Top 10 Things Not to Do in Dubai

things not to do in dubai

‘When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do’…

Familiar with this quote?

It talks about the importance of blending in, of familiarizing with the customs and traditions of following rules and regulations when you are visiting any location as a guest. Following the traditions and culture of any new place is seen as a sign of honor, respect and mindfulness towards the locals and their way of life! And just like places everywhere, there are things not to do in Dubai to be followed and adhered to.

As a guest in the city of Dubai, you will be expected to follow rules and traditions, much like the locals. Being a guest does not exempt you from the traditions and regulations that have been officially set as proper decorum guidelines. As visitors, it is your duty to learn about the dos and don’ts to steer clear from any mishaps, understand your rights in Dubai and cooperate with authorities if such a need ever arises.

Being sensitive to the Emirati Arabian culture of Dubai avoids travelers from making any mistake that hurts sentiments of locals, enriching the experience of travel. This in turn helps establish a deep mutual respect that sets the stage for future travels between Dubai nationals and global visitors. Adjusting behavior to the local customs and traditions, is a sign of respect and mutual understanding that displays affection and understanding, all of which will help you make the most of your journey in Dubai!

The Cultural Etiquettes: Things Not to Do in Dubai

Dubai being a multicultural city where people from many ethnicities cohabit, has a deep and profound respect for religions and traditions. Naturally, there are plenty of cultural etiquettes that you must adhere to, at all times, especially while you are out in public areas.

Avoid using your left hand for greetings

The association of left hand for sanitation practices means that it is perceived as ‘unclean’. This is a common belief system in many eastern and middle eastern countries and Dubai is no exception to this. Greeting someone with a left handed handshake is considered rude and frowned upon. However, it is completely alright to use the left hand for water consumption or to hold bags and other essentials. Just do not consume food with your left hand, nor greet someone.

A big no to PDA

Among all of the things not to do in Dubai, this one you should pay strict attention to. Public display of affection is generally frowned upon in middle eastern as well as eastern countries. Dubai is no exception to this rule. Holding hands, being intimate by kissing or hugging one’s partner is not acceptable public decorum. Those who choose to not follow this rule can suffer serious consequences such as jail time, or even deportation.

No space for immodesty

Culturally, women are expected to dress modestly in public at all times. Though most of these regulations are centered around preserving the modesty of a woman, this rule also extends to men. Tight and skimpy clothes are considered vulgar and will not be tolerated in public. Wear comfortable loose clothes which cover your arms, legs and chest so as to not attract any negative attention.

Behavior in Public

Certain behavior in public spaces is considered lewd and thus you must avoid them at every cost! Apart from societal expectations, visitors must also maintain a positive attitude to ensure they have a good time in the duration of their stay.

Cleanliness rules

Littering must be avoided at all costs. The citizens of Dubai adore their city, they take immense pride in the various steps they have adopted to maintain hygiene. Guests will find clean and well organized roads and other public spaces that are meant to be kept as they are. Littering is an offense and a legal one. From confronting the police to having to pay a hefty fine, you may have to deal with certain legalities if you are caught damaging or defacing public properties.

prohibited activities in dubai

Among the other things not allowed in Dubai, photographing without consent perhaps tops the list. It is better to ask for photography permission whenever you are taking pictures in public so as to avoid legal prosecutions. Be extra mindful of taking photographs of public spaces, especially when it comes to women and children.

Observe all regulations during Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is pious for citizens of Dubai. It is a month of fasting and praying which results in special circumstances and rules. Eating in public spaces are prohibited with even the restaurants covering up dining sections so as to not offend anyone. As guests in the country, you will get access to all types of food including dubai cuisine, however, out of respect for their cultural beliefs, refrain from abusing the generosity of Dubai inhabitants.

Adult content and recreations like fashion magazines, Israel made items, non-prescribed medications, pork or bacon products, etc, are all illegal in Dubai. Cursing in public, staying in the same hotel rooms out of wedlock, insensitive remarks, cross dressing, too can cause you to face legal troubles. Follow the legalities to the core so as not to cause any trouble for yourself or others.

Apart from these many above-listed pointers, the core things not to do in Dubai is to miss out on the beautiful locations and be mesmerized by this Arabian land. Being the core of Emirati cultural epicenter, Dubai will gift you memorable experiences when you respect its way of life!

Medication and Legal ConsiderationsGuidelines
Carry a Valid PrescriptionEnsure you have a valid prescription for any medication you bring into Dubai to avoid any issues with customs or local authorities.
Know the Legal Drinking AgeAdhere to the legal drinking age of 21 years old and consume alcohol only in authorized places.
Avoid Prohibited ItemsFamiliarize yourself with the list of prohibited items and avoid bringing them into Dubai.
Respect Local Customs and TraditionsShow respect for local customs and traditions, and refrain from discussing sensitive topics or insulting the royal family in public.
Things not to do in Dubai

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