Dubai severely punishes acts that many Western travelers would never even imagine are illegal, including drinking alcohol without a permit, holding hands, sharing a room with someone of the opposite sex other than your spouse, taking pictures of other people, offensive language or gestures, and unsanctioned social ...
Dubai has bars and nightclubs, but the Foreign Office says you should not dance in public. "Dancing is allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs," the advice says. The Dubai Code of Conduct says dancing and loud music is forbidden in public places, such as beaches, parks and residential areas.
Sexting in the UAE is against the law. That also includes nude selfies, as this young couple found out. In Ras Al Khaimah, a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were given a three-month jail sentence followed by deportation for exchanging risque photos of themselves on WhatsApp, reported Khaleej Times.
Ironically, though, it's Dubai's extremely strict rules and ruthless law enforcement that poses the biggest threat to Western visitors who aren't accustomed to being restricted by laws as conservative as UAE's.
- Public displays of affection should be minimal – holding hands is acceptable but kissing and hugging in public is not. - Noise disruptions, bad language, making obscene gestures and showing disrespect in any way to Dubai's religion or its leaders are all forbidden and may land you in legal trouble.
Although according to the Islamic Shariah law it is illegal for unmarried couples to share a room at a hotel, the UAE has gone through a transformative relaxation of regulations in 2020 in an effort to improve its global image. Therefore, it is absolutely legal for an unmarried couple to share a room in Dubai.
Normal cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vape, heating tobacco, and other tobacco products are all legal in Dubai. Only if you use it in a location where smoking is prohibited, such as an outdoor smoking cabin. Smokers caught using an e-cigarette in a banned place face a fine of up to Dh 2.000.
Can you wear shorts in Dubai? There are no fixed rules regarding wearing shorts. When it comes to wearing shorts in Dubai, even in case of tourists, remember that thigh grazing shorts, hot shorts, booty shorts and mini-skirts that barely cover may not be a good choice in Dubai, unless you are wearing them at a beach.
While many believe it is illegal to get a tattoo in the UAE, there is no law prohibiting it. However, tattoos are deemed a form of self-injury, something which is forbidden in Islamic culture. It is illegal to get a tattoo by an unlicensed artist due to the health risk.
The Dubai Tourism Bureau states: “Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that recognises that marriage does not define all relationships and as such does not discriminate against singles or unmarried couples visiting the emirate.”
The general rule regarding dressing in public in Dubai is to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and your knees. It's best to refrain from wearing clothing that is too tight or too revealing for both men and women. It's a good idea to carry a light sweater or shawl with you when going out into public places.
The drinking laws of Dubai apply to both men and women equally. There is no distinction. Both men and women, tourists and residents can enjoy drinking alcohol in Dubai. In fact, Dubai can be amazing for women who want to drink.
Dress code in public places in Dubai
Women do not have to cover their head, face and hair with a scarf or something similar in public, although Muslim women, particularly Gulf Arabs, do cover their hair, face and head with a scarf for cultural and religious reasons.
Women can wear tops, shirts, t-shirts with fitted jeans or trousers, maxi or midi dresses, summer dresses, and skirts that are nearly knee-length and jumpsuits. The Dubai dress code for female tourists is about maintaining the rules of modesty that don't make local families uncomfortable in their own home.
Women can wear long dresses, tops, shirts, t-shirts, pants, hoodies, sweaters, and jeans. It's best to avoid wearing any sleeveless shirts, sleeveless dresses, mini-skirts, and short shorts. Most women wear smart jogging pants or gym pants and a hoodie for comfort.
While UAE law allows for the death penalty in certain cases, capital punishment is rarely carried out. The last known executions were in 2011 and 2014, against two men convicted of murder.
Can women drive in Dubai? Women can drive in Dubai and, in fact, the city offers women-only taxis driven by women. Until recently, Saudi Arabia — the UAE's neighbouring country — was the only nation in the world that had placed a ban on women driving. This was lifted in 2018.
Dubai does welcome tourist and is quite liberal, however there are some instances where it pays to dress slightly more conservatively, covering your shoulders and knees, and other times where you can dress for your own comfort.
WhatsApp, like most free VoIP and messaging services, is blocked in Dubai and The UAE. This can make it difficult to keep in touch with friends and family back home unless you're willing to pay for a government-approved service like C'Me or BOTIM.
Swearing on social media
Swearing in public is completely prohibited in the UAE, with the use of the F-word being a crime, as it “disgraces the honor or the modesty” of a person, according to Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code. Swearing is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine as high as 10,000 dirhams.