Every country follows certain norms or code of conduct in terms of behaviour, dressing sense, eating habits and your body language. These norms become quite vital during social gatherings as no one wishes to become a laughing stock, catch people’s eye or become the talk of the town. More so, in some cases, it can even garner furore when you unknowingly hurt religious sentiments or dress in a way or behave in a manner that draws the disdain of the host and fellow locals. It is thereby essential that you know a few common etiquettes of a place you intend to visit for the first time for personal or business purposes in order to ensure a smooth sail and also create healthy relationships.
As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do what the Romans do”, a few common etiquettes should be followed when you visit Dubai. The city of Dubai welcomes visitors in a good number from places across the globe. However, Dubai being a Muslim city, a few things cannot be ignored in terms of behaviour and dress code. The city has a very high regard for its religion and culture, and in most cases often strict in a few areas. Knowing them beforehand is always a good idea in order to avoid surprises or bring in last minute changes.
Here are a few common etiquettes in Dubai that you should know before you travel to this splendid place.
People in Dubai have a very high regard for religion. No surprise for guessing that Mosques are found throughout the length of the city. The call for prayers is also heard at dawn and sunsets every single day, which echoes across roof tops. Non-Muslim tourists can visit a few mosques in Dubai to gain cultural understanding. Ramadan is a holy month, wherein fast is observed among the Muslim community. Visiting Dubai during this period has a special attraction to know its strong culture and religious ethics. Visitors and residents are refrained from consuming food and beverages in public places during the day time in Ramadan. However, there are a few designated areas for non-Muslims to eat and drink. Moreover, many hotels and outlets also remain open during the holy month. The highlight of this month is, post sun set you get to have one of the best rendezvous with food that can leave an imprint for a lifetime.
One should dress modestly when visiting Dubai, especially in public places and conservative or religious places. Swim suit is acceptable only on the beach or swimming pool. Elsewhere, visitors need to cover up. When visiting Mosques, religious locations or the older areas of the city, men and women should prefer wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing that does not expose the arms, shoulders and legs. Women are required to wear a head scarf when entering a Mosque.
Showing affection in public is not a regular sight there. Besides you cannot hug or kiss in public. All you can go with is holding hands or in the rarest instance a peck on the cheek. One should refrain from talking about your physical relationships in public. Apart from this, if you are someone who loves to take pictures, clicking pictures of government buildings, airports or taking pictures of the locals, especially that of women is regarded as disrespect.
It is illegal to get drunk in public in Dubai, which can lead to fine, imprisonment or deportation. Alcoholic beverages are available only at licensed restaurants and bars, which are located in hotels. One can also purchase alcohol from duty free shops at the international airport. However, there is set limit to your purchase. Drunk driving is strictly prohibited and there is a zero tolerance approach if you are caught driving even after having a single drink. One needs to thus be very cautious about it.
Hospitality and courtesy are the major highlights of this Arab world. Common gestures include, standing up when a guest arrives or people with higher – ranking and older people arrive, same goes when a woman enters a room the men are expected to stand. Apart from this, handshakes are not very common. Thus do not offer to shake your hands, unless the other person extends his/ her hand. Women do not prefer to shake hands for religious reasons.
One should also eat with your right hand and accept drinks or food only with the right hand. Pointing your foot to anyone shows disrespect; crossing or legs while sitting also needs to be avoided. Moreover, you should avoid pointing with your finger. If you wish to do a hand gesture, do it with the whole hand.
These are a few things that one should bear in mind while you visit Dubai. Following these etiquettes will go a long way in avoiding trouble and making your stay a more pleasure and joyful experience.
Being an Islamic nation, the county follows a few stringent rules, but eventually you will notice that the place – although deeply rooted with traditional values- is stunning and yet modern in many ways.