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Dubai Travel: Dos and Don’ts of Visiting Dubai

Dubai Travel: Dos and Don’ts of Visiting Dubai

Whenever you dream of Dubai, you think of all those magnificent buildings and shopping malls. But the most exciting place of the Middle East has so much more to offer. Apart from witnessing the world’s tallest building ‘Burj Khalifa’ and strolling around beautiful shopping malls, you can engage in Jungle Safari, shop for gold, and embrace the cultural and religious value of Dubai. To help you make the most of your Dubai travel, here are some dos and don’ts you should follow during your visit.


As a tourist in Dubai, you can do almost everything – from visiting the top tourist attractions to indulging in all sorts of adventurous activities. And don’t forget to embrace the culture of the place. Whether you are a history lover, shopping fanatic, nature lover, or adventure maniac, here are some things to do to enjoy your best time in Dubai:

1) Dress Modestly

You may be fond of wearing those short dresses and swimsuits but you need to follow Emirati etiquettes when you are in Dubai. UAE is an Arab country so you need to dress modestly here. However, that doesn’t mean you need to hide your face under the Burqa while strolling the streets. Just dress modestly whenever you are in public places, especially crowded ones. Remember that swimsuits and bikinis are only allowed on private beaches or pools. Also, cross-dressing is banned and you can not opt for topless sunbathing as well.

Here are a few dressing tips you can follow:

  • Wear long and loose dresses that will help you stay cool and comfortable
  • Cover your arms, chest, and legs with appropriate clothing
  • Always follow local dress code ethics during summers as well as winters

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2) Count on Metro for Local Travel

If you have a fixed budget but still want to roam and see everything in the city, travel through the metro instead of taxis or cabs. Metros in Dubai are not only cheap but will also help you save plenty of time. If you travel through Dubai metro, here are a few things to remember:

  • Children under the age of 5 can travel for free
  • Charges depend on the zone you are traveling in
  • Visitors buy a red ticket or silver card for hassle-free travels
  • Head to the right cabin to avoid any fine

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3) Know the Right Timings

If you don’t know the right timings of a tourist spot, you might end up on a closed door. Also, weekends are different in Dubai and everyone gets to work on Sundays. To experience the best of Dubai, make sure to know the timings for all the tourist spots in advance.

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4) Follow Traffic Rules

You can drive in Dubai as a non-resident only if you are over 21 and have a valid UAE driving license and credit card. You also need to carry all the registration and insurance papers along with you whenever you are in the city. Also, make sure to follow safety rules while driving and follow the right-hand drive system.

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5) Double-Check Medications

Dubai has zero-tolerance for unapproved and illicit drugs. You also need to be mindful when carrying prescription medication. Make sure to follow guidelines for all the medications you are bringing to Dubai otherwise you can get in trouble. Never carry any medicine that Dubai authorities won’t approve of. The best is to check UAE’s official website for medicines that are permitted and also make sure to carry their prescription along with you.

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6) Respect Tradition

Dubai residents follow traditions associated with Islam and anything that doesn’t abide by the religion is strictly offensive. To have your best time in the city, make sure to respect the tradition of the locals. If you respect UAE’s cultural and traditional norms, you are sure to receive overwhelming hospitality. Here are some things you can do to show your respect towards the local culture:

  • Greet locals with “Salam” or “AssalamuAlaikum”
  • Respect women in the public
  • Avoid making hand gestures 
  • Avoid drinking in public areas
  • Dress modestly 
  • Avoid shaking hands with the opposite sex

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Dubai has its own values and code of conduct that are influenced by Islam. So, don’ts here mean you shouldn’t do them at any cost. But that doesn’t mean the city is highly conservative. It’s just that Dubai is an Arab country and you need not do anything that is considered disrespectful to the Islamic culture.

1) Don’t Indulge in PDA

PDA or public display of affection is strictly not allowed in Dubai. That means you can’t hug, kiss, or hold hands in public. If you are caught indulging in PDA, you may land up in prison.

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2) Don’t Take Photos without Permission

As a snap-happy person, you might love taking those Insta-worthy shots. Unfortunately, photography is offensive at some tourist locations and buildings. So, always ask for permission from the authorities before taking selfies and photographs of such places. We recommend you avoid clicking pictures of royal buildings, police stations, mosques, military places, shopping malls, and airports.

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3) Don’t Eat Outdoors During Ramadan

If you are traveling to Dubai during Ramadan, remember not to eat, smoke, or drink anything outdoors from dawn to dusk. However, you can eat in restaurants where there is a special screened setting for guests so that they can eat without bothering the locals. The best is to eat from the comforts of your hotel room.

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4) Don’t Drink in Public

No doubt alcohol is available in some pubs and restaurants, drinking in public is highly offensive in Dubai. Being found in an inebriated state can make you end up in jail. So, make sure not to drink in public places and only buy alcohol if you have the license. Also, don’t accept drinks from others at pubs and do not smoke in public.

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5) Don’t Drink & Drive

Drinking outdoors is strictly prohibited in Dubai and so is drinking and driving. That means not even a slight trace of alcohol found in you can land you in prison. Apart from no-drunk driving, using your phone while driving or exceeding the speed limit can impose heavy fines on you.

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Dubai is one of the best cities to visit in the UAE. No doubt the city has so much to offer to travelers, there are some restrictions or rules for them. Follow the laws and cultural norms to enjoy your best time here.

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