Do's and Don'ts in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country with a rich cultural heritage and traditions. When visiting or residing in the UAE, it's important to be aware of the local customs and follow certain guidelines to show respect and avoid unintentionally causing offense. Here are some essential dos and don'ts to keep in mind:



  • Respect the local culture and customs: Familiarize yourself with the local traditions, dress modestly in public areas, and be mindful of local customs and practices.
  • Dress appropriately: Dress modestly, especially in public areas and religious sites. Women should cover their shoulders and knees, and men should avoid wearing shorts in public.
  • Follow local laws and regulations: Obey traffic rules, refrain from public displays of affection, and respect the country's laws regarding alcohol consumption and substance abuse.
  • Carry proper identification: Keep your identification documents, such as a valid passport or Emirates ID, with you at all times.
  • Greet with respect: When meeting Emirati locals, greet them with a polite "As-salamu alaykum" (Peace be upon you) and respond to their greetings with "Wa alaykum as-salam" (And peace be upon you too).
  • Seek permission for photography: Always ask for permission before taking photos of individuals, especially locals or in sensitive areas.
  • Be mindful of Ramadan: During the holy month of Ramadan, respect the fasting traditions, avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours, and dress more conservatively.
  • Show courtesy in public: Practice good manners, be polite, and show respect to others in public places.




  • Public displays of affection: Avoid intimate gestures or displays of affection in public, as it is considered inappropriate.
  • Use offensive language or gestures: Refrain from using offensive language or making offensive gestures, as it is disrespectful and can lead to legal consequences.
  • Consume alcohol in public: Drinking alcohol in public places is not allowed unless you are in a licensed establishment such as a hotel, bar, or restaurant that serves alcohol.
  • Engage in excessive public noise: Avoid creating loud noises or disturbances in public areas, as it can be considered disrespectful and disruptive to others.
  • Engage in public criticism: Refrain from making negative or derogatory comments about the UAE, its culture, or its leaders, as it is considered offensive and can lead to legal consequences.
  • Take photographs of government buildings or military installations: Avoid taking photos of government buildings, military installations, or sensitive areas, as it may be prohibited for security reasons.
  • Disrespect religious customs: Show respect for religious customs and traditions, including avoiding eating, drinking, or smoking in public during Ramadan.
  • Engage in illegal activities: Avoid engaging in any illegal activities, including drug use, possession, or trafficking, as the penalties can be severe.

Remember, these guidelines are general in nature, and it's always advisable to familiarize yourself with specific local regulations and customs during your stay in the UAE.

Emirates for everyone

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