1. Drugs – Dubai has Zero Drugs Policy
Most Countries globally has a strict drugs policy but Dubai has ZERO Tolerance towards Drugs, Dubai clearly has a zero drugs policy not just on the illegal drugs like Cocaine and Marijuana but also some types of pain killers are also banned. This policy applies to buying selling and also consuming anywhere in Dubai, if you do get caught a jail term is almost certainty and foreign embassies will not get involved in small drugs related cases so its best to just avoid it all together. The thing to remember is you can face up to four years in prison for having very small amount of drugs.
2. Never Issue a bad Cheque
This may not be mentioned in your travel books but a cheque bouncing could also lend you a jail term. It was reported that at one point 20% of Dubai’s inmates were there due to bounced cheque.
Dubai is far more relaxed around Alcohol then it is with drugs, however you must still respect the fact that it’s a Muslim country and alcohol is strictly permitted at private residence and authorised places only, if you drink at a licensed hotel bar or club, you must not over do it or appear tipsy when you exit the venue common sense should dictate but worth mentioning never drink and drive in Dubai as you will be looking at far more severe punishment.
4. Dress Appropriately
Dubai is a Muslim country and strictly adheres to Islamic values and traditions, so when you are in Dubai you must dress appropriately, activities such as topless bathing is strictly prohibited. Swimwear is acceptable in beaches, pools and water parks but you must wear something more appropriate in streets. Although you are unlikely to get stopped by police for wearing shorts, most local women would cover their hair and dress very modestly so you must be respectful to their culture
5. Public Affection
UAE has come a long way and it’s considered a very liberal Muslim country, however it is still a Muslim country, caution must be exercised when out in public, public display of affection is highly frowned upon and can lead to trouble with the police. With that in mind police and other authorities will only take notice if you are blatant about your activities. A holiday couple were sent to jail for having sex in a beach, you can get into trouble for kissing on the back of a cab so be careful.
6. No Blasphemy
This could potentially be a very serious offense. UAE is a very Religious county and Islam is a significant part of the UAE culture, Islam is not only the main religion in the whole of Middle East but it’s a way of life, Blasphemy of any time will not be tolerated and will have serious consequences.
7. Watch where you take pictures
You must always ask permission from the locals before you start snapping away, especially if your snap covers any of the locals as the culture is very private. Some of the locals may not be happy with themselves, wives or children being in the snaps so you make sure you are aware this. You also need to make sure you are careful with any religious buildings you are snapping, make sure you capture them in a respectful way.
8. Respect Ramadan Rules
If you are travelling to Dubai it will be worth checking the Islamic Calendar, Ramadan happens each year and eating and drinking during sunlight hours are not permitted. During the day you must only eat and drink on restaurants that allow eating or in a private venue, eating drinking, dancing or playing loud music are all forbidden during month of Ramadan so do these thing privately.
Although its modern twists, Dubai has deep religious and traditional roots. Sexual relations outside of a traditional, heterosexual marriage are a crime in Dubai and can lead to imprisonment. Homosexual tourists have previously been given jail sentences and deported due to public displays of affection. For this reason there are no formal LGBT organisations or nightclubs that exist in Dubai. Therefore tourists that fall into this category mean that you will need especially careful to be modest and not engage in any pda’s.
Swearing in public or using any offensive or aggressive hand gestures could get you into big trouble in Dubai. Swearing and aggressive hand gestures are criminal offences in Dubai and can therefore cause a person to be fined, deported or even more seriously imprisoned. So be very careful about what you say and any gestures that you make to anyone in Dubai.