There are few things you need to know before you go to Dubai. If it’s your first time in Dubai, you’re likely to have already heard a few tourist horror stories… perhaps you’ve even been led to believe that Dubai is incredibly strict and if you step out of line you’ll be thrown in prison. Not the case!
While Dubai isn’t nearly as strict as the picture you might have painted in your head, there are some unusual laws you need to be aware of before you go. Even if you’re not likely to be imprisoned, there is a chance breaking a law will run you into serious trouble. At the very least, it is respectful to abide by the laws of the place you are visiting.
A few things to know about Dubai
The UAE is not a democratic country & follows muslim and sharia laws
The laws and culture are very different to Western laws
Dubai laws tourists should be aware of
Revealing clothes are unlawful to an extent. When in public, always ensure your garment reaches at least just above the knee and ensure your shoulders are covered. In private resorts, hotels, shopping centres and out in the desert you can relax – swimwear is also acceptable at the pool area.
Men must wear a top unless they are on the beach/at the pool.
To be safe, always dress conservatively.
Kissing in public is not allowed and can warrant jail time.
Not just kissing, also holding hands and cuddling is considered unlawful in public.
During Ramadan (Holy month) you cannot eat, drink, chew gum, or smoke in public in daylight. Nothing is permitted to pass through the mouth between sunrise and sunset, and foreigners must abide by Ramadan in public areas.
Playing loud music in public areas is also considered unlawful.
If you do break the law, you are not entitled to legal representation or consular help. In short: don’t break the law.
You cannot drive with any alcohol in your blood system – this will warrant jail time.
Prohibited items include: drugs, firearms, erotic materials and pornographic material.
Most importantly, remember to abide by laws in the country you are visiting as a showing of respect. If you don’t like the sound of not being able to eat in public during the day, avoid visiting Dubai or the UAE in general during Ramadan.