10 Things You Should Completely Avoid Doing When In Dubai

  • 03/05/2020

Have you ever heard the saying; “If you go to Rome, do what the Romans do?” Well, this is no different from Dubai too. Every city is guided by rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are expected to be obeyed and followed by residents and anybody traveling to that city.

Although Dubai is a fun and calm destination, having so much to offer, never mistake the city to be the Las Vegas of the Middle East. Laws are a bit stringent in Dubai. If you overstep your boundary, the consequences may be dreadful. To ensure you have a trouble-free stay in Dubai, it’s important to familiarise yourself with some basic rules and guidelines before embarking on your trip.

Never Do Any of These Things When In Dubai

1. Sharing the Same Room with an Unmarried Partner Is Illegal

Having carnal knowledge with someone you’re not married to is unlawful in Dubai. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re in a relationship with the person. So far as you two are not legally married, it’s impossible to even share the same hotel room, let alone copulate. Failure to obey this will attract a minimum jail sentence of one year, followed by deportation.

Dubai, being a conservative community, is hostile towards cross-dressers. The reason being that cross-dressing is equated to gayism in Dubai. If you enjoy dressing like the opposite sex, please do so elsewhere. Dubai isn’t the place to try this.

3. Drinking Alcohol in Public Is A No-No

It’s not prohibited to drink alcohol in Dubai. What is illegal is drinking in public; as well as being drunk in public. Alcohol should be bought at licensed places. Failure to adhere to this can attract penalties in the form of fines, jail, or deportation.

There’s no cause for alarm for legally married couples to hold hands and exchange pecks on the cheeks. However, passionate kissing and fondling are frowned upon in public places. Dubai’s public decency law does not permit unmarried members of the opposite gender to display public affection – even in bars and clubs. Take note of this if you plan on spending your honeymoon in Dubai.

5. Avoid Any Form of Foul Language

Did someone cut you off in traffic while driving? Keep your cool. Don’t give ‘the finger,’ use any foul language, or make any irritating gestures. This is considered disrespectful, and being disrespectful is against the law in Dubai. As a tourist, this can land you in jail for 30 days.

6. Desist From Taking Pictures & Videos of People

As a tourist in the ‘City of Gold’, you’ll be enticed to capture some fun moments during your visit. But wait, once you do not have the consent of people (especially children and women), never try to take pictures of them; ever. This practice, under United Arab Emirates’ cyber-crime laws, is an offense. When caught taking pictures and videos of people without their consent, your camera or phone will be confiscated, pictures deleted, and you will be asked to pay a fine or spend some days in jail.

7. Skimpy Dresses Should Be Avoided At All Times

Dressing inappropriately isn’t appreciated in Dubai. It’s a sign of disrespect. Therefore, gratuitously short and revealing clothes should be avoided at all times. Bikinis are allowed at the beach (not the ones found in the Playboy magazine). However, you must refrain from going topless at public places if you are a lady.

8. Eating or Drinking in Public Places During Ramadan Is Strictly Forbidden

Thou shalt not tempt residents on the land thou art visiting with food whilst fasting, for it is insensitive and thoughtless at the same time. Muslims deem the month of Ramadan holy, and as such, fast from sunrise to sunset – an act performed by the Muslim populace in Dubai.

As a non-Muslim tourist, you’re not obliged to also fast. However, it is required of you to show respect to those fasting. You’re therefore not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public places during the fasting hours. Failure to abide by this can land you in big trouble; as it is seen as gross disrespect to the laws of the land.

9. Don’t Go About Spreading Misleading Information Online

You may not have heard this, but spreading false rumors online is unlawful. You ought to be extra careful when using social media and other online platforms in Dubai. Spreading misleading or unverified information of a public figure or any other person is tantamount to cyberbullying. Always verify your information before posting them online.

10. Don’t Do Drugs. Simple!

Dealing in narcotics is a very serious crime in Dubai. It’s crucial that you don’t indulge yourself in any drug use while on vacation as a tourist; that is if you value your freedom and want to avoid imprisonment and deportation.


11. Dancing & Playing Loud Music In Public Places Is Prohibited

Dubai is flooded with bars and nightclubs so you’re encouraged to head to the nearest licensed bar or nightclub if you want to unleash the ‘Michael Jackson’ in you. Never try any of your dance moves in public places, because it is classed as “indecent and provocative” by the Dubai Code of Conduct.

Do you think these laws are too strict? If yes, why do you say so? If no, what are your reasons? Your opinion matter to us so kindly let us know what you think by way of commenting, below.