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Local cultures and how to behave in Dubai


Created on
5 years ago on October 20, 2014
Last modified
8 months ago on November 29, 2018

Local cultures and how to behave in Dubai

The Dubai culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very prominent as well.
Dubai is bound by Islamic rules and traditions. In practice this means that modesty must be observed when it comes to physical appearance and indeed behaviour when at any of the local Dubai attractions. When out in a public place, such as one of Dubai’s many restaurants or shopping centres, you should dress appropriately. Avoid see-through clothing or styles which expose parts of your body. Ideally keep shoulders and knees covered, this applies to men and women. Swimwear can be worn, but only at beaches, water parks and swimming pools. Nudity, including topless sunbathing, is strictly forbidden.


Alcoholic drinks are available in Dubai, but there are significant restrictions. To drink alcohol legally, you must be over the age of 21, not a Muslim and be in a licensed venue such as a bar, club or restaurant. Drinking alcohol in the street is illegal, as is being drunk in public.


Dubai is extremely conservative when it comes to sexual behaviour. Regardless of your relationship status, sex outside marriage is illegal in Dubai. Homosexuality is a criminal offence. Holding hands is considered acceptable, but kissing and hugging can get you into real trouble.



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