23 07 2020

Expat lifestyle, customs and etiquette in Dubai


Expats in Dubai have a high social level. The most popular places to socialize are restaurants, bars, cafes, shopping centers and beaches. Shopping lovers have a lot to roam shopping centers, specialty shops, bazaars and markets at their disposal. You can easily find branded items and electronics in Dubai at the lowest prices in the world. Many shops are open from eight in the morning until one in the afternoon, when the heat subsides, shops reopen from four to eight in the evening. But shopping centers are open from 10:00 to 22:00, all entertainment and shopping centers are air-conditioned. There are clubs for nightlife in Dubai. They are usually located near hotels and work until 3 am.

Local customs.

Although there is a very high level of tolerance in Dubai, nevertheless, local customs and laws must be treated with care and respect. For example, do not be rude, do not swear, and do not expose personal relationships. Homosexuality, adultery and cohabitation are prohibited in the United Arab Emirates. It is better for men not to specifically stare at local women, and also, not accompanied by them.

This nuance is especially true for tourists who are categorically not allowed to take photos of government buildings and its staff, as well as local residents.

There is not a single place in the UAE where nudity is acceptable; you cannot appear in this form on beaches and in parks.

Etiquette for expats.

- Be sympathetic to the locals who need to pray throughout the day. It is customary for Muslims to pray 5 times a day.

- Rules for men: do not reach out to the locals or women first, wait until they do it.

- When communicating with a stranger, always leave him a personal space, keep at a distance.

- Arabs are very hospitable people, they can treat you not only to dates and coffee, but also invite you to a restaurant. In this case, your refusal can greatly offend and cause misunderstanding.

- If you are left-handed, you may face the difficulty that in the UAE it is almost always customary to use your right hand. Especially for handshaking, handing over items or food. If you use your left hand, you risk showing disrespect for your opponent.

- If you are sitting, it is best not to cross your legs because you might show the sole of your shoes, which is rude and disrespectful. This point also includes touching someone else's shoes.

You are now armed with basic knowledge of customs and familiarity with the rules of etiquette in the UAE.