6 Things to Consider for First Time Travelers in Dubai

Dubai is a must-visit destination for travelers who want to witness innovation blended with culture.

But unlike other global cities, the dazzling UAE urban hub is deeply immersed in a unique combination of history and technology. Which is why, if you travel to this amazing city, you will surely experience not just the wonders and benefits of innovation but also appreciate the history of Dubai attached to both sand and sea.

And since Dubai is in a totally different country from whence you came, it’s only natural that it also has a different values and cultural practices. It is common courtesy that you respect UAE laws and traditions to ensure that you have a stress-free and enjoyable stay.

On your first visit to Dubai, make sure to keep in mind these following considerations to make your travel there a truly pleasant one.

1. Book ahead of time

Since you’ll be visiting a place new to you, it’s important to book your accommodation, plane ticket, and transportation ahead of time. If you want a room overlooking the Gulf shores, book your stay at JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel for an idyllic holiday. This 5-star hotel will guarantee you a perfect luxury getaway.

2. Dress modestly

In Dubai, dressing modestly in public, including inside malls and along the streets, is a must. This means that skimpy and skin-baring clothes are a no-no except in beaches and hotel pools where swimwear is acceptable. However, sunbathing topless is definitely forbidden.

Men aren’t exempted as they’re expected to watch their wardrobe. They aren’t allowed to walk around topless away from the beach or pool. Also, when visiting a religious place, women must wear a headscarf.

3. Don’t drink alcohol

For Muslims, drinking alcohol is against the law. However, non-Muslims can still buy alcoholic drinks in licensed restaurants, bars and hotels. But just because you’re allowed to drink doesn’t mean you should do so in public.

Regardless of nationality or religion, disorderliness is illegal so make sure that you drink alcohol in an appropriate place. To play safe, when booking your hotel, be sure to send an enquiry or get in touch to know whether or not alcohol is available, and if you’re allowed to drink in your room.

4. Avoid any public display of affection

Kissing or even holding hands in public is frowned upon in Dubai, and there are cases where couples got arrested for smooching in public. Although holding hands can be tolerated for married couples, it’s safer to just avoid any form of intimate physical contact in public.

5. Check prescriptions

Drugs are illegal in Dubai and the government has a zero tolerance policy for people found in possession, although this extends to several prescription medications like medicine which contains codeine. Do your homework and search what are considered allowable medicine or prescription drugs in UAE to make sure you’re not bringing in what may be classified as illegal pharmaceuticals.

6. Show respect

Islam is the state religion so don’t do or say anything that may seem disrespectful towards Muslims and their belief system, and any other religion for that matter since religious tolerance is observed to a certain extent in the UAE (there are a number of Christian churches already established there).

Again, related to this is showing respect, being humble and dressing modestly to ensure no local social mores are disregarded.

If you happen to go to Dubai during Ramadan, make certain that you already know how to act during this religious event. Abide by the rules of Ramadan and avoid drinking, smoking, and eating in public during the prescribed daytime hours.

Have a stress-free Dubai holiday

Although there are many rules to observe, you won’t regret meeting friendly people, sampling delicious international cuisine, experiencing stellar service and visiting all the magnificent places you’ll get to see in Dubai.

If you plan to stay longer in Dubai to shop or make major purchases, getting a self-storage unit may come in handy when you don’t have enough space to accommodate your newly-acquired possessions in your hotel. Just remember to keep these tips in mind to make the most out of your Dubai vacation.


About the Author

Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”