Social Maners in Dubai

Social Manners and customs are given a lot of importance in UAE. Here are some of the social norms that you should follow while in Dubai:
  • Men should always respect women, general courtesy should be applied.
  • Men should never visit or go to places that are marked ‘For Ladies Only’.
  • One should not compliment females.
  • Avoid using the elevator if you are a male and a single female is inside.
  • Men can shake hand while greeting with a male, but never with a female, unless she offers her hand first.
  • Remember that holding hands by two men is a sign of brotherly bonding, not  that of a gay. Friends of the same sex kissing on the cheek, doing ‘nose kissing’ or hugging in public is normal, it is a sign of friendship.
  • It is against the UAE law for people of different sex to kiss each other in public.
  • Sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal and carry a prison sentence.
  • Do not comment or criticize Islam, ruling families, local dress or traditions of the local people.
  • Do not point the sole of your foot in the direction of an Arab, or other Asian for that matter. The foot is considered dirty and this gesture is highly offensive.
  • Do not turn your back on someone who is speaking to you. It is seen as rude.
  • Do not lose your patience or temper in front of an Arab; it is a sign of being rude and of a weak character.
  • Accept hospitality by accepting offers of drink or food. Leave a little food on your plate if you are a guest, as a sign that you had enough.
  • Remember to remove your shoes when entering an Arab house.
  • Remember that after the meal, if coffee is served it is a sign that it is time to go.
  • Do not enter a mosque and do not touch the Quran if you are not a Muslim.
  • In case you are allowed to enter a mosque (two mosques in the UAE are open to the public), you should attend in proper clothing.
  • You are not supposed to eat, drink and smoke in public in the day time during Ramadan.
  • While on the public beach, all swimmers should wear conservative swimwear. Topless and bikinis are not proper. Never wear swimwear in streets or other public places.

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