Top tips for first time visitors to Dubai

dubai skyline

This year, why not take a break in the guaranteed sunshine of Dubai?  Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is a shopper’s paradise, and it offers year round sun.  Now is a great time to book a cheap holiday to Dubai.

If you’ve never visited Dubai before, remember that it‘s a Muslim emirate with a more conservative culture than ours. With this in mind, we have selected a few top tips to make your first visit to Dubai one to remember, for all the right reasons!

Avoid public displays of affection

PDAs, including cuddling and hand holding, are strictly prohibited.  It is also illegal to stay in a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse or a close family member.   Homosexuality is illegal.

Dress modestly

In Dubai, men are required to wear shirts at all times except on the beach, and women should avoid short skirts and keep shoulders covered. Swimwear is only acceptable on the beach.  Cross-dressing is also prohibited.

Don’t get drunk

Public drunkenness is a criminal offence, (even in transit through UAE airports) as is driving with any alcohol whatsoever in your bloodstream. Dubai is not a dry country, but sale of alcohol is restricted, and as a tourist you won’t be able to purchase it in bottle shops.  Over 21s can consume alcohol in bars and restaurants, but avoid getting drunk.

Just say no to drugs

Dubai has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal drugs, and having any drugs in your bloodstream is considered to be possession.  Dubai airports have extremely sensitive drug-detecting technology.  Make sure you carry a doctor’s letter with any prescription drugs.

Be considerate during Ramadan

During the festival of Ramadan it is forbidden to eat, drink, chew gum or smoke in public during daylight hours.  Ramadan is expected to fall between 18 June and 18 July this year.  If you think this might cause you problems, why not visit Dubai at another time of year.

Dubai isn’t a democracy, so it’s worth noting that if you got arrested, you wouldn’t have the right to legal advice or representation, as you would in the UK.  So it pays to do your homework before you set off, and to observe local laws and customs whilst there.

More information about local laws and customs in Dubai and the UAE can be found here.

Armed with the above tips, we are confident that you will have an amazing first holiday in this truly exotic destination!

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