Visiting or Moving to Dubai? What Tourists and Expats Should Know

Visiting or Moving to Dubai

Are you plan to move or visit Dubai? Then read the article below to avoid any possible issue with the law in Dubai. First thing first, ensure you get your health cover from Orient health insurance Dubai, it will be beneficial in case of an accident.

As of 2011, expatriates make up around 90% of Dubai and other UAE emirates. There are millions of people from all over the world who visit and work in this country every year. It’s a very diverse place and has become a real melting pot of cultures. One downside to that is that occasionally those cultures conflict with each other and the country’s laws.

Visiting Dubai as a Tourist

If you’re visiting this beautiful city for a holiday, you should be okay if you keep your head on straight and follow local laws and customs. It means dressing appropriately, not causing any trouble with the local citizens or law enforcement, and correctly observing all Islamic holidays.

Here are a few examples of things that can cause you some problems as a tourist:

  1. Public affection

Anything more than hand-holding is frowned upon here, so don’t do it if you’re in public.

  1. Being drunk in public

It is not just tipsy but drunk – it is also frowned upon, and it can even land you in jail. Keep your pants on, and don’t expose anything that should be covered either (this means shoulders and knees for women and shoulders for men).

  1. Sharia Law

There are specific laws here that we aren’t used to as Westerners, such as not being allowed to eat or drink in public during Ramadan and exporting or consuming pork products against Islamic law. If you do either of these things, there may be consequences to face.

  1. Offending other cultures

Dubai has lots of expats from all over the world, so different cultures are shared here. Be respectful of their beliefs even if you disagree with them. If anyone asks you to stop taking pictures, do so. Also, be aware that it is considered rude in some cultures to take photos of people without their permission or knowledge.

  1. Illegal substances in your bloodstream

Even if you have a prescription for it back home, you can get in trouble for having certain kinds of medication even just in your bloodstream in Dubai. Keep this in mind if you’re taking any medication.

  1. Breaking into someone’s house or car

Even if the doors are unlocked, the act is still illegal, and it will land you in hot water with the law here. Regardless of how sorry you may be, the only way to make it right is to fix any damage caused and pay a fine.

  1. Public nudity

Nudity of any kind in public is quite illegal here, regardless of how many people or who might see you. Also, keep in mind that when women are swimming at beaches, they must wear appropriate swimwear covering the midriff and shoulders.

  1. Kissing or touching someone inappropriately

Even if you’ve been dating this person for a while back home, the rules are different in Dubai. If you kiss or touch them in public, expect some trouble from passersby. You may also be fined or jailed if you are intimate with someone else’s wife or daughter.

  1. Sharing alcoholic drinks or doing drugs

In Dubai, there is a zero-tolerance policy on these things. If you share a vape pen with your friend, drink a beer bought from a store, or do any illegal substances, don’t be surprised if the police arrive and take you in while they figure out what to do with you. It may even be up to the discretion of the police officer if you will be fined or jailed for what you’ve done.

When it comes to Dubai’s healthcare system, they follow the same rules as visitors. That means that if you’re here on a visa, you’re expected to have your healthcare plan. If you use an emergency room without first having health insurance, it will be costly and may even leave you with a bill of thousands of dollars.

So make sure that you have good insurance that will cover your trip to Dubai if you’re not already on a health plan.

During your holiday, it’s okay to take pictures for personal use but avoid doing anything that could be considered offensive or disrespectful. Please don’t take photos of people without their permission, and don’t pose them in ways that make them uncomfortable.

Finally, a few things may seem very common back home but cause many problems here. They include:

  • Driving on the other side of the road

Unless you have an international drivers’ license which allows you to drive here as well as your own country

  • Driving under the influence Selling or buying counterfeit items

That should give you a good idea of what not to do here. If you follow these rules, your holiday in Dubai should be safe and fun. Enjoy!

Sharing alcoholic drinks or doing drugs


When visiting or moving to Dubai, tourists and expats need to take note of the various behavioural etiquette rules to avoid fines and jail time. The article lists some main social conduct guidelines for expats to observe when living in Dubai.

Written by Enaa Mari

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