Dubai offers a lot to visitors to the United Arab Emirates. The deeply held religious values of the area require tourists to comply with local etiquette standards, but respectful and thoughtful courtesy will address most situations.
But when you’re making your round as a tourist and enjoying all the things to see in Duabi, and how should you behave? Generally speaking though, keep these things in mind:
Dress codes: Except when on the beach or at the pool, cover your shoulders, cleavage and legs from the knee up. If you’re visiting a mosque, religious sites, or older areas, switch to long pants, rather than shorts.
Avoid public displays of affection.
Public swearing or rude hand gestures are illegal
Don’t photograph Muslim men without asking permission, and don’t photograph Muslim women.
Dining out in Dubai
Sampling the cuisine of the area is an especially enjoyable part of travel. You can enjoy five-star dining at Grosvenor House Hotel, or Noble House in the Raffles Hotel. Try ethnic cookery along Al Dhujafah Road, or enjoy Friday brunches at Al Qasr Hotel or Bubbilicous, Shangri La or Spectrum on One.(Image by Marco Polo Hotel Dubai)
Shopping and then some!
In Dubai, shopping isn’t just about purchases, although the Spice Souk’s giant open bags of fragrant spices or the Gold Souk’s inexpensive gold jewelry offer that opportunity. Take your shopping experience to a whole new level at the Mall of the Emirates indoor ski slope. Or visit the Dubai Mall’s Sega World indoor theme park, Kidzania children’s learning area, full-sized skating rink, or the giant aquarium and underground zoo.
Appreciating history and culture
The Bastakia Quarter, built by Persian merchants in the late 1800s, is home to many art galleries and craft shops. The Dubai Museum preserves history with displays in old Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1799 to protect the area. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding promotes understanding of the local culture through different events, including cultural breakfasts and lunches. They also provide guides for tours of the Jumeirah mosque, the only one open to non-Muslims.
Sunning at the beaches
Thanks to the 1,318 km of coastline in the UAE, Dubai boasts beautiful beaches. Be sure to visit Al Mamzar Beach, with its sheltered swimming area and playgrounds; Jumeirah Beach Park, with handball, volleyball and basketball areas and places for prayer; or check out kite-surfers’ paradise, Kite Beach. Remember that some beaches have days on which they are open to women and children only, so plan ahead.(Image by Mazen Alhadad)
The rest of the story
No trip to Dubai would be complete without visits to the man-made islands of The Palm Jumeirah and The World, or to 2,716.5-foot BurjHalifa, the tallest structure on Earth. Don’t miss the Aquaventure water park, with the first dual slide or the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, home to 57 desert plant species, more than 120 bird varieties and over 40 mammals and reptiles. You can cap your vacation with an exhilarating tandem jump into SkyDive Dubai’s 26,000-meter drop zone near the Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Museum.
Dubai — you certainly won’t forget it. In fact, you might not even want to leave.
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Feature image by Eugene Kaspersky