Your First time in Dubai – What you need to know before you go to Dubai

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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.

Platinum Heritage Safari

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,ย 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.

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    December 19, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    That’s some Serious Rules. Well, it’s their city and I can understand it.
    I was planning to write something about as Christmas Special.
    I would like to know if the Christmas is being Celebrated at all?
    Please find all our Christmas Special Cities here. #SantaIsComing

    November 12, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Please i would like to know how to go about this travelling to dubai

    October 21, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    You somehow got few misguided tips such as holding hands in public places and cuddling, let me clear this up for you, holding hand & cuddling are perfectly fine and permitted in the UAE, there is no law that requires you not to hold hands in public, do whatever you like in Dubai, it’s lively and peacefully here and the police are friendly and tolerable with everybody and if you made a mistake they would just tell you with zero harm.

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    October 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm

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    September 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

    How Long Can u Stay in Dubai For a First Visit , I was Told u won’t be allowed to stay more than 6 months , if u’re going for the first time ?

    September 1, 2015 at 10:28 am

    How Long Can u Stay in Dubai For a First Visit , I was Told u won’t be allowed to stay more than 6 months , if u’re going for the first time?

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    August 5, 2015 at 9:31 am

    […] If it’s your first time travelling to Dubai, read up on ‘Your first time in Dubai — what you need to know before you go to Dubai’. […]

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    July 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    […] that in mind, you should still remember to dress modestly and to avoid public displays of affection when in the city. If visiting during Ramadan, remember […]

    zeeshan khan
    May 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I’m Job in Dubai Computer Operator

    May 15, 2015 at 3:24 am

    I’ve seen couples (even local Arab couples) holding hands in the Dubai Mall and other places. Guess it’s acceptable if it’s a married couple or it is just assumed that the couple is married. Excessive PDAs are a no-no.

    Olivia Brown
    April 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Such a informatic article ! As a compliment I recomended this article to know what you need to know traveling to Dubai during Ramadan :

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    February 24, 2015 at 12:11 am

    A good advise it is. I am traveling to Dubai soon

    February 16, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Very nice list, so helpful to know this before visiting. But despite the rules it’s well worth the visit….just wrote a piece about the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi ๐Ÿ™‚

    Family Villas
    February 15, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I have read many articles but you have some very interesting things to add up here. The pictures are adorable.

    godwin rita
    January 14, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Tanks I am grateful 4 d guideline giving to me

    October 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I had always considered Emirates to be my go to airline, along side Air NZ. In the last few weeks, I have travelled from Paris to Abu Dhabi a few times with Etihad and had exceptional service every time. On the last flight, there were less than 20 of us on the plane – cartwheels up the aisles, 1000s of kilometres into the air – beats singing into a hair brush ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Brooke! I absolutely LOVE your blog! I just started reading blogs and I’m so glad I found yours. I’m eighteen and have insatiable wanderlust. These are very helpful and I love the pictures! Thank you!

    Clipping Path Outsource
    August 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you for the post about Dubai.
    Extra thanks for the awareness topic.

    July 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks for the advice! I’ve heard a few of the laws but it’s great to be aware of all of them ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx

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