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Home > Life Events for Citizens > Practising your religion in Dubai > Knowing social etiquette and culture in Dubai
Knowing social etiquette and culture in Dubai

Dubai is a modern city that welcomes visitors from around the world. However, as it is also a Muslim city, there are certain factors to take into consideration in terms of dress code and behaviour.

Visitors to Dubai should dress modestly, particularly in conservative areas and public places. Swimwear is acceptable at the beach or around the swimming pool, but visitors should cover up elsewhere. Shorts and T-shirts are suitable attire in many places, although when visiting mosques, religious sites or older parts of the city, both men and women should wear loose-fitting clothes that cover shoulders, arms and legs. Women will usually be required to wear a headscarf when entering mosques.

Courtesy and hospitality are important virtues in the Arab world, and visitors will enjoy the friendliness and warm welcome provided by Emiratis. If you are invited to a majlis, remove your shoes at the entrance. Males and females will probably be escorted to different sections. If you are sharing a meal with your host, accept food and refreshment before moving on to matters of business.

It is important to stand up for new guests and older or higher-ranking people, and men are expected to stand when a woman enters the room. When greeting a member of the opposite sex who is Muslim, it is important not to offer to shake hands unless they extend their hand first – both men and women (more commonly women) may prefer not to shake hands with the opposite sex due to religious reasons.


It is customary to accept food and drink with your right hand; this is also the hand you should eat with. Avoid showing the soles of your feet, or pointing your foot at anyone. If you are sitting in front of an important guest, it is considered rude to cross your legs. Do not beckon or point with your finger; if you need to use a hand gesture, use the whole hand. If you are hosting Muslim guests, do not offer them alcoholic beverages or pork.

Some important pointers on culture and etiquette in Dubai – Dubai.ae
Learn more about the religion and culture of Dubai – Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
Dubai Code of Conduct - (PDF Guide from Dubai Executive Council) and hosted by Zayed University (PDF size 348.25 KB)
Why using abusive language & the 'F' word in Dubai can land you in trouble - Gulf News
Avoid defamation and infringing personal privacy online in Dubai and UAE- The National
Defamation and social media in the UAE - Clyde & Co

 

Published Date : 06/07/2015Back


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