good to respect the customs of the locals.For women :swim suits are allowed on beaches and skimpy clothes in night clubs but it would be best not to flaunt in places such as shopping malls, restaurants or even while just walking around.For men: shorts are allowed but...

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  • What arabian women wear...

    According to CIA data in United Arabic Emirates the 96% of population is muslim. So it is easy find women wear with the classic muslim clothes called Abaya. In particular abaya is a loose, usually black robe worn by Muslim women, especially in Arabic-speaking regions, covering the body from head to toe and often worn with a headscarf and veil. Then...

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  • What you wear

    This is a Muslim country.Even though you are free to wear what you want here. The government is very flexible on wha religion you are practicing. One thing do keep in mind to wear modestly when you are out of the city. Especially when you visit the countryside and montains. Respect the locals as you how you want to be respected. We are in their...

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  • Heads up! A few "do's"

    Do:1) Keep the soles of your feet/shoes tucked away or aimed downwards. It is considered offensive to expose the bottoms of your feet to another person.2) Stay indoors while drinking any alcoholic beverage. In addition to being a serious sin in Islam to drink alcohol, it is also unlawful to drink in public, such as on a beach or in the street.3) If...

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  • Hospitality

    Coffee and hospitality are inseparable in Arabian culture. There is a ritualistic aspect to the serving and drinking of coffee. This tent may appear to be a display, but in fact it is the coffee lounge outside of the cafeteria at a local university.If you are offered coffee as a gesture of hospitality at the home or office of an Arab collegue or...

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  • Wedding lights

    Parents of couples getting married often cover their houses with thousands of lights, which is a stunning sight after dark. I've most often seen it in the residential area around Jumairah Beach and it really is worth a visit to see.

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  • Keep your shirt on

    It is better to ignore the acres of pink flesh parading the resort hotels and shopping malls and to remember that Dubai is an Islamic society with a more conservative dress code. Old Cliffie trudges through the arid sands of Arizona in shorts and a tee-shirt, but in the deserts of Dubai he wears smart but casual slacks and a freshly-laundered...

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  • Life in the Desert

    The Desert is the traditional habitat of people throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The Bedouin, who were the earliest inhabitants of the region, once lived in strong tribal communities and roamed the blazing sands with their camels, in search of food, grazing and trade. Sheep and goad herders scratched a living on the arid mountainsides. Cultivators...

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  • YOU & UR CAM

    Do not take pictures of Locals both men and women..Make sure you ask them if so ...if they cought u taking pic they may crash ur cam on your head ............hehehehe ;)I

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  • This, that and the other

    Tips are not generally expected, but waiters make appallingly low wages, so I'm sure that a small tip is appreciated. I noticed that I got many, many stares while in Dubai, and I'm not sure if it's simply because I'm a woman, because I'm obviously western, or because my boyfriend is Indian... I didn't feel it was a problem, but it took me a while...

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  • Respect the Islamic culture

    Even though Dubai is a very modern city and the population is dominated by foreingers, this is still an Islamic country so don't forget to stay respectfully covered when out and about in the city!Okay, you don't have to be as covered up as the picture shown, but pants and tee-shirts are good!

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Dubai Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Dubai local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Dubai sightseeing.
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