Planning a trip to Dubai? Here’s some answers to those important questions you might have
Of course, while planning your holiday as a tourist visiting Dubai – legal issues might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s only right to make sure you come prepared and do thorough research should anything happen during your time here.
So to help you fully prepare, here’s some of the most common questions tourists have about Dubai with answers and explanations for you.
1. Is Dubai safe to travel to for tourists?
Absolutely yes – Dubai has rapidly become one of the most popular go-to destinations for holidays and travellers and has a multitude of attractions, sight-seeing, activities and historical spots to explore.
In fact, Dubai is one of safest cities in arguably THE safest country in the Middle East. Thanks to stricter laws, crime is kept to a minimum and you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that many tourists feel very safe during their stay in Dubai.
2. Can you take alcohol into Dubai?
Tourists visiting Dubai can bring the following goods free of duty into the city:
Gifts with a value of no more than AED 3,000
400 cigarettes OR 500 grams of tobacco OR 50 cigars
And up to 4 litres of alcohol OR 48 cans of beer (each not exceeding 355 ml)
So yes, tourists can buy and bring alcohol into Dubai. Which leads us onto #3…
3. Can you drink in Dubai?
Technically, no – if you don’t have an alcohol license in Dubai you shouldn’t drink. However, the city is continually enhancing its tourism industry, and so those visiting should have no issue purchasing a drink while staying here.
Tourists will find that most restaurants, bars and hotels serve alcohol to those above the UAE’s legal drinking age of 21.
If you’re a resident living in Dubai – that’s a different story, as you should purchase and register for an alcohol license. Provided you’re a non-Muslim.
4 Can you smoke in Dubai?
Dubai is one of the few tourist destinations left that still allows smoking indoors – which is great news if you smoke, but horrible news if you can’t stand it.
But don’t be alarmed – all restaurants that do allow indoor smoking separate the smokers from the non-smokers in different seating areas.
And if you’re a fan of shisha – you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find lots of local cafes or Arabic restaurants that serve it. If it’s your first time visiting, and you’re not against giving it a go – you can try it as part of your ‘authentic Middle Eastern’ experience here.
Those who do smoke will also be pleased to learn that Dubai’s tobacco prices are still extremely cheap in comparison to other Western countries. For example, a pack of Marlboro Gold costs AED 20 for 20 cigarettes.
5. Can you hold hands in public in Dubai?
If you’re a married couple, holding hands is tolerated. But kissing, hugging or petting can be considered an offence to public decency. Thus, we advise you keep your PDAs only for your hotel room or holiday residence.
As per the UAE’s law, PDAs, as well as sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public places, is liable to be published by imprisonment or deportation.
So yes – keep it for behind closed doors.
6.What do you have to wear in Dubai?
As a rule of thumb, make sure your holiday outfits keep you covered from shoulders to at least the knee to prevent any issues from arising should you cause offence to anyone.
At the beach or by the pool, it’s fine to wear your (suitable) swimwear, so long as you’re appropriately dressed once again after leaving the pool or beach vicinity.
We have a full guide to Dubai’s dress code available here, and here are some of the most common mistakes tourists (and residents) make when it comes to Dubai’s dress code that are easily avoidable.
7. Can I drink alcohol during Ramadan in Dubai?
Over the years, the city has become more lenient regarding the serving of alcohol during the Holy Month of Ramadan – with some establishments gaining special permissions from the government to allow their normal service throughout the month.
However, do keep your alcohol intake limited during the Holy Month as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you find a restaurant that is serving alcohol during Ramadan in Dubai, you’ll most likely find that it’s after a particular time of the day.
8. Can women drive in Dubai?
Yes, women can drive in Dubai and the UAE
9. Do I need a visa to visit Dubai?
Requirements for obtaining a visit visa to travel to Dubai vary depending on your nationality, the purpose of your visit and its duration.
GCC nationals are granted entry upon arrival, and other citizens from the following countries can obtain a visa upon arrival that lasts 90 days; France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Holland, GeCirmany, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Poland, Switzerland, Estonia, Portugal, Malta, Spain, Cyprus, Denmark, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia.
Additionally, citizens of the following countries can obtain a visa upon arrival for 30 days, with a 10-day grace period; Andorra, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Monaco, South Korea, Brunei, Ireland, New Zealand, The Vatican, Canada, Japan, San Marino, United States, United Kingdom and Russia.
10. What language is spoken in Dubai?
Although Arabic is the primary language of Dubai and the UAE, you’ll find that English is most commonly used in public areas, on road signs, in restaurants and shopping malls.
The source: ExpatWoman.com