Travel Etiquettes for Dubai!

While Dubai is one of the most cosmopolitan places in the Middle East, there are still a few norms you need to bear in mind when travelling here. Following are some things you need to know before you land!



Dress Code


There is a formal dress code for all of the city. It is a must to have your shoulders, cleavage and knees covered at all times when you’re roaming in the public places of the city.


Swimwear is ok by the poolside and on beaches, but it’s best to stick to the more conservative side of trunks.


It is a must to have a scarf on your head when visiting religious institutions.

 Photo Courtesy: CC BY 2.0

It’s ok to dress in whatever way you like in most hotels and bars, but do always keep a shawl or scarf handy for the cab rides and the walks to and from these places.


Hand Gestures


There can be severe punishments and fines for making rude or offensive hand gestures, so it’s best to keep your fingers in control and your calm in tact!

Some sects of Muslims in Dubai consider handshakes as offensive. Don’t offer your hand before they take the initiative to avoid an awkward encounter.




You would be inclined to capture the daily hum drum of Dubai, but you may want to hold those clicks a bit. It’s considered offensive to photograph Muslim women, and it’s also customary to ask men before you click a picture.


Photo Courtesy: via flickr


It’s not allowed to photograph most mosques, government buildings or military installations. Refrain from the same.


Generic Mannerisms


It is considered inappropriate to cross your legs in formal meetings.


It’s customary to stand up when a dignitary or an important guest walks into a hall.


Refrain from any public displays of affection. Even hugging is not a norm.


Photo Courtesy: *Crazy Diamond* via Flickr


With these small steps, you can ensure you’ve shown appropriate respect to the cultural sentiments of the locals in Dubai. Don’t worry too much, Dubai is one warm and welcoming place!